Greta Salóme is a hot favourite to win Iceland’s national final Söngvakeppnin 2016 tomorrow. Like most of the finalists, her song will be performed at the final with English lyrics, and Greta has just released the English version of her song, “Hear Them Calling”.

The original Icelandic version of the song, “Raddirnar” (The Voices) was the top pick of the Wiwi Jury, earning a high score of 8.17/10, with one jury member noting that “this song taps into something primal and universal — yet swells with modern instrumentation and production”.

It was also a favourite with Söngvakeppnin viewers, who voted it into the final, after Greta delivered an impressive performance at the first semi-final. She brought the song to life with back-projected images, which she interacted with using precise choreography.

The Söngvakeppnin rules state that while all songs in the semi-finals must be performed in Icelandic, the version performed at the final should be in the language intended for the Eurovision performance. This means that Greta and four of the other five finalists will be singing in English at the final.

Greta, who has written both the music and lyrics herself, has captured the epic, Nordic feel of the song. She sings, “I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering/They’re singing, ‘Now we are coming home'”.

The English language version has impressed fans, with some even wondering if the volcanic island nation will finally win Eurovision, 30 years after its first entry. Reykjavik 2017, anyone?

Greta Salóme – “Hear Them Calling”

https://youtu.be/Mp6gYJE3oLE

Greta Salóme “Hear Them Calling” lyrics

Can you hear them calling?
Oh, they’re calling out tonight
Now the skies are burning
Oh, they burn so bright

We shiver as we step into the cold, cold night
Then we’re running, we are running now

I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering
They’re singing, “Now we are coming home”
I hear them calling me, I hear them howling
Singing, “Now we are coming home”
Oh, oh…

See the shadows dancing
Oh, they dance for us tonight
And as I’m tossing and I’m turning
Oh, they come alive

We shiver as we step into the cold, cold night
Then we’re running, we are running now

I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering
They’re singing, “Now we are coming home”
I hear them calling me, I hear them howling
Singing, “Now we are coming home”
Oh, oh…

Can you hear them? I hear them calling me, oh…
Can you hear them? I hear them calling me, oh…

I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering
I hear them calling me, “We’re coming home”
I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering
I hear them calling me, “Now we’re coming home”

I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering

I hear them calling me, I hear them whispering
They’re singing, “Now we are coming home”
(I hear them calling me, I hear them howling)
Singing, “Now we are coming home”

FOR MORE ICELAND EUROVISION NEWS, CLICK HERE

Image: Greta Salóme

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Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I thought she would do this.
I would prefer it in Icelandic but it will do better in English.

Amor A.
Guest
Amor A.

Can we petition Greta to sing it in Icelandic? This song won’t do very well in English.

Colin
Guest
Colin

To Greta’s credit, not only that she has done one heck of a translation (keeping the similar words, feelings and impact), but she has changed to English before the contest, giving voters exactly what they will hear in Stockholm (hopefully, since this HAS to win tomorrow).

On the other hand, Eneda Tarifa and possibly Ira Losco… now, that’s unprofessional.

Colin
Guest
Colin

As ESC rules change all the time, do you think it’s possible to suggest a new rule that would ban translations and replacing songs? If you want an English song, write it. If you chose something to represent you, stick with it, give voters some credit. I love Greta’s translation though, but: a) this is a rare example that does well, b) I would prefer more diversity.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Jake :- My honest opinion?………………..when the UK come with a WOW song and an artist who can perform it live, then the UK will do well. We have had a 3rd and a 5th though. As for Ireland, they have completely lost the plot and do not know what WOW is anymore? Perhaps both need completely new Delegation teams who know how to do well in this contest. Generally the songs have not been good enough, it is not just about singing in English of course, it’s much much more than that; it’s about the “package”. As for Greta’s song,… Read more »

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Slightly prefered it in Icelandic, although it doesn’t sound cheap in English (like many translated songs tend to do).

Jake
Guest
Jake

Eugene,
I hope you like that every Eurovision song is sung in English now because it explains why Ireland and the UK haven’t won since the sing-in-your-own-language rule has been abolished.

avis
Guest
avis

@Eugene
I’m not generally against songs that are sung in English but I think that in this case of Greta’s song Icelandic lyrics (or at least one part in Icelandic) would fit the mystical theme of the whole song. It’s not a bland love song like for example Përrallë – it’s a mystical song and Icelandic lyrics emphasise this atmosphere.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

The song and stage performance are formulaic cr*p. Hate it.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I like it in English with that Of Monster and Men sound, but I think it has lost some of its magic.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

On this subject :-

The Albanian broadcaster RTSH has confirmed that Eneda Tarifa will sing her Eurovision entry “Përrallë in English in Stockholm.

Sorry guys you are just going to have to get used to it.

No Name
Guest
No Name

Wow like this much more. Maybe the lyrics are quite repetitive, but the production is way better!

BE
Guest
BE

Oh, you will hear me calling in to vote for this, alright!

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Dutchie :- The problem obviously arises when a song comes out in a local language and then they decide to change it to English. If you are following the various National Finals, most countries avoid this now by allowing the original version in English and the majority of songs in National Finals are also in English, if not ALL English. Of the 6 songs in the Iceland Final, 5 will be in English. I will say again, I get your point, and again I have never said the English version is BETTER, that is not my point. Jamal has got… Read more »

Anfrers
Guest

The icelandic version is so much better. And i LOVE the male backing vocals.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@eugene
You’re right about most people not knowing there ever was an Icelandic version. However, ignoring the fact whether you understand the lyrics or not, they just sound better in the original. It’s better to sacrifice some of the original meaning in the translation to stay true to the original sound. ‘Ég heyri raddirnar’ sounds nothing like ‘I hear them calling me’.

MGR
Guest
MGR

In the ESC you need only good song and good staging. Nothing more. All funny effects useless and unnecessary. For viewers it is always very clear, but not for jury.

MGR
Guest
MGR

“Originality” and “showiness” is not enough. Good entry may be very classic, but must be orderly and catchy. And that’s why Samir & Viktor are good, while many other craps are bad. It’s so simple, easy, obvious and clear.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Greta is a great lyricist and it sounds fantastic in English too. However, I am underwhelmed by the fact that almost all songs are in English 3 years in a row. For a show that celebrates different cultures, we hear too much of the same language.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Last comment……………………on the night, the majority won’t even know there is an Icelandic version!!

I meant to sat below “the majority on here”. Whichever you prefer……… enjoy it.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Jacky :- I’m fine with you disagreeing with me, that’s what it is all about. I’m not saying it sounds BETTER in English, of course not, that’s NOT my point. I would say the majority will like it in Icelandic actually. If it was in English in the first place this conversation would not be happening? “Molitva” was 2007, NINE years ago; the ESC has changed A LOT since then!! I wonder if Raphael, Marco and Il Volo would have done EVEN better if they sang in English, we will never know? Delegations have to make that choice whatever it… Read more »

Freyah
Guest
Freyah

Forgot to add, I also hope this doesn’t suffer the same fate as Litil Skref/Unbroken, which was leagues better in Icelandic.

Freyah
Guest
Freyah

It’s still my favourite in the Icelandic selection by far, but if this wins and it’s performed in English I don’t know if it will be my favourite in Eurovision (which Raddirnar would have been.) Because while the song is still really good, it’s lost the magic the Icelandic lyrics gave it which makes the song that much better. Still, I’m sure she’ll slay on stage.

avis
Guest
avis

I liked the Icelandic version better. I think singing in another language than English helps a song to stand out and makes it more original. Also no one cares if the lyrics are bad or cheap (for example “N’oubliez pas” – in English this would have been a very cheasy song while in French it was okay because most of the people did not understand a word). I’m sure Molitva would not have won if Marija sung in English. Or look at Rändajad (Estonia 2011). It scored good, even though over 90% did not understand what the song was about.… Read more »

Jacky
Guest
Jacky

I’m gonna disagree with you there Eugene. Yes, it’s great to be able to understand a song’s lyrics, and it’s not surprising most countries sing in English. But a really good song can be appreciated beyond language barriers. Look at Molitva, or more recently Grande Amore. I doubt all of the public or jury could understand their respective languages.

In regards to Greta’s song – I still really like it, but I personally prefer the Icelandic. Will probably grow on me though.

E.Scott
Guest
E.Scott

Actually scrap that. Just listened a second time. Its still my favourite.

E.Scott
Guest
E.Scott

I loved the icelandic version and it was may favourite for the whole esc. The english version looses it some points for now. BUT i feel it is just a case of getting used to the new lyrics over the old ones and ill be just as happy in a week or two. (If it wins tomorrow that is otherwise its icelandic all the way).
I had the same ” no not in English” moment last year with serbia and in the end i thought it was a good move.

Sparrow
Guest
Sparrow

Its a cute little song.
It’s also one of those I liked so much in Icelandic that I didn’t need to know what she was singing about.
Rarely I enjoy the translated versions of these type of songs but I’d be happy if she went either way.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

jowncarlo :- I also like both versions, and I did say if you WANT to win!!

Only one of 43 can win, but clearly Iceland are in it to win it, not just take part.

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Icelanduc was SO much better! The lyrics in the English version are very repetitive.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Dutchie :- Of course I get it, I listen to a lot of world music especially Italian music as well as classical music. But as far as the ESC is concerned, I can’t explain it any better than I have done below. It’s about the “package”.

jowncarlo
Guest
jowncarlo

The song has definitely grown on me. I like both versions, even if I don’t understand Raddirnar.

AND

It’s not always about winning.

MGR
Guest
MGR

Jury will like this “style” even if quality is very weak.

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

Preferred it in Icelandic, but still a great song.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@eugene
As a Brit you probably can’t identify with this, but us non-native speakers grow up mostly listening to music in a language which we can only partly understand (or not at all) 🙂

Icelandic has an elfish/dreamlike quality to it that adds something to this song. Sometimes it’s better not to know exactly what the song is about. I love Sigur Rós, millions of people all over the world do, most of whom don’t understand a word they’re singing.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Dutchie :- A song is made up of music and lyrics, if you don’t understand the lyrics, you are just voting on a tune!! Why bother with lyrics at all? The juries have to score on the WHOLE song, some of the public only listen to the tune, granted, some want hear what the song is about and whether it has layers, depth, creativity and meaning. On the night millions who hear the song for the first time won’t have time to look up the translation. If you just want to listen to the tune, that is also fine. The… Read more »

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

I don’t think translating it will increase their chances… quite the opposite, actually. It loses some of its mysticism. The chorus becomes annoying rather than catchy.

Euroviper7
Guest
Euroviper7

The Icelandic version is much better still

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Yes of the 6 finalists, 5 will perform in English and only Elísabet Ormslev will currently perform in Icelandic. If you want to WIN, it is best you go with an English song or a part English song. Most Delegations know that now and it is the first thing they write on their list.

Charles
Guest
Charles

It’s the male background vocalist that I personally find so unflattering … either in English or in Icelandic.