List: Top 10 wackiest Eurovision lyrics of yesteryear

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Song lyrics — they can say so much. They bring back memories or make new ones. They can describe our feelings. They can make us laugh and cry. They can make us relive our fifth-grade crush all over again, but with a deeper, more meaningful interpretation. Like Meatloaf so delicately put it back in the day: “You took the words right out of my mouth…” But song lyrics can also make us go: “Whaaaaat? And Eurovision lyrics are no exception.

More than 1000 songs have been entered since 1956, and through the course of time, we’ve heard countless metaphors about everything and nothing, though mostly love and happiness, and sometimes pain (though I wont mention any names in that field. *cough* Andrius Pojavis *cough*) Here we have the top 10 wackiest Eurovision lyrics of yesteryear. Note, that I don’t consider any of the following songs to be bad, because this list is not about that. In fact, I love most of them from the bottom of my heart. And some of the lyrics are not wacky as such, more like a child of their time.

10. Sweden 1973: Nova and the Dolls – “You Are Summer”

Most notable lyric:

I am blue and I long for your caress
Oh, your breasts are like swallows a-nestling
You’re the summer, life grows in you, summer wind blows in you
Summer rain flows in you, summer sings low in you
You are summer, you never tell me no

In 1973 the national language rule was dropped, which gave us this English entry from Sweden. Before the notorious Lithuanian brought his kickass metaphor pair of the love/pain shoes, we had the duet Nova from Sweden, who eagerly describe their special someone as the season of summer. That’s sweet! She’s so lovely and perfect that she’s like the cool summer breeze in their otherwise dull and lifeless existence. Awwww.  And she’s always there for them, making them oh-so-happy and satisfied, because she never tells them no, and she has boobs like a nest of… wait, what?! OK, maybe they’re not describing her as summer, maybe her name is Summer and she has a part time job at a strip club? I’ve always been somewhat confused about this one. Good song, though.

9. Germany 1979: Dschinghis Khan – “Dschinghis Khan”

Most notable lyric:

Send for some vodka
Ho ho ho ho
‘Cause we’re Mongolians
Ha ha ha ha
And the Devil gets us early enough

I love this song! It is a cult classic, that has everything I love about Eurovision, but the lyrics are so so nonsensical. I actually had trouble picking here! Genghis Khan was indeed a great warlord, but I doubt that he would have stood proud whilst listening to this, mostly because he didn’t speak German, I presume, but also because this song and the lyrics kinda make him  look like a big lush who only thought about alcohol and women. A real partying dude! But he was a ruthless conqueror, y’all! He probably would have hacked this lovely band to pieces, starting with the freaky dancer. But, damn it, this song is always a delight!

8. Luxembourg 1980: Sophie & Magaly – “Le papa pengouin”

Most notable lyric:

Papa penguin, papa penguin
Papa penguin, papa penguin
Papa penguin loves his iceberg
Papa penguin, papa penguin
Papa penguin, papa penguin
Papa penguin is going to burn his suitcase

Right. Long story short, papa penguin wants to travel the world but is stuck on his iceberg because he can’t fly long distances, because, you know, penguins. This catchy, little tune was sung by the twins Sophie and Magaly, who at the time were only 16. An appropriate age for a song, that is childish and innocent. The lyric is pretty much this: papa penguin is mentioned over and over and over again, ending with the twins destroying poor papa penguin’s dreams of travelling. Was that really necessary? And what was up with that creepy guy in the penguin suit who relentlessly strokes the twins’ behinds every chance he gets? Eewww! But those lyrics… yeah, real poetry.

7. Finland 1976: Fredi & Friends – “Pump-Pump”

Most notable lyric:

Let your hips go hippety pump pump
That’s the way we dance till we die, ay ay ay
Let your hips go hippety pump pump
Give me shivers all down my spine, ay ay ay
You are not a moment’s playmate
You are the man of my life
Let your hips go hippety pump pump

Before there was Cristal Snow, there was “Pump-Pump”. It is a kicker, if you really, really read the lyrics. Performed by the teddybear-like Fredi, this is probably one of the first lyrics in Eurovision that describes gay love! And Finland, of course, did it without the majority of bigots in the 1970s Europe even noticing. High five, Fredi! What they saw was a fun-filled and wacky performance of the happiest bunch of Finns ever to be seen on the Eurovision stage. Swing and a major hit!

6. Austria 1977: Schmetterlinge – “Boom Boom Boomerang”

Most notable lyric:

Boom, boom boomerang, snadderydang
Kangaroo, boogaloo, didgeridoo
Ding dong, sing that song, hear the guitar twang
Kojack, hijack, me and you

The ’70s was crazy, right? This little tune has become immortal in Eurovision history for Schmetterlinge’s over-the-top stage presence and, yes, a somewhat baffling lyric. But let’s do some conspiracy stuff – could it be, that this ode to Australia (and Telly Savalas?) was a premonition of some sort? Back in 1977, it seemed lightyears away that one day it would be possible for countries within Europe, such as Albania to ever participate in ESC, let alone Australia! But there the Austrians stood — with a didgeridoo — in Eurovision. Or maybe they were yanking our chains, because of all the “G’day mate” jokes they’ve heard in Austria, not Australia over the course of time? Either way, the lyrics and the dance made some lasting impact!

5. Denmark 1990: Lonnie Devantier – “Hallo Hallo”

Most notable lyrics:

I look at my watch, I’m sure you’re home by now
So I run down the stairs to call you
But in the phonebox a guy is standing with coins in his hands
He takes more out of his pocket, as he scowls at me
Then it’s free, I dial the number and get a connection
But its only your answering machine that answers

This one is not wacky as such but rather, as I pointed out earlier, a child of it’s time. Maybe its hard for all those born after 1997 to imagine life without cellphones, but in 1990 Miss Lonnie Devantier from Denmark was all too familiar with those wretched phone boxes she had to use in order to get a hold of her special someone. She probably would have sold her soul for a Nokia 5110 back then! This fun-filled, uber Danish entry was packed with joy, and the video shows how life really was in rural Copenhagen in the beginning of the ’90s. Today, Lonnie would just Facetime the boy, Snapchat him or call him from wherever she was, regardless of the time. Oh, those simpler times!

4. Turkey 1980: Ajda Pekkan – “Pet’r Oil”

Most notable lyric:

Lovely Pet’r Oil, sweet Pet’r Oil
I need you now, Pet’r Oil
Lovely Pet’r Oil, sweet Pet’r Oil
I need you now Pet’r Oil

Most of us have experienced at some point, having a car that runs out of petrol. Totally annoying. But do we sing about in Eurovision? No? Wrong! Turkey did, back in the beginning of the ’80s, following the 1979 oil crisis. The song was about a man named Pet’r Oil whose name just happened to be pronounced “petrol”. I like to think that this is a deep and meaningful metaphor. Ajda Pekkan was so hung up on her SO that when he wasn’t around, she was like a car without petrol, not functioning. And he was lighting up her life, which before was dark and dull (lighter fluid, y’all) and everyone wanted a piece of him, because he had so much to offer. But then again, maybe she was just singing about petrol. Oil. Black gold. Texas tea, etc.

3. Luxembourg 1977: Anne Marie B – “Frére Jacques”

Most notable lyric:

Brother Jacques, in my dreams
Brother Jacques, you take me with you
Are you sleeping
Are you sleeping
Without you, I’d become a nun
I can hear the bells ringing
It’s my heartbeat when I wait for you
I’ve put some red on my lips
And some perfume
But most of all, don’t sleep too long.

Errr, was this lyric George RR Martin’s inspiration when he created the sick and twisted sibling relationship between the Lannisters? Or is my mind stuck in the gutter? From what I gather, that girl is seriously hung up on her brother! I urge you to go to Diggiloo Thrush and read the lyrics! I only took a small part from it. The whole thing is a lot more disturbing! *shivers* I’m done. Next please.

2. Turkey 1989: – Grup Pan – “Bana Bana”

Most notable lyric:

To me, to me (is it ok?), to me, to me (is it ok?)
You can’t do this to me ay ay ay ay
You can’t do this to me ay ay ay ay

Good Lord! It’s like watching the Duracell bunny at a rave party after popping a few Es! But the lyrics are simple. Very simple. A 3-year-old could sing them without trouble. It’s the performance that makes the whole thing so crazy. Once, in fifth grade, I got caught cheating on a math test, and even on that occasion, I couldn’t speak as fast as Group Pan does in this fast-paced performance. Believe me, I tried. Vikki Pollard from Little Britain approves. Wow!

1. Belgium 1980: Telex “Euro-Vision”

Most notable lyric:

Eurovision
Eurovision
Eurovision
Eurovision

Well, that says it all! This lyric just sums up everything we love about this contest. Telex was way ahead of their time, with this lovely ode to Eurovision. Europe hadn’t picked up on the electro music, because Kraftwerk hadn’t made it yet. The lyric might not seem wacky today, but in 1980, the audience nearly choked on their champagne, and juries across the continent were not in the mood for a subtle humour and a big-time tribute to the contest itself. C’mon, Telex even had a shiny confetti! But alas, no one got it. But today, this is one of the wackiest attempts in Eurovision, lyric and performance wise. Thank you, Belgium!

A big thank you to The Diggiloo Thrush, who have lyrics and translations for all Eurovision songs from 1956 to 2013. Without their help, this post would have been impossible.

What do you think? What are your favourite wacky Eurovision lyrics from past years? Share your thoughts below!

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