Jamala is a name that may be familiar to some Eurovision fans, after her attempt to represent Ukraine in 2011 with “Smile“. She’s back now in 2016, but “1944” could not be any more different from her previous effort if it tried. Playing on her Crimean-Tatar heritage, Jamala sings half in English and half in the region’s native language. The song has numerous references to the 1944 deportation of the Tatars from their homeland by the Russian army. Jamala claims that she “could not spend (her) youth there” because of these actions. It’s an incredibly powerful song – certainly, some would say it’s very political too, especially given the current issues in Crimea.

You can read the 1944 lyrics below, both in the original form and in a full English translation:

Listen to Jamala’s “1944”

1944 lyrics – Jamala

English/Crimean Tatar Lyrics

When strangers are coming
They come to your house
They kill you all
And say
We’re not guilty
Not guilty

Where is your mind?
Humanity cries
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls

Yasligima toyalmadim
Men bu yerde yasalmadim
Yasligima toyalmadim
Men bu yerde yasalmadim

We could build a future
Where people are free
To live and love
The happiest time

Where is your heart?
Humanity rise
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls

Yasligima toyalmadim
Men bu yerde yasalmadim
Yasligima toyalmadim
Men bu yerde yasalmadim

English Translation

When strangers are coming
They come to your house
They kill you all
And say
We’re not guilty
Not guilty

Where is your mind?
Humanity cries
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls

I couldn’t spend my youth there
Because you took away my peace
I couldn’t spend my youth there
Because you took away my peace

We could build a future
Where people are free
To live and love
The happiest time

Where is your heart?
Humanity rise
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls

I couldn’t spend my youth there
Because you took away my peace
I couldn’t spend my youth there
Because you took away my peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of our Jamala Eurovision footage

Jamala interview before Eurovision

Jamala interview after her first Eurovision rehearsal

Our first reaction to her rehearsal

Our live reaction to Jamala’s win at Eurovision

Jamala’s winner’s press conference

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[…] Takže vás asi nep?ekvapí, že mi na Eurovizi nezáleží, ani co by se na nehet vlezlo. Nicmén? – letos je to trochu jinak. Naše milovaná Evropa se totiž rozhodla, že Putinovi kone?n? ukáže, kde je jeho místo. A to tak, že nechá Eurovizi 2016 vyhrát ukrajinsko-tatarskou zp?va?ku jménem Jamala s písní nazvanou “1944”, kterou si m?žete, v?etn? anglického textu, poslechnout zde. […]

Jorella
Guest
Jorella

People here are double standard and more political. Understand the universal meaning please. Let go of the political interpretations. And let’s face the reality.

Jorella
Guest
Jorella

People here are double standard and more political. Understand the universal meaning please. Let go of the political interpretations.

Huh
Guest
Huh

Can’t you people just make use of this song for oppressed people in general who seek peace? The song is still open for interpretation! No need to stress over it by looking back at the past and just judge what the song was specifically about according to what’s on your mind. You as well are provoking another chaos because of your negative responses to this song.

Ian Ashton
Guest

@fikri why is a song about forced exile of 240000 of her ancestors wrong. What do you want? Songs about fluffy bunnies and cute puppy dogs? Maybe songs about beatches and hose (sic)? Thses events happened and we should not bury our heads in the sand.

Yulia
Guest
Yulia

Im Russian and I cheeree for Sergey obviously, but I was pleased that Jamala won. I didnt pay attention to the lyrics of the song, but the melody and her voice enchanted me! Cut the political crap already…

ineska
Guest
ineska

Oh this reaction in the pressroom makes me so sad.. You people are blinded, you want to see Russia hurt coz you hate Putin for whatever reason, or you think Russians are unjust. But you are unjust youselves, you don’t do justice to Sergey for his awesome performance, you don’t do justice to people’s votes that voted for Sergey in majority, I think it’s a shame, I don’t understand the sense of that joy. It is also kind of disrespectful to eastern ukrainians who suffer right now from Ukrainian neonationalism, while Kiev continues to blame it all on Russia. No,… Read more »

Vanny
Guest
Vanny

This won? Bahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Mouse
Guest
Mouse

Jamala is definitly number 1!!!She is differrent from others and she is real! In all meanings!!! That song turn me so deeply and burn so many different emotions !!!

Georgie
Guest
Georgie

“I couldn’t spend my youth there Because you took away my peace” Yes. #ComeTogether totally. Come together against the enemy, forgetting that the enemy does the same because they see you as their enemy. War is more complicated than you think. And songs like this don’t unite us in front of it, they just make both sides think they are ENTITLED TO BE RIGHT and act. Regardless Crimea, Tatars, Ukrainians, Russians. EVEN IF you take this out of the political context, every person hearing it will think they are entitled to fight back, or fight onward, or take revenge and… Read more »

Victor
Guest
Victor

@fikri HONEY YOU NEED TO XANAX

Ivo K.
Guest
Ivo K.

The translation of the lyrics from Tatar into English are totally wrong. How is that possible?!? Weird.

bosanskaHercegovka
Guest
bosanskaHercegovka

Oh please, you people who keep saying “we do not want politics in ESC” obviously do not know anything about ESC. It is all about politics to begin with. Check the national votings, and tell me that it is not political. Everyone knows who will give 12 points to who, and who will avoid giving points, the quality of the song does not matter, it never did. This song is about pain, not politics. And people like you who claim it is about blame and victimizing, are the reason we cannot get past the politics. I am from Bosnia, lived… Read more »

alex
Guest
alex

is like nazis would sing how unjust they lose a WW2. Pathethic beyond belive! you wanna war songs..ask iraq, afganistan,…endless list of misery west dogs of war attacking the poorest countries in the world and still not win one,FACT!

Eric
Guest
Eric

The song is wonderful, and universal I do agree the translation is a little off (I speak Tatar) I think this might do better as more idiomatically and meanigfully correct one: Yasligima toyalmadim My youth was unfulfilled Men bu yerde yasalmadim (For) In this place I was not able to live Yasligima toyalmadim My youth was unfulfilled Men bu yerde yasalmadim (For) In this place I was not able to live Horrific crimes were committed by both the Soviet and Nazi Regimes against it’s own peoples. For those that object to the Nazi’s organizing a “Tatar” brigade, The Nazi’s were… Read more »

Katie Hopkins
Guest
Katie Hopkins

Wow, this is exactly why our planet will never be at peace. People do not know how to respect each other and be positive. “0 to Ukraine and 0 to their victimism!!! Im tired of Ukraine already.” – this says it all. How can someone say this when people are actually being killed and families torn apart. Doesn’t matter who is the bad guy, saying things like this proves just inhumane most of us are. None of us will ever know for sure what she is signing about and what she means by all of it, no one but her… Read more »

Shamim Ahmed
Guest
Shamim Ahmed

Heart touching song. This is a lyrics we all can relate to. War, refugee crisis. Killing, atrocity and running from home are all going throughout history. I am sad that this exists in this very ‘modern’ 21st century. Some say, there is nothing which is apolitical in nature. Either you stand with oppressed or the oppressor. A heart-touching and enlightening song.
Lots of love from India to Jamala for her great song.

WhoCares
Guest
WhoCares

Horrible song! As turns out, it is also a political one! I suggest next year Armenia presents a song about the Armenian Genocide by Turkey and Russia makes a song about the millions Nazi Germany killed in the Soviet Union!

M Martin
Guest
M Martin

I did not know before this song that Creamean Tatars were in collaboration with Hitler. They even formed SS batalions. I think that many people in the world will look now into the history of this nation. This song has probably done more bad publicity than a positive effect. I think that the song was not appropriate for this kind of contest. It looks like a political declaration.

PetitMon
Guest
PetitMon

I do not get how people can hear, listen, see and still leave political comments. Don’t you feel? Or you just believe TV so much you lost ability? I mean, come on – history is painful, we all have it, EVERY country. Someone was taking territories and someone was going into slavery to this country. Obviosuly, Rusiia is agressor. Even if you close your eyes for today totally, hello history, Russia owned LOTS of countries for many years, dividing, deporting and killing. Or now you will start to say that Stalin is a fake character and deportation is a lie?… Read more »

Truth
Guest

I really like this song, the melody, words… Could not listen to it for long time as it makes me sad… Well, I wanna say there is no way to stop killing / war in the world, sadly but true…

Thanks from Serbia to Jamala for her great song!

Angel
Guest
Angel

Next year nonpolitc song from Armenia about killed him by Turkey. Ah sorry, Turkey is big European partner… I prefer Russian song next year about Tatars Krim how they joind with Hitler.

Digimon
Guest
Digimon

Beautiful song! I really enjoyed listening to it <3 I love the oriental part most, the song was really outstanding and different from all the others 🙂 Thank you Jamala!

RealOne
Guest
RealOne

There are so many trolls here. The song is highly political, so I am not surprised. And it also doesn’t suprise me that Ukraine won. Guys, what you have in the Ukrain now is fasism. Please, before fighting me read a definition what it is, ok? And in europe fasist are not welcome! And for so called Russian agression in Ukraine, I didn’t saw no one picture or video of official russian soliders beeing in Ukraine until now. So what are you talking about???

Greetings from Germany

Kate
Guest
Kate

I’m British and live in Germany. I’m not pro-West or pro-Russia. But even I can see that this is blatant propaganda against Russia. It’s simply part of the Geo-political maneuverings of the Powers that Be to get it into the heads of the masses in Europe that Ukraine is Europe (which it isn’t). It’s like the European Football Championships including Kazakhstan. It isn’t in the least surprising that this song won.

Joona Vainio
Guest
Joona Vainio

This is not about politics. It is about crimes against humanity. As far as “politics” go, Lenin and Stalin and others massacred millions more than Adolf could imagine.

If Russkies are so “Non-Soviet”, why do they display prominently the hammer and sicle in their parades? As for the song, it is okay Europop, but it does NOT name the culprit.

In Finnish we have this phrase: “Se koira älähtää, johon kalikka kalahtaa.”

Meaning: “The dog who’s hit will yelp.” The one who is guilty is exposed by reacting negatively.

Nussi
Guest
Nussi

im glad that whole europe shows unity against then russian homophobic regime under putin. 🙂 you really deserv this win !!
greetings from germany 🙂

54354
Guest
54354

A lot of lies against Russia. Ukraine is trying to show himself as the victim in all possible ways. Don’t believe everything.

Christine Ashton
Guest
Christine Ashton

I love this song, without having a clue about who are the villains/victims.That’s not the point.To me it tells of the loss suffered by any and every country where violence and war break out,the agony suffered in many parts of the world, and is a very human cry that this should stop. We do need occasionally to have more than popcorn and candyfloss for our ears!

don
Guest
don

Omg, I hope this song will encourage people to learn history. Tatars in Crimea supported Hitler. What else should the Soviet government do? Americans during the conflict with Japan, send all Japanese to concentration camps, just in case.

Amber
Guest
Amber

I watch Eurovision for fun, but rarely listen to the song after the show. With this song it is so different. I am not a tatar nor ukranian, but I feel the song with every cell of my body. It gives me goosebumps. I am sure this kind of songs should be in Eurovision, as wars was, are and will be part of our life. Closing eyes or forgetting it would be un-respectful for our parent or grand grand parents – some went through war, some through starving, rapes, etc. We do tons of decisions every day – and we… Read more »

JohnDoe
Guest
JohnDoe

This song is one more way for Ukraine to victimise themselves. I am not pro-Russian in anyway, left 10 years ago. But objectively: Ukraine aims at showing only one part of the story. Why don’t you sing about how Ukrainians fought for freedom in 1945 against nazis. It would also send the message of victimisation and lost freedom and fighting spirit. But then it would be addressed to Germany. Shifting the blame is more convenient on Russia.

Urban Finn
Guest
Urban Finn

The song refers to the crimes the Stalinistic Soviet Union committed against its own people. If this is something Russia still does, as was indicated in a comment, makes me feel very sad. If true, it is a big shame on Russia and her great culture. Above, Santore writes: “The function or intention of Eurovision Song Contest was to UNITE people… Telling about old scars and wars is not a way to unite…” He is right. We are human beings, not extremists who worship death like extremists, IS and others. The Eurovision Song Contest could help us to make our… Read more »

Luke
Guest
Luke

My Winner this year, anyway!! Second rehearsal was soooo strong!

Bolina
Guest

Im from Israel . This song is beautiful , I like her voice but its not ok to sing this song , I mean , Israel doesnt sending songs called “1942” right ? We could sing about more horrble things , but we didnt because its not the place to sing about . Thank you

My_Name
Guest
My_Name

You sympathize with Ukrainians of 1944? I just leave it here… about Ukrainians in 1943. Basti – “Enemy Blood” + English & German subtitles. Based on facts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxSfnrh1l8Y

Snape
Guest
Snape

I totaly agree with Edgard, ESC should not be used to blame/insult other countries, Ukraine is using this to show the etire world that they are victims, I am sorry but I think ESC is something bright, happy and has to unite people to show, that we are one and let us as watcher have also fun and enjoy the evening. I hope ESC do something about this, maybe they wanted to remind us of war but there are other opportunites to remind us of this what happend in 1944. I know how many people suffered, and this song is… Read more »

Edgard Santore
Guest
Edgard Santore

I think ESC should avoid entries talking about wars, politics… etc. I am Portuguese and I am tired of it… The song isnt that good as others are saying… her voice is irritating by the way and after know that the song is to blame Russia ( come one, who dont get that it is it???) this is not the function or intention of Eurovision Song Contest. It was made to UNITE people… Telling about old scars and wars is not a way to unite… 0 to Ukraine and 0 to their victimism!!! Im tired of Ukraine already.

Julia
Guest
Julia

This is a very powerful song. Musically very strong: it has the beat, the dynamics, strong vocal with different techniques, some of them very rare and difficult to master. I am pretty sure Jamala will be in top 3 strongest vocalists this year. Everything will probably come down to how the staging is done. But in Jamala’s interviews she says she is working with some of the best staging people on the Stockholm performance, so hopefully the staging will increase the impact of the song. Jamala is very professional, but the Eurovision tempo is so demanding, it is important she… Read more »

Nataly
Guest
Nataly

This song sounds political only to russians,lol. The song tells us about the history, not the politics. This song might relate to all those nations (e.g. ukrainians,georgians,hungarians,etc) that suffer or used to suffer from the distorted nationalistic mind of one country!

Bottle
Guest
Bottle

Translation is pretty wrong. They directly say: I was not sated with my youth/(because) I didn’t live there. At the end, I was not sated with my country. These lyrics are derived from “Ey Güzel K?r?m” folk song. You can listen it from Youtube. About the politics, you better make research about the incident and decide if it’s politics. “You” subject in the song is towards who left Crimean Tatar culture ramshackle, not to a certain nation or else.

Kaji Gonenashvili
Guest

Alex, you’re speaking about nations but communism was over nationalism, it was about ideology. Yes, Stallin was Georgian but do you know that in Georgia before USSR he was a convict? He was a regular guest of the local jails, after becoming a leader he killed thousands of Georgians as people from other ethnias. Definitely there was no Russia in 1944, but there was Kremlin and if you keep an eye on it, they follow the projects they started even before 1944. You might have heared about Stallin “bombs of time”, regarding the kind of large ethnic displacements all around… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

There was no Russian Army back in 1944. There was a Soviet (Red) Army. Russia was a part of USSR and was ruled by Georgian (Stalin), and later by Ukrainians (Khrushchev and Brezhnev). As a part of USSR Ukraine occupied a part of Poland (Lviv) and later annexed Russian Cremia (Khrushchev took it from Russia and passed it to Ukraine as a gift). Later, when Russians came to rule USSR (Gorbachev and Yeltsin ) they let it break apart and let ex-USSR republics be independent. They also let Germany unite, and NATO expand to Eastern Europe. You decide who’s to… Read more »

Panther
Guest
Panther

surely, “no politic”!
till somebody would destroys your house and kills your family… surely! lets close our eyes and ears… it is so easy to be bothered of so annoying things like war, terrorism, annexation of native land, testing of atomic bombs…
the “humanity” has already lost in drugs and sex

Reverb
Guest
Reverb

This is for all of us, she says “Humanity”.
They try to politicize/polarize, but I see right into to the source material.

Çulpan
Guest
Çulpan

It’s nice to hear bits of traditional Crimean Tatar music.People complain about the political side of this song but there were political songs before and people were okay with that.

Tina
Guest
Tina

This song is very professional, and the text brings hope to people everywhere! Stop wars around the World!

Steven Keenan
Guest
Steven Keenan

A masterpiece in every way

fikri
Guest
fikri

this is a lot political than i thought. and not too subtle too. please ban this song, EBU!! we don’t want political songs in eurovision!