Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part V: Iceland, Georgia, and Portugal)

Another week, another post about Eurovision! This time, we will focus on the songs and contestants from three countries: Iceland, Georgia, and Portugal,

If you haven’t check it out already, please check out Part I , Part II , Part III, and Part IV of the series. Those three blog posts feature songs from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Serbia, Poland, Slovenia, Australia, Belgium, and Estonia.


Iceland: Hatari – “Hatrið mun sigra”

Hatari is a techno/punk-rock band from Iceland with members Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson, and Einar Hrafn Stefánsson. Formed in 2015, Hatari was supposed to disband last year as the members failed to complete the band’s mission of toppling capitalism. A bit bizarre, wouldn’t you think?

“Hatrið mun sigra” Hate will prevail is Hatari’s entry for this year’s Eurovision. And the majority of the song is screamo. I like some forms of screamo, especially when it is brilliantly done by bands like System of the Down. But. I don’t like the electronic screamo featured in “Hatrið mun sigra.” It is too harsh.

The chorus vocals, done by Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, offer a lighter contrast to Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson’s vocals. But, they don’t have much appeal as they are usual vocals you find in any techno songs. But at least these vocals found in the chorus soothe the listeners’ ears from the harsh vocals.

Sad to say that “Hatrið mun sigra” will most likely not make it to the finals as it is too bizarre and nothing is appealing about the song. But, judging from the lyrics, this could be the most memorable performance from its odd factor and if the band does something politic during their performance.

These are translated lyrics:

The revelry was unrestrained
The hangover is endless
Life is meaningless
The void will get us all

Hate will prevail
Happiness comes to an end
For it is an illusion
A treacherous pipe dream

All that I saw
Tears ran down
All that I gave
Once gave
I gave it all to you

Multilateral delusions
Unilateral punishments
Gullible poor fellows
The escape will end
The emptiness will get us all

Hate will prevail
Europe will crumble
A web of lies
Will arise from the ashes
United as one

All that I saw
Tears ran down
All that I gave
Once gave
I gave it all to you

All that I saw
Tears ran down
All that I gave
Once gave
I gave it all to you

Hate will prevail
Love will die
Hate will prevail
Happiness comes to an end
For it is an illusion
A treacherous pipe dream

Hate will prevail


Georgia: Oto Nemsadze – “Sul tsin iare” (სულ წინ იარე)

Interesting fact: Oto Nemsadze is about two weeks younger than me! Crazy stuff! He sounds a lot older, doesn’t he?

He hasn’t released anything since his venture into singing in 2010. But, he has been in many singing competitions: winning Geostar in 2010, placed runner up in The Voice of Ukraine in 2013, and winning Georgian Idol this year, thus representing Georgia in this year’s Eurovision.

“Sul tsin iare” Keep on Going is something really dark, if you read the translated lyrics below. Or, if you look at the lyrics at a different viewpoint, it could be uplifting. The message is “Never give up” but written in a way with allegories of war, soldiers, and crossing over the barbed wires. Georgians could relate these lyrics, but not to those who are listening during the contest.

A good thing about this is Nemsadze’s vocals. They are deep, powerful, and strong! However, his vocals alone can’t help this song go to the finals. Sorry. There isn’t a “wow” factor anywhere in the music, and the lyrics are something that listeners can’t relate to.

Here are the lyrics translations:

Go ahead,
walk a lot,
search, find, walk, walk,
somewhere someone is singing,
singing from the heart,
behind the barbed wire,
but still singing

varada, varada, varada rada hee
varada varada, varada rada hee
and you will find,
the missed songs,
sing at the top of your voice,
to bring them your voice,

go ahead,
follow your heart,
cross that barbed wire,
sing varado,
set a chonguri,
we will not split up,

follow your heart and walk across the sea,
we heal each other’s wounds with singing,

varada varada, (varada varada)
varada varada, varada rada hee (sivarada varada)1
varada varada, varada radaaa

follow your heart and walk across the sea
we heal each other’s wounds with singing


Portugal: Conan Osiris – “Telemóveis”

Conan Osíris is also someone who was born in my birth year of 1989, along with Oto Nemsadze.

Osiris began his musical career by performing in a group called Powny Lamb. He decided to go solo in 2011 with the “Secluded” for a fashion show. He continued to write and release new songs, eventually releasing his debut album, Música, Normal, in 2016.

How Osiris became this year’s Eurovision representative for Portugal is something that happened last year. He was invited by RTP to participate in the song competition Festival da Canção 2019, which would let the winner go to Eurovision. Osiris composed “Telemóveis” and decided that he would perform it. He won, and now he is going to Eurovision!

“Telemóveis” Mobile Phones is a pretty cool song. From the very start, you know this song is going to be a bizarre one but in a cool way. The song begins with a string instrument played in an atonal, minor key. Then Osiris come in by singing the first verse and chorus. I feel like Osiris sings this song with a musical style found in Middle Eastern or Indian music as he slides down the scale at the end of phrases and takes advantage of changing specific notes’ tonic pitches.

The techno beat, found after the first chorus, is a bit unexpected but it blends right into the song.

“Telemóveis” reminds me of a song from Kate Bush’s discography from the 80s as it is similar to art rock: bizarre, experimental, but pleasing to the ears. Because of the musical style that found in “Telemóveis,” I am pretty sure that Osiris will win a chance to perform at the finals.

Here are the translated lyrics:

I broke my cell phone
When I tried to call to heaven
So that I could know if I’ll kill longing
Or if I’m the one who dies

And who kills whom?
Who kills who kills?
Who kills whom?
Not even I know
When I know, I won’t call anyone else

And if life calls
If life sends a message
If it doesn’t stop
And you don’t have the courage to answer
You already know what will happen

I’ll come down my stairs
I’ll ruin my cell phone, my ol’ celly
I’ll break my cell phone
Yours and mine
And I’ll ruin my cell phone
I want to live and deform my cell phone

And if I break my cell phone?
I only break what’s mine
I have yet to see if longing dies
But maybe it will turn out to be me

Who kills who kills?
Not even I know
Snitches have never seen anyone be born

I used to break cell phones
But I’ll never break mine again
I know that the longing is dead
The one who shot the arrow was me
The one who shot the arrow was me
Was me


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