This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last time that some Eurovision fans shout “plagiarism“. It’s a cry heard regularly both inside and outside the Eurovision bubble as artists create music that aligns with prevailing trends. And so it goes for Eesti Laul 2020 — the national selection for Rotterdam. Some fans are saying that Jaagup Tuisk‘s entry “Beautiful Lie” borrows elements from Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over”.
Jaagup Tuisk’s song quickly emerged as a fan favourite. And while plenty of folks find the song inspiring, plenty of others feel that it’s perhaps a bit too inspired. Initially people said it reminded them of Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade”. But soon another comparison emerged. In early December fans on Reddit started debating this issue because “Beautiful Lie” includes the line “call me friend but keep me closer”. This line exists verbatim in Eilish’s “when the party’s over”. Now a YouTube user has created a video showing the similarities that he or she hears. Here’s what ShroomWalrus made.
Among the alleged similarities is the humming in the beginning of both songs and the similar pre-chorus structure. The user then points out a few other areas where the songs overlap in his or her opinion.
As ever, various listeners hear various things. Several commenters on the video have defended the singer. Triin U writes: “In my opinion, the songs are very different and I do not hear the similarities. As Donkey [another user who made a comment] says, ‘Call me friend but keep me closer’ is the only line in the two songs that is the same, but that’s not plagiarism.”
YouTube user LongaVita agrees. “The songs are very different and they don’t sound alike at all. Once someone starts looking for similarities, they’ll always find something. When written on the slides, the evidence appears damning, but when you hear it, it is all a bunch of hot air.”
“By this standard, almost every song copies something else. The matching lyric is the only reasonable argument: there might be some (unintentional) ‘inspiration’ going on… but a single line? The same argument applies; every modern love song would be plagiarized when going by that standard.”
We should stress that songs released within the same year or two often follow the same trends, which frequently explains coincidental similarities.
What do you think of all this? Do you hear any similarities at all? Let us know down below.