Forget Lulu’s ‘Boom Bang-A-Bang’-ing or Abba trying to escape their ‘Waterloo’, there have been some far stranger lyrics in the Eurovision Song Contest over the years. And they don’t just stick to the whimsically absurd as the following examples go to prove.
Nuku Pommlin by Kojo (Finland, 1982)
The early 1980s were a highly politicised period in European history and the anti-nuclear movement was a popular and powerful cause – so how did Finland’s protest against the bomb end up getting nul points in 1982?
It may have had something to do with the scatological references in the lyrics and the fact that it was - ahem - not very good.
Here’s a sample lyric:
If someone soon throws some nuclear poo here on our Europe / What will you say when we get all the filth on our faces / If someone slings a bomb to your neck you probably won't even notice
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Irlande Douze Pointe by Dustin the Turkey (Ireland, 2008)
What do you do if your country has won Eurovision more times than any other – and quite frankly you’re getting sick of the whole thing? Well in 2008 Ireland fielded the most obviously mickey-taking act ever to grace the stage in the contest.
Combining a shrieking puppet with a tinny Euro-pop din and flat-out mockery of the entire contest, there were calls for Dustin the Turkey to be banned. Instead it just got knocked out in the semi-final.
We’d give you the entire lyrics if we had space, but you’ll have to make do with this brief snippet...
Drag acts and bad acts and Terry Wogan's wig / Mad acts and sad acts, it was Johnny Logan's gig
Woki Mit Deim Popo by Trackshittaz (Austria, 2012)
And this year’s Austrian entry proves that weird lyrics are still alive and well in Eurovision, with a hip-hop track about a visit to a strip club.
We DEFINITELY HAVE NOT just picked this because of the act’s awesome name – and if you don’t believe us, just check out this sample of the amusingly juvenile lyrics...
Your bottom doesn’t get tired, your bottom tells something about you / Come shake him, he wants it wild, so the whole house starts to vibrate / Your bottom must be ready, therefore shake, shake, shake / Your bottom must be ready, come on give him what he needs.
Dancing Lasha Tumbai by Verka Serdyuchka (Ukraine, 2007)
The UK has long been accused by other nations of not taking Eurovision seriously enough, but by the late noughties we were not the only nation with our tongue in our cheek.
Imagine Black Lace covering a Mumford and Sons song while wearing Leigh Bowery-inspired avant garde costumes – with nonsense call-and-response lyrics of course – and you are halfway to picturing Verka Serdyucha...
And here’s a snippet of the lyrics so you can sing along:
Me English don't understand! / Let's speak DANCE! / Seven, seven, ai lyu lyu / Seven, seven, one, two / Seven, seven, ai lyu lyu / One, two, three!
Sing Sang Song by The Les Humphries Singers (Germany, 1976)
A classic slice of Eurovision nonsense, this easy listening-influenced effort is cheerful and engaging to start with - featuring some fine multi-part harmonies - but the relentless repetition eventually becomes absurd, perhaps even slightly sinister.
If you don’t have time to look for a video of it, just sing this sample lyric over in your head 700 times to get something of the effect:
Sing, sang, song, singe, sang, song (Shalala...) / Sing, sang, song, singe, sang, song (Shalala...) / Sing, sang, song, singe, sang, song
Just plain weirdness
Opera by Cetin Alp and the Short Waves (Turkey, 1983)
Not just weird lyrics, but one of the strangest Eurovision contenders of all time – Opera was an ode to the delights of the aria.
It didn’t make a lot of sense, but listeners were left in little doubt as to what it was about thanks to the seemingly random combination of opera-related lyrics, of which we have a sample here:
Opera, opera, opera, opera, opera / Opera, opera, opera, opera, Carmen, Aida / Opera, opera, tonight at the opera / Tosca, Figaro and Fidelio, listen to the arias