Let’s just get out one important point right up front, shall we? Iceland had no good choices this year.
BUT!!! But but but!!! To our great relief Iceland has selected Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson and “Ég á Líf.”
Eyþór is a strong vocalist that commands the stage, and wisely, chose a simple staging in the Icelandic national final. He looks like he’s going to go all hard rock on us, but he exercises restraint and builds the song well. “Ég á Líf” was penned by our old friend Pétur Örn Guðmundsson. You may remember Pétur from such Eurovisions as 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 where he sang backup for Iceland. He has also been entering his own compositions into Songvakeppni for years.
“Ég á Líf” (Google translate: My Life) is an anthemic Eurovision ballad with phonetic stress on each of the title words, ascending whole notes in a major scale. It is this writing conceit that provides the song with its power. It will also make translation away from its original Icelandic particularly challenging. We hope they don’t attempt it. Most importantly (for us, at least) its cadence is simply ripe for alternative lyrics. Here are a couple of samples we worked up while suffering through the other entries.
“Maple leaf, maple leaf
How we hate you maple leafs
Maple leaf, maple leaf
Worst leafs on earth“
or, how about this…
“Wagyu beef wagyu beef
Mottled fat beyond belief
Wagyu beef wagyu beef
We love you so”
The possibilities really are endless.
Other lingering thoughts:
- When oh when will Magni get the right vehicle? We keep pulling for him, but “Ekki lita undan” and its simplistic ’80’s bass riff sure wasn’t it. Guess we’re just going have to do it ourselves. [psst… Magni… call us ;)]
- Runner-up Unnur Eggertsdóttir’s “Ég syng!” is one of the most atrocious pieces of crap we’ve heard since J. Geils Band’s “Love Stinks.” It was like a deep cut from an early Spice Girls album. How in the world did that make it through to the Superfinal?
- Poor Jógvan… he’s never going to get it done either, is he?
- It’s too bad the songs were overall so mediocre because the Icelandic organizers scaled up the Songvakeppnin final this year, providing them with a better showcase. RUV booked a concert hall (rather than just using the dinky RUV studio). They asked the contestants to think about production. They even hired dancers for Greta Salome’s opening number. Maybe all that Icelandic plaice we’ve been buying at Harris Teeter has been making a difference?
- We know it would get stale if all the countries did it, but we did love Euroband’s Eurovision medley.