Should Zeljko Joksimovic Sing “Synonym” In Serbian or English?

For Zeljko Joksimovic—Serbia’s contestant for ESC 2012—it was a matter of double your pleasure, double your fun. On March 10 he debuted his Eurovision entry “Synonym” in English. Then he performed the Serbian-language verison of the song, which is entitled “Nije ljubav stvar.” We won’t know which version he’ll choose to perform in Baku until next week.

In 1999 Eurovision officials loosened the contest’s language rules, allowing contestants to sing in the language of their choice rather than mandating that they croon and shriek in their national tongue. Contestants have gravitated toward English, ostensibly because more Europeans speak English as a second language than any other tongue—thereby giving them an advantage when it comes to courting televotes. The unfortuante consequence is that contestants frequently rock up with some rather non-sensical lyrics, suggesting they depended on Google Translate. (Hello Latvia 2010!). Regardless, plenty of folks do get it right. Since 1999, every winner has sung in English except for one — 2007’s Marija Serifovic.

And, funny enough, she came from Serbia. Her powerful vocals conveyed all the emotion of “Molitva,” helping it transcend linguistic barriers. The fact that Serbian is a beautiful language likely helped her, as did the fact we foreigners had no idea what she was saying. That kind of mystery can make a song even more compelling.

What do you think? Should Zeljko sing in English or Serbian? Listen to both versions below and then vote in our poll.

 

Listen to “Synonym” and read the English lyrics:

 

Sunshine every single day,
Sunny day for sunny sorrow,
I was happy yesterday,
Easy come and easy go.

You, can you feel the rain,
Beating of my heart, colour of my pain?

Leave the love and go,
I ll be silent, I will know,
What a shame I love you line
Now it sounds like a crime.
Late to ask you why,
How you knew to say goodbye,
But I know the life is dream,
Every love and pain are only synonym.

Baby, leave the love and go,
Take tomorrow, take it all,
What a shame I love you line
Now it sounds like a crime
Have you ever seen a man,
Beggin you on bleeding knees
If you want to break me down
So do it, do it please,

Second, baby, give me second,
To remember every night I made you sad
Too bad
Too late to blow my head

Baby, leave the love and go,
Take tomorrow, take it all,
I must live God knows why
It is my turn to cry

Too late to die.

Listen to “Nije ljubav stvar” and read the Serbian lyrics: