“On a Sunday” was the very last song that producers in Romania received during the application period for Selecția Națională  — their Eurovision 2019 selection. And while Ester Peony had to rush song-first to the TVR offices, it did her no harm. When push came to shove, she was the last woman standing.

The thoroughly contemporary number — a personal anecdote on the complexities of love — has universal appeal. It steamrolled the international jury, pushing a series of more established acts to the side on its way to Eurovision 2019.

It should come as no surprise that the entry was designed to be understated, particularly in a show full of colour and flair. According to the song’s producer Alexandre Serbu, “On A Sunday” was born from the simple combination of guitar chords fitting seamlessly with singer Ester Peony‘s voice.

What do the “On a Sunday” lyrics mean?

What happened “On a Sunday” is made clear from the very first verse: “You left me…and I still remember that day in September.” And so the stage is set for a tale of love and loss. The latter should signal that the former is dead, but Ester just can’t move on. “Watching the smoke rise from the ashtray, filling the room with pain, it’s still in my veins.”

The “On a Sunday” lyrics were written by Ioana Victoria Badea. Her words clearly struck a chord with Peony, who sings deftly about being obsessed with a former lover — and the idea, ultimately futile, that he might return. That longing, which can drive people into severe depression, often feels like the end of the world. Dealing with that pushes some people to the edge — and very clearly Miss Peony can be counted among them. In her mind “Love’s not fair”.

In an exclusive interview with Ester Peony and producer Alexandre Serbu for wiwibloggs, the pair stressed that sometimes it’s a mistake to give love to people who don’t deserve it. The reasons for the breakup of any relationship — romantic or otherwise — are deeply personal and infinite. All we can say for certain is that for Ester’s protagonist it culminated in drama “On a Sunday” — but the memories linger for the rest of the week, and indeed through the years.

What we don’t know about “On a Sunday” is who this lost love is. Boyfriend, husband, family member — regardless, the result is near apocalyptic for the songstress. As she sings, this person “made sure there’s no way to forget that day”. It’s almost as if they lit a match on their way out!

The charred home in the music video would suggest as much. But a less literal reading lets you assume the house has become a prison of Ester’s own making. Her inability to move on has turned the situation into a nightmare.

The singer’s inner turmoil — put on display in such a raw and visceral way — makes the viewer feel her sorrow. And maybe, if only for a moment or two, it makes us remember our own.

“On a Sunday” lyrics — Ester Peony

You left me
On a Sunday
And I still remember
That day in September

Yeah you left me
On a Sunday
Made sure there’s no way
To forget that day

Say hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Loving you is a hard price to pay
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

Watching the smoke
Rise from the ashtray
Filling the room with pain
It’s still in my veins

Can’t feel at home
Cuz it’s so lonely
So cold and so grey
Since you left that day
You know, you know

Even if the sun rises and the world moves on everyday
Hey, hey, hey
I will always be waiting for you to come back home to me
To me, to me, to me hey

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Loving you is a hard price to pay
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Loving you is a hard price to pay
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

Wake me up
From this nightmare
Is this even true
Am I without you

Love’s not fair
Oh, I have learned that
Just never knew, that
I’ll be losing you
You know, you know

Even if the sun rises and the world moves on everyday
Hey, hey, hey
I will always be waiting for you to come back home to me
To me, to me, to me hey

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Loving you is a hard price to pay
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

Does the lost love and hopelessness in “On a Sunday” resonate with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I think these lyrics have 50 words of “Hey” in them. I will leave readers to guess what I think of this song, solely based on that one observation.

zider
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zider

There are not 50. Count again.
But, what do think about winner song?

He’s a bucka-mhm-buckbuckbuck-mhm boy
Bucka-mhm-buckbuckbuck
I’m not your bucka-mhm-buck-mhm-buck-mhm
Not your toy (Cululoo, cululoo)
(Cululoo, cululoo)

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Haha, nice comparison. “Toy” in 2018 didn’t get my top marks for lyrics either (that was Italy). 🙂
P.S. Is it 48 Heys?

Anca
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Anca

If I hear again about that stupid song Dear Father, I’ll vomit. That underage brat needs to go back to church choir. And the stupidity to be complete, to understand how lost romanian televoters are, next year will be in Selectia Nationala, Lorelai Mosnegutu, a girl who won Romanians got talent, just because she has no arms. The silly people think ESC is just a talent show where you win if you have a drama in your life.

BB1111
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BB1111

I just don’t care what is about the song. Im still very angry about the result in our national final…I really hope we don’t make the cut. This is just way worst than Laura Bretans song. This girl has a weak vocal. She is sharp live, the song is meh.

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

When you say that she has weak vocals it’s clear… she sang it perfectly and it was not an easy song. This is just frustration that your favourite didn’t win. And to be sincere, if somebody was robbed in Selectia Nationala, that was Bella Santiago, not Laura Bretan. Bella Santiago didn’t receive any vote from a juror, which is pretty suspicious and not logical at all.

Alon I srael
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Alon I srael

Romania has to be proud for sending this unique song! the best song this year!(my opinion)
I hope they will bring the big drums to stage!

Maritza
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Maritza

Dear Father, I am hardly breathing Oh sweet father What is this I’m feeling? Is this now or never? Maybe it’s forever Or are we gonna fall, fall apart? I hear you calling from a thousand miles, My heart stops beating when I look in your eyes. Who knows who is to blame And it feels like… I’m breathing underwater, I’m walking through the fire. It fills me up inside with light, I’m so alive. This love is taking over, don’t let me go. I’m not giving up, not running. You keep me warm inside. In you I can confide,… Read more »

Jingo
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Jingo

ewwww

Whisker
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Whisker

I don’t agree with the characterization of the “madness” of a “woman” who just “can’t move on”. Funny how this post was written by a man.
And yes I am expecting that this comment will be removed, just as another one that I put a few minutes ago replying to Alex’s comment at the bottom of the page. Very bad comments were allowed in the past, even violent ones. So I get censured because I am expressing my opinion – politely.

romanian
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romanian

I don’t know if it is “the solution”, but when my comments disappear, I clear my google history. Clearing the caches and the rest of search history might help, this is what I’ve heard, but I don’t know 100% sure if this is what worked.

Whisker
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Whisker

Thanks. But considering that in the past several people complained about their comments being deleted – polite comments, then I wonder.

I take the opportunity to suggest an alternative title:

“it’s a mistake to give love to people who don’t deserve it” – it’s in the post itself!!!! and it reflects the reality of both women AND men, straight or gay.

Doris
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Doris

A hard price to pay… for Laura Bretan.

Whisker
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Whisker

Ester Peony won fair and square. The winner was selected based on the votes of a SIX member jury panel and the televote. Those were the rules.

BB1111
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BB1111

Televote….yeah wright…we had 1o % voting decision …that is not decisive

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

And when you voted you should have known the rules. And who says that the televote should decide? The televote is not sugestive at all when just some thousands people are voting. Not to mention that there are some fan bases that are voting for their artist and not the song. I mean I remember when Robert Turcescu finished pretty high with the televote when he participated, even though he’s not even a musician. Or even this year (and I’m telling this liking them and also their song), Trooper finished 2nd in the televote with their fan base, not for… Read more »

Ziv
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Ziv

Romania is my number 2 this year, which is rare because I have not been a fan of Romania in the contest since Playing With Fire. Compared with the music video, I would prefer her national final performance, because her facial expressions and gestures are the things that make me love the song. The music video is relatively weak because she is too obviously lip syncing.

Whisker
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Whisker

I hope that the stage performance concept will be easily understood by the ESC audience. Watching the video the first time I didn’t get the role of the dog or marine life – guardian, the world up-side down.

Pam
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Pam

You can definitely add this song to the list of the crazy stalker songs.

Whisker
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Whisker

Excuse you? There is nothing about stalking in this song. It’s a musical monologue.

romanian
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romanian

I’ve never heard about Ester Peony before Eurovision, and when I did some research, I’ve found out she is more song writer and wrote songs that are well known in romanian music. I’m happy that now she does something for herself.

Una
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Una

I appreciate this comment so much! I’ve also done some research and found she has classical studies in piano and guitar and canto, went to a specialized university in performance arts and composition, wrote music for other artists, etc. And just one video other than On a Sunday called Sub Aripa Ta. She’s also said she likes to perform a character. I can see some acting talent right there though she definitely needs some more coaching here and there especially with her facial expressions. I think she’s super talented and classy and elegant and I can feel her enthusiasm. She… Read more »

Shanfa Chai
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Shanfa Chai

This entry has a big staging potential. Not sure if this could qualify considering it’s in the stronger semifinal, but I hope Romania will squeeze through the final.

Whisker
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Whisker

I bet the staging will be impressive. She is talented in every single way. IMO the only danger for a non-qualifying situation would come from Ester’s nerves. She was great in the semi but in the final it was obvious that she was a bit nervous in the beginning of the performance – but she recovered quickly and WON. The ESC is a big stage – so as long as she is confident and focuses on the delivery, voice, movement, facial expressions, she will qualify. I believe in Ester and can’t wait to see her performances.

Una
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Una

Well, some details have been given away already and judging from the past it seems that there will be some resemblance with both the NF performance and other visuals from the video. So I will not be tremendously surprised when I will see the performance in Tel Aviv. I am just curious to see how will it all come together. I am still hoping for no extras on stage and that some peoples’ egos will not be too big like it happened last year with Goodbye. Some people just want to appear on the Eurovision stage when there is not… Read more »

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

What a hell is that strong in that semi-final?

Loin dici
Guest

One of my top 3. An awesome song with a great mood.

Whisker
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Whisker

I applaud your good taste in music.

Yaa
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Yaa

Hey hey hey till morning, it’s still crap, and stolen crap as Johnnie Cash in Wayfaring Stranger sang it before. That’s why she’s in turmoil, will she be seized, will she squiz through semifinals…

Loin dici
Guest

Oh, here we go again…

Joe
Guest
Joe

If you cared at all about Johnny Cash you’d know how to spell his name.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

A committee made of music professionals have determined that On a Sunday did not plagiarize another song. Did you know that?

Jijo
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Jijo

The lyrics of the song remember me a hard part of my life, On a Sunday describes a narrative an atmosphera of guilty and dark side and why not, the opportunity of see the dawn with a red ligth

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I love how it has a narrative. They’re going in a different direction with the staging, but when I’ve listened it for a first time I thought about a noir movie. “Watching the smoke / Rise from the ashtray / Filling the room with pain / It’s still in my veins” are some great verses.

Whisker
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Whisker

IMO the narrative is the one factor that makes this song absolutely exceptional. There are good songs, good voices but then the lyrics blow.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Sadly, not many people pay attention to the lyrics. Maybe it’s unfair to demand it from a general audience, knowing that many don’t even speak the language and sometimes they’re listening to the song for the first time. But I wish the juries were more selective about them. Last year for example, they ranked Italy very low, showing no appreciation for what I think were the best lyrics of the 2018’s contest.

Colin
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Colin

I join this streak of positive comments. On a Sunday has so much drama and atmosphere. It’s a song with a strong personality and I love it! Good luck to Ester. 🙂

NickC
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NickC

This is pure art, she is an amazing singer and I think it will surprise many people.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I love this! Mysterious and elegant. Good melodic playing with the sounds (hey-hey-hey). Give this a great staging and I am done! My 4th place overall <3

Joe
Guest
Joe

This song is amazing and I don’t care what anyone says. If Romania kills the staging they’re absolutely headed right back to the final.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Her song is so underrated. Just because Laura or Bella didn’t win doesn’t mean we have to rank On a Sunday that low and/or hate Ester.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Yes it’s underrated because it’s not like an “everyday” song on commercial radio playlists and Ester Peony was very much unknown before the national selection. And truth be told, I am not OK with the stupidity of this year’s national selection scandal. It brought out meanness and homophobia. Except for the broadcaster and competing artists, Romanians don’t care about Eurovision. This year they changed the selection voting format and I think it was a good idea. I hope they will continue to do so in the future. It’s the broadcaster who is paying the costs. I also don’t care about… Read more »