Tuesday, March 1st, 2011...16:02

Understanding Politics Through Eurovision

Jump to Comments

Today we have been busy working out the lyrics to Belarus’ entry into the Eurovision Song Contest. Seems a reasonable break from looking Indian cotton farmer suicide statistics.

Twenty-year-old Anastasiya Vinnikova sings the praises of her homeland with a Stalinist disco swagger. The audience nods with sycophantic gusto.

“You’re my passion, do it old-fashioned / When I was wearing a star, back in the USSR / Belorussia! Crazy and so fine….” Et cetera.

There’s a brilliant bit at the end where an all-male chorus chest-thumps in with the chutzpah of a military parade. You’d think Belarus was an isolationist throwback of a country that holds wistful memories of gulags and forced imprisonment. Oh. Wait….

As our friends at an otter-obsessed popular culture mailout have written: “how they are going to perform that bit with just a maximum of five backing people allowed on stage, we haven’t quite worked out. Then again, the Belarussian government enjoys locking up artists so much that there might only be this many English-speaking performers left in Minsk.”

Belarus is the last dictatorship in Europe. It ranks below Iran for press freedom and below Zimbabwe on human rights. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe called last December’s elections “seriously flawed”. On 19 December in Independence Square in Minsk, over 600 people were arrested in a post-election opposition rally. Over 30 prisoners are still kept in custody, denied access to legal representation and face up to 15 years in prison for “orchestrating mass disorder”.

So. Here are the lyrics to Belarus’s Eurovision Song Contest entry for 2011. Under the EBU rules, the winning country hosts the Song Contest the following year. Should Belarus win, all of Europe could be flocking to Minsk with “dangerous ideas”.

[For more information on Europe’s last dictatorship, visit http://zoneofsilence.org/]

Belorussia!
Bay-bay-bay-baby [x3]

Baby I want you to know,
Soon we’ll be starting the show
Back in the history we’ll go.
Belorussia!

When I was wearing a star,
Back in the USSR,
I was as good as mama
Feel my passion.
CHORUS

Round and round we go
Born in
Belorussia!
USSR time!
Belorussia!
Crazy and so fine
Time is rushing
Everything’s crashing,
passing by.
Born in
Belorussia!

Belorussia!
USSR time!
Belorussia!
Got you on my mind!
You’re my passion, do it old-fashioned.
You and I!

Diamonds and treats of the West
Come check it out, be my guest.
You’re still remaining the best
Belorussia.

When everything will be gone,
Your name will shine like the sun.
You’re still remaining the one,
Good old-fashioned.

CHORUS

Leave a Reply