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:


10 Comments
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NathalieBazinga
9 years ago

@Chris: 😀 The best comment I’ve read on this site.
@Shega: the beginning sounds like Paradise by Coldplay…:D But however, it’s a great song.

A pretty unpredictable form of a song. You don’t know what’s the chorus or the bridge.
Serbian version is much, much better. And he’s not good at pronouncing…:D

tv
tv
9 years ago

English lyrics are beautiful… until the line
“too late to blow my head”
yeah… too close to be a very dirty line in an otherwise beautiful emotional song.

in any way, Serbian is miles better. And Zeljko is great and conveying emotions with his voice. I knew exactly what he was singing about before reading the translation (knowing couple Slavic languages helped a little bit, but i could only pick out 20% – not enough for understanding the language, so it was all Zeljko’s singing)

chris
chris
9 years ago

i am from greece and i think Zeljiko can sing perfect with no lyrics at all

Shega
Shega
9 years ago

This song is good but really sounds like a music from a movie of Mel Gibson —I dont think it should make it to finals

ct
ct
9 years ago

This is no Lane Moje, but it definetely should be sung in serbo-croatian. In english it sounds so fake, like a self-help, Prozac kind of song…

david
david
9 years ago

not “despite” … wrong word ^^

i mean, Besides the fact, that Serbian sounds better.

(edit my preivious comment and remove this one xD)

david
david
9 years ago

He should sing in Serbian, only this way is he going to be able to sing with true emotions….
…despite of the Fact, that Serbian sounds better.

Jovana
Jovana
9 years ago

Better in Serbian, but… english lyrics is very nice 🙂