The Republic of North Macedonia are looking to break their recent curse of bad luck at Eurovision. And they’re pinning their hopes on song contest veteran Tamara Todevska.

The Macedonian songstress may have narrowly missed out on a spot in the final back in 2008 but that clearly has not kept her down. Tamara will be performing the song “Proud” at this year’s contest in Tel Aviv. She brings a message of empowerment. While the video focuses on women and comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement, its message is more universal than that and applies to everyone who has ever felt displaced or marginalised. Composed by Darko Dimitrov, Lazar Cvetkoski and Robert Bilbilov with Kosta Petrov and Sanja Popovska working as lyricists, the song oozes quality and could well take North Macedonia back to the final.

What do the “Proud” lyrics mean?

“Proud” sets the theme from the very first verse: “They will try to tell you what to do”.

“They” very clearly refers to society at large, which exerts non-stop pressure to conform. Tamara aims to turn this on its head, showing us that it’s okay to be different and to celebrate that. After all, that’s what gives the world — and Tamara’s music video — its colour.

The chorus is used in a clever way. Tamara speaks directly to the listener, encouraging an exercise of show-and-tell. There’s power in speaking back to your haters and showing them precisely what they hate. It’s an act of self-empowerment and defiance to remind the world you’re here to stay — and in your way and on your own terms.

She sings: “Tell them, raise your voice and say it loudly, show them, what it means to stand up proudly, tell them, ‘This is me and thanks to you I’m proud.'”

Interpretation is highly subjective, so who better to add to our analysis than Tamara herself. Speaking to wiwibloggs, the Macedonian singer explained the message behind her song and how it relates strongly to her own life.

“I am a mother of two: a three-year-old girl and a three-month-old boy. I know it sounds like a cliché, but they truly changed my life and I feel, both as a mother and as a parent, that it is my responsibility and OUR responsibility to bring positive change to our children’s lives.”

“My whole life I have been told that I wasn’t girly enough, good enough, that I walked and acted like a man. ‘Lower your head, put something sexy on, no one cares what you really think,’ they would say. You see, in their minds, I was just another lost girl.”

“Today, as I look at my daughter, I want her to grow up in a world where people will not judge her, tell her how to act, smile and move. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to follow the rules to be accepted. I want her to be whoever she wants to be and most importantly, be proud of who she is. That’s the least I can do for her.”

“I dedicate ‘Proud’ to her and to everyone out there fighting for their dreams and living life to the fullest on their own terms.”

“Although many call it a feminist anthem, ‘Proud’ is a song for everyone that has been told to put their head down, to follow society’s rules that make no sense in the 21st century. It’s for everyone embracing their greatness and believing in themselves, no matter what people around them say.”

“Through the song, I want to break these social rules and at least for one night in the year to show the world that I AM PROUD is always stronger than their YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH!”

“Proud” lyrics — Tamara Todevska

Girl, they will try to tell you what to do
How to look, smile, act and move
All the rules I made for you to lose
But baby let me tell you something

Girl, for every tear the world makes you cry
Hold on to me, I am always on your side
Don’t be afraid to spread your wings and fly

Tell them
Raise your voice and say it loudly
Show them
What it means to stand up proudly
Tell them
This is me and thanks to you I’m proud
Go on now, tell them
Raise your voice and say it loudly
Show them
What it means to stand up proudly
Tell them
This is me and thanks to you I’m proud, I’m proud, I’m proud

Girl, they will try to tell you what to do
Have no fear, the power lies in you
Shine your light, go and break the rules

Go on now, tell them
Raise your voice and say it loudly
Show them
What it means to stand up proudly
Tell them
This is me and thanks to you I’m proud, I’m proud, I’m proud
Go on now, tell them
Raise your voice and say it loudly
Show them
What it means to stand up proudly
Tell them
This is me and thanks to you I’m proud

Girl

What do you think of the lyrics and message behind Tamara’s song? Do you feel the heart and soul as much as we are? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Sara
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Sara

I love the song,this year Macedonia must be in the final or this will be the final time we see them in Eurovision!

Ria van de Velde
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Ria van de Velde

I love this song very much !! “Proud ” is one of my big favorites this year. I hope to see her back in the grand final, she deserves it. I am very happy that I can vote for her !!! I like to wish her all the best of luck in Tel Aviv

Solo
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Solo

I like the song.

Philip
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Philip

the problem with this song is that it is USA oriented not EU/Euro and that’s bcs USA has greater influence in North Macedonia than EU. People in North Macedonia simply watch more of USA media/YT. So, many in EU especially women might find this song unrelatable or even frustrating and offensive. It is simply confusing.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Yet, most US music are made from European standards of production–as example the Swedish, Norwegian, and British music industry. Unrelatedly, world-famous DJs were mostly hailing from Europe. Tamara also explained that this is not merely targeted to women, but more universally as a emotionally-healing ballad for anyone feeling down–anyone can relate to this regardless of geographic reasons.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Evidently, the songwriters have read the essay on “How Sad Music Makes Us Happy” and actually decided to take it full-on literally. The lyrics are actually surprisingly simple to read, in spite of the melody of the song being somewhat convoluted and “stretched out”. This would seem to reinforce the juxtaposition between the words and the music. In summary: This entry is a science experiment, worthy of a song contest. I applaud the effort, even if the song is not personally to my taste. I think some juries will score this quite highly.

Rom
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I have a feeling that North Macedonia will the like Lithuania 2018. That song was in the bloodbath semifinal and no one expected it to qualify because of its precarious position. I feel like it might be the same case. North Macedonia will be placed between two high impact songs and benefit and be carried in a televote focus on those songs. Maybe, I can hope and pray but we will just need to see.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

I’ve always liked Tamara for not being a girly girl. It’s part of her charm. However, I’ll never be able to connect with the song due to its composition, but I am still looking forward to watch her perform it.

Nikki
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Nikki

She’s my second favourite after Italy.

SihSig
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SihSig

The song and music video are giving mixed signals. The song sounds sag, even depressing. It doesn’t lift me up. It makes me cry. I’m confused.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Maybe it’s supposed to, at first? Crying is an effective way to let emotions go–it’s, as cliché as it is, woman’s best weapon. Even Tamara was seen crying at the end of the video.

esc stan
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esc stan

I want this to qualify over Lithuania

Idksmth
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Idksmth

Who said that Lithuania will qualify? Imo, this has more chances to qualify than that act. If Macedonia ain’t fu**ing up the staging again for the manieth year, than this is definite qualifier.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

As far as that goes, ones that voted big for Macedonia are usually Eastern countries. I hope, and just hope, this year can prove me wrong.

BadWoolfGirl
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BadWoolfGirl

I don’t expect either in the final.