I haven’t finished the lyrics, but I’ve written my first proper good song in ages. I would even argue it’s the best ever song I’ve written – and the more I got into it, and I got into this year’s Eurovision season, I realised that it would fit perfectly in the contest.
I then decided what I needed to do, is time the song. And it comes in at 3 mins 50. And that’s already cutting out half of my lovely instrumental…
That of course is 50 seconds too long to be entered to Melodifestivalen next year – and I daren’t cut much more than the odd line here or there. This is really really sad… I can’t stress how much I love this song and it just works, it’s dramatic, sad, angry – a really performance song and one written much more for me rather than the 18 year old pop that I’ve written before and even pastiched.
I am going to sit down and have a go, but I don’t know what else can go to make this into the winner. The 3 minute rule in Eurovision the songwriter in me hates – for a start it has to blame slightly for the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, key change, chorus motif that we hear every single year. It makes it hard for a songwriter to add much more into it. On this note I have immediately put this year’s Serbian entry into at least my top 3 Eurovision songs ever – a superb entry – and written by the songwriting genius of Zeljko Joksimovic – who really gets the song to build up piece by piece in a brilliant composition. I especially love the sparse use of harmony and the overlapping of instruments in that final minute. A really good proper song – but gosh is that hard to do (although perhaps easier in the seemingly Serbian song route at least in Eurovision with less parts, only one verse and instead a building instrumental – which is common in many entries from the former Yugoslav countries.
But yes, why this sudden songwriting interest? I fulfilled a dream for years to attend a final of Melodifestivalen. It was such an exciting couple of days and I met so many like minded people – it was a real pleasure and I don’t really want to wait another year for that again (but no, not enough to get me going to Baku). The internal dynamics of the show, which do so interest me, were fascinating but were paled in comparison with what else was going on. The pre-contest karaoke dominated by UK Schlager fans and little girls, the incredible seat upgrade that got me in the lines (just!) of the TV cameras, and close enough to get some contact with the artists (Molly Sanden definitely saw my excitement at her getting a 10 points from one of the juries). The amount of random people I recognised there from the Eurovision world – most amazingly I was sitting one row infront of Svante Stockselius which was a unbelieveable moment in my life I wish friends were there to share. The fact that I was sitting with MFKlubben members who were active, and not boring, and who were clapping, stamping, standing, cheering and everything else inbetween – exactly what Eurovision fans should be like.
The acts were great too – I found myself possibly far too drawn to the huge TV screen than to the stage in hindsight, but it really didn’t matter and it was still superb fun. Loreen has every chance of winning Eurovision, but at the moment the song is just Swedish Eurovision fanwank. It is a radio song, and needs lots of radio airplay like Lena in 2010 got in Europe to win it. I hope her record company focus on this task rather than to get her album ready for launch in Sweden – that can wait.
Plus, the excitement before the show, with my A-A-A-amazing kids I teach, the equally lovely Eurovision fans I’ve met from all over Europe (although mainly British or Swedish), the performances in shopping centres all around the week and of course I must say the lovely tunnelbana journey to Globen packed with fans and families sharing a mutual love of the buzz of watching people give the performance of their lives to try and represent their country.
But all of this lead to that fact in my life that I want that one shot at Eurovision glory, and I think I have half a sniff of a chance here now (on this note Euphoria just started playing on the bus home). I’ve worked out in my head how to stage it, how to present myself to the media, how to include all the money notes I have.
It’s one of those things in life that I just know works and I want the chance to prove it to myself. How my heart sank tonight in realising this song isn’t the one to bring it home like I thought it was – but writing this has reminded me of how fun it is and how much I want it to happen again.