Who said Eurodrama was over? Massiel, the first Spanish winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, has praised Barei‘s singing skills, but she has also criticised her decision to sing in English in Stockholm. On the other side, last year’s entrant Edurne has said she supports Barei’s choice 100%.
Barei – Say Yay (in English) in Objetivo Eurovisión
Say Nay! Massiel’s reaction
In an interview with news agency Europa Press, Massiel said that it’s not that she doesn’t like the song and the singer. In fact, she has said that Barei is “a great artist” who “sings very well”, and that her song reminds her of Adele. Twelve points to anyone who finds any similarity between them. Seriously, other than the language, I can’t think of anything.
Massiel’s argument stems from a typical, almost tired complaint: “we have a language spoken by 500 million people in the world, why do we have to sing in English?” She says that the Spanish language is a rich one. So let me use it to describe the feelings that her opinion generates: cansancio, aburrimiento, tedio, hartura, hartazgo, hastío, pesadez, sopor, desgana,…
May I remind you that Massiel promoted the Spanish language in 1968 with a song composed of two verses and 126 mentions of the word “La”.
Massiel – La La La
Apparently, Massiel’s disapproval responds to the fact that Spain is celebrating the Cervantes year, in honour of the 400 anniversary of the death of Spain’s most distinguished writer, and author of Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Considered the father of Spanish literature, there are numerous activities throughout the country this year to honour his memory, and so, it’s kinda weird that the country isn’t using one of the major shows in the world to promote its language. I have to admit that this year’s excuse for the anti-English rant is better than ever, but still…
ALASKA CHIMES IN
Alaska, one of Spain’s most famous singers, who also hosted Spain’s 2009 national final (yes, this hot mess), followed up with criticism of her own. Alaska said that she considered singing in English is “stupid” because “she is a girl from the 20th century where every country sang its national language”. Perhaps owing to that, she doesn’t yet realise that Barei is taking the 21st century by storm.
Say yay! Edurne’s reaction
Thankfully the tigress has spoken. Edurne says she loves Barei’s decision to sing in English, precisely because Spain has never sent a song entirely in that language. “Why not try? Maybe we get a better placing singing in English!” the singer commented.
Edurne singing “Amanecer” (in Spanish) at Eurovision
While Edurne decided to perform her song in Spanish in Vienna, the tigress has been more supportive of Barei’s language choice than any other singer.
Are you as tired as we are of language polemics? Do you think Spain should sing in Spanish forevermore to prevent this debate? Share your opinion with us below!
@Luis Fuster: Considering that Spain can only sing in Spanish is indeed ridiculous, especially if that means refusing songs in Spanish regional languages (I don’t even know if that’s true, but I’ll trust you on that one). But your answer to that is attacking all those who think it’s a pity for Spain to sing in English? Because it IS a pity for a continent with hundreds of languages and dialects to end up with a Eurovision with 99% songs in English. How is that respectful for Galician, Catalan and Basque?. Anyway, now I understand that this article is more… Read more »
@David Who: THANK YOU!! I was so close to going on about a rant about Belgium in 2003! Language should not make an impact on the song.
Hasta a mi se ma atacado en este blog, por escribir en mi idioma y ahora los puristas del Español …que si Maria Isabel, que si España no se sabe vender, que si Barei es un fraude…me parece a mi que ESC ya no es lo que era y no lo sera nunca MAS.
Me rio de Janeiro.
Massiel and Alaska made very good arguments, clearly that Barei is a fraud, a con artist, and to increase Spain’s chances of winning, they must send Maria Isabel instead.
Big YES to english for THIS kind of song and singer. Reasons: -Up tempo speed (better understanding in english) -Music style (fonetic spanish sounds would sound BAD in this) -Artist’s traits (Barei looks to me as something more “Euro” than your classical big voice spanish Diva of these last years) Also, I’m with Heller in this. Song is good enough to win, just as a few others (although it sounds unfinished, so pretty sure it will be revamped to get a better production) If she sings this perfectly, considering the difficulties of an up-tempo song while moving and ¿maybe dancing?,… Read more »
Spain always sings in Spanish its fine to sing one year in English. Its not going to kill you. I do think more countries should sing in their own language or at least a mix of English and their native tongue. But at the end of the day its about the song.
@Racal If you read again the previous post, you’ll notice I was calling ‘nationalist cavemen’ to the RAE academic who said Spain could only sing in Spanish. You’ll understand that as a Spaniard having Catalan as my mother tongue, I don’t consider at all that Spain can only sing in Spanish because we have other three languages that are equally official (mine amongst them) that this man doesn’t consider worth for representing Spain at Eurovision, a thought that, as I understand it, denotes a lack of respect for both Catalan, Basque and Galician. Of course, I don’t consider a nationalist… Read more »
Both options (spanish and english) are valid. Language use is a sterile debate from the point that what’s most important nowadays is having a good song that translates into a good staging and does it coherently. Let’s look at the name of the contest: Eurovision *SONG* contest. Not Eurovision Cultural or Idiomatic contest. Never been that, specifically. And I think this girl Barei has composed a song that’s so free interpretative in its message, so it opens a world of possibilities to bring on a impressive, surprising staging. She understood very well -song wise- what’s Eurovision about these days, but… Read more »
@nukso: I couldn’t agree more with what you just said! But sometimes when you read the comments, you’d think that what people want in Eurovision is 40 Swedish songs in English and a huuuuge LED screen (which is becoming the Eurovision equivalent of a penis: every country wants to have the biggest one).
And like I said, Barei’s song is not even good, so it won’t make an impact in any language. We’ll talk about it in May. 😉
Like Luis said I’m cansado, aburrido, hastiado, etc. I love the fact that my country is singing in English this year, something I’ve been waiting for a long time. We are in the EUROvision Song Contest, not in the “Festival de la OTI” (Iberoamerican Eurovision), so the English is the best way all Europeans can understand the song (yes, “music is the universal language” but it isn’t enought). I hope Spain will send more songs in English, but that will mostly depend in this year’s place. I would like nothing more than to shut up the mouths of some outdated… Read more »
One day I’m going to write a song that attempts to include lyrics in all Eurovision languages within 3 minutes. 😀
Oh for goodness sake, sing whatever language you want! Need i remind people that Belgium in 2003 finished 2nd singing in a made-up language?
In some cases, the obsession with singing in English is ill-advised, as some singers aren’t well suited to it. Fortunately, Barei has really good English, so there shouldn’t be an issue.
Nice piece of neutral, unbiased, reporting journalism here.
Say Yay is this year’s fan favourite that is going to be a massive flop on the night.
I’m kind of shocked at the tone of this article. To assume that an entry will automatically sound cooler, more international and generate more appeal by being sung in English only shows how unaware some of us are of how the world works in 2016. English may sound cool in places where development and modernity are yet to show up, and English represents progress, but it is not the case in Spain. If a song is good, it will classify and even win regardless of the tone, as Italy proved last year by ended up the first on televoting. I… Read more »
Alaska and Massiel are not amused… but Barei couldn’t care less. She sticks to her own convictions and that tell me a lot about her. I like that boldness in her. This girl was born and grew up in a Spain that no longer breathed the Civil War and the isolation the country endured for nearly 2 decades in the mid 20th century due to the regime of Franco. She grew up learning there is a world outside of the Spanish borders, other cultures and other languages to learn and understand. And learning them does not diminish your Spanish sense… Read more »
This is getting kinda tricky!!! ????
In my opinion, Spanish language sounds awful. It’s good that Spain will send song 100% in English.
And Sergio Dalma (Spain 1991 – Bailar pegados) is also upset with Barei
Of course Edurne would be supportive – their songs are as repetitive as each other!
I’m supporting biodiversity and multilingualism! Let us be proud of our languages.
Not that I don’t support her at all, In fact for now her song is my favorite from this year. (for now)
But It’s really sad to see that atm, out of all the song we know, only two does not use english, I’m really hoping for serbia and Italy to send entries in their language
Yeah lets entirly change the best song in eurovision so far 😀
How about no?? Say yay is a great song, it would be nice if Barei would make a Spanish version of the song, but not before may.
Spain first time at Eurovision 2016 100 % song in english.
Last year for the first time song from Serbia and Israel 100 % in english.
This country is full of paletos who think Eurovision is Instituto Cervantes. People, look at our recent results and think what could we have been doing wrong.
“Stupid” is to have this type of narrow-mind. A great group of people in Spain are not ready for a change, but that’s their problem not Barei’s one.
I totally support Barei and her song in English…It lose its soul in other language, as she said: there are songs that needs to be performed in English…otherwise it won’t have any sense.
Everybody can have an opinion, but…please…It’s time to support your country and representative, not to be ashamed of it.
Is this the same Luis who wrote that criticizing Spain for not singing in Spanish made us “nationalist cavemen”, or something like that? If so, this is another super prejudiced and one sided article. And on top of that, extremely aggressive and arrogant towards people having different opinions. Makes you wonder who the caveman is. 😉
For the record, I’m from Switzerland, not from Spain, I still think it’s a pity that Spain will just be another English song this year (and let’s face it, it’ll be a miracle if Barei places in the top 15, even in English).