After failing to advance to the grand final of Eurovision in 2019, Lithuanian producers headed back to the drawing board to revamp their national selection for 2020. The result was Pabandom iš naujo — a significantly shorter contest that featured 36 acts. Among them were mega-star Monique, who came with high-end staging and a very emotional ballad, and Aiste Pilvelyte, a long-time fan favourite with a Swedish-penned number. But in the end it was the quirky three-piece The Roop who won the day with their witty, weird and wonderful song “On Fire”. The song has dominated the Spotify charts in Lithuania in the weeks after its win and Lithuania has subsequently enjoyed its best-ever odds with betting agencies. By the end of February the country emerged as the early favourite to win the song contest.

Speaking to Wiwibloggs on behalf of the group, band member Mantas Banišauskas said the “On Fire” lyrics are about keeping your dreams and passions alive even as the world tells you it’s time to dial them down.

“It’s about writing yourself off too quickly,” he says. “We underestimate ourselves too often. We think we don’t meet some standards or that we are uninteresting, too young, too old. People in their thirties already feel untimely aged and hopeless. I don’t think this is normal.”

“I faced such thoughts myself, but I strove to change my approach to things, put more energy into my activities than I did when I was 20. With this song I wish to send my listeners confidence and good vibes. We are all capable of being who we want, when we want, and age is not important.”

Scroll down for “On Fire” lyrics

Lithuania in Eurovision 2020: The Roop “On Fire”

Lithuania’s Eurovision 2020 act consists of Vaidotas Valiukevičius, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas. And while their names are no doubt difficult for foreigners to pronounce, their vibe and originality are easy to tuck into. For instance, their 2015 music video for “Not Too Late” sought to combine virtual reality and character animation to create a dreamy childhood landscape. A beach came alive with Venus flytraps and clouds that resembled cotton candy.

The band has released two studio albums — To Whom It May Concern and Ghosts. They’re skilled at lacing contemporary sounds with a vintage undertone. At times their unique sounds smack of the Talking Heads. The group are clearly big fans of Eurovision too. In 2018 they participated in Lithuania’s Eurovision selection with the song “Yes, I Do”, placing second with the public and third overall.

It was a strong effort that showcased their ability to work a mainstream sound. But in 2020 the band decided to turn things up a notch, throwing sheets to the wind to reveal something kookier and decidedly more off-kilter. So far that gamble has paid off.

What do the “On Fire” lyrics mean?

The performance opens with a slow zoom into lead singer Vaidotas, whose face is blocked by magnifying glasses. They obscure his face but at the same time enlarge his eyes, suggesting the song will offer a window into his world. The theme from the very beginning is introspection. Yes, he’s singing to the audience, but he’s very much singing to himself.

And what he whispers is a message of empowerment — that he’s “a human, not a stone” and therefore has the agency to progress despite the naysayers. As he sings: “They told me maybe I’m too old, but there’s fire in my soul.”

While others say he’s ageing, and in their minds dulling or slipping away, he realises that his flame is only growing stronger. He takes us through a series of deliberately clichéd rhymes as he laughs at those with a seemingly narrow view on life and his own potential: “The heat is getting higher, I feel that I’m on fire, the world is my desire, I feel that I’m on fire.”

With its memorable dance moves and cheeky staging, the song is a celebration. That’s reflected in the lyrics where Vaidotas embraces his realisation that age is just a number. Moving past that block may have taken him a while, but now he’s ready to plunge jazz-hands first into the future. “Can’t believe it took so long to take an action and move on,” he sings. “No one can stop me, through the clouds, there comes the sun.”

 

As he dances in the sun — along with backing dancers Marijanas and Migle — he also tells a story with his dance moves. Here’s how the band explained it to us in an e-mail.

MOVE 1 “On Fire!” – I am on fire! (Hands crossed over the back of the head with fingers stretched)

MOVE 2 “Stretch!” – I am stretching out and warming up. (Outstretching arms to the sides)

MOVE 3 “Focus!” – I am focusing and concentrating. (Hands on the sides of the head)

MOVE 4 “Make Room!” – I am making more room for myself to move on. (Swinging arms to the sides and over the head)

MOVE 5 “Shake It Off!” – I am shaking off all stereotypes and biases. (Dusting yourself off)

“On Fire” lyrics – The Roop (Lithuania ESC 2020)

Written and composed by: Vaidotas Valiukevičius, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas

I’m a human, not a stone
I can make a change and go
Wherever I want to
They told me maybe I’m too old
But there’s fire in my soul

The heat is getting higher
I feel that I’m on fire
The world is my desire
I feel that I’m on fire
Ooh

There’s no doubt I’m strong enough
To reach the state I’ve dreamed of
It’s gonna happen
And I will do what I can
Just to be a better man

The heat is getting higher
I feel that I’m on fire
The world is my desire
I feel that I’m on fire

Can’t believe it took so long
To take an action and move on
No one can stop me
Through the clouds, there comes the sun
And I’m ready for some fun
Uh

La-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la

Come on, let’s ride
(Ooh)

The heat is getting higher
I feel that I’m on fire
The world is my desire
I feel that I’m on fire

(On fire)
(Ooh)
(On fire)

The heat is getting higher

Do THE ROOP’s lyrics speak to you? Do you think the message of the song comes through clearly? Sound off in the comments below. 

<>

Take care,
Mantas
THE ROOP

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
47 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paloma
Paloma
7 months ago

surprisingly, William does not complain about “fire-desire” thing, in case the singer is a pretty young man…

Vilius Hideo
Vilius Hideo
7 months ago

Song still not even know. You can’t say it just for Country name. Sergey not participate every year xD and Dimash is from Kazakhstan so that no longer belongs to Russia xD idk what more interesting can repesent for Russia 🙂 i think Sergey don’t want be third again 3rd time xD so Russia still probably searching. For next oldies group maybe like Babushkas? 😀

kuku
kuku
7 months ago

Oh, yes! You always and everywhere the winners :))))) And if you will not win you will find somebody/something to blame :))))))

Safiya
Safiya
7 months ago

I love everything about this song. The lyrics are very simple but they have a great message and even though there are in fact only several lines, they make you think about something bigger and deeper. They inspire you to think about you own possibilities and dreams. The dance is fun to watch but at the same time it has a meaning, too. It all comes together. And they are really good live – not many people seem to pay attention to the signer’s voice but he really performs it perfectly,

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago

When the song was released, I commented here that I liked the fact it was a “self-convincing” song, differently from the self-empowerment messages we normally have in Eurovision. He’s not telling the world about his value, he’s reminding himself about it. The only low point is the fire/higher/desire, but there are so many endearing things about the entry (the performance, the message, the catchiness), that’s hard for me to concentrate on the only bad thing about it. Even more now, that I can see the crazy choreo has an explanation.

Veta
Veta
7 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Agree 100%

This
This
7 months ago

Yeah yeah, as real russian guy you know “best” yes? :))))))))))))))))))

Kim
Kim
7 months ago

If Dadi represents Iceland, I think that would affect this songs performance in the voting.

blueeyed
blueeyed
7 months ago
Reply to  Kim

I don’t know. Daði’s song is attrocious.

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
7 months ago

ROOP is better than any song from 2019!

xohxoh
xohxoh
7 months ago

We love a song with the message.

GoddessWins
GoddessWins
7 months ago

And you are wondering why a lot of people is laughing about Eurovision when stupid songs like this compete…

Chris
Chris
7 months ago
Reply to  GoddessWins

Probably you’re the only one with bad taste. Thought about that ?

This
This
7 months ago
Reply to  GoddessWins

Normal people better know than you do!

Joe Bradley
Joe Bradley
7 months ago

It’s fun, enjoyable, well written song with a good message , interesting choreography & very nice and unique music. it’s all Eurovision about. Love this song and best of luck to all the countries. It’s all about having fun and enjoying the moment no matter how old you are there will be a song for you which you will like. Lots of love, from the United Kingdom.

Vilius Hideo
Vilius Hideo
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe Bradley

And it’s wtitten and composed only by lithuanians i think so no swedish work on this 🙂 no offence Sweden, but Yours songs not always interesting. 🙂 Ofcourse most of them are good even very goid to listen really have nothing bad to say. But not always for be winner songs. 🙂 Respect 🙂

Vilius Hideo
Vilius Hideo
7 months ago
Reply to  Vilius Hideo

Sorry for grammar mistakes 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
7 months ago

Yes, Talking Heads is definitely a great comparison. I was trying to figure out who they remind me of, and I couldn’t get there. His voice is a bit like Anohni too.

Also, speaking of age, I just read that Dotter is 32. I dunno why, but I thought she was about 20.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Really? I would’ve pegged her as 25.

blueeyed
blueeyed
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

She deffinitely doesn’t look like she’s in her 20ies. Would never say she’s younger than 30.

Kosey
Kosey
7 months ago

It’s not exactly Shakespeare but it is a good message. There is a lot of ageism displayed in society, and even I’m sad to say on this site, so it’s good to have an artist that says age is just a number, you have a place and you are valued regardless of your age.

Vik
Vik
7 months ago

As a Lithuanian, I’m excited that we are among the favourites for now, but I’m really afraid to be disappointed. People in our country care a lot about the ESC, and we never do well.

I think it would be quite heart-breaking to a lot of us to not win now that so many of us are hyped about it. I’m not such a big fan of this song personally, but I would love to see my country win for once.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Vik

I also want Lithuania to win Eurovision one day and this entry might be with when his best shot, but I’ve also been scaling down My expectations to help for Lithuania to reach a top five position because that would be your best position ever. Whatever happens, and if you reach top five, you should be proud of yourselves.

Vik
Vik
7 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I agree, and I would definitely be happy with a top 5, but perhaps less so if the winning song was a generic ballad or a template Swedish style pop song sent by some country that has already won so many times before…

I would be happy if some other country that has never won wins this year. Iceland is looking pretty good.

Rike
Rike
7 months ago
Reply to  Vik

I would very much like Lithuania to win ESC. That would be fantastic. Up to now it is my favorite song, but there are so many entries still coming. So it is still to early to speculate. Definetly will cross my finger for you guys.
I myself am getting nervous about the German entry. It will be presented this Thursday. Have high hopes, but usually they get crushed… Let’s see, I try to stay positive. Good luck and big hello from Cologne to Lithuania!

Fancarola
Fancarola
7 months ago

Winner song!!! Eurovision Song Contest 2020
Vilnius 2021!

Tom
Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Fancarola

Of course Vilnius why not Kaunas?

blueeyed
blueeyed
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Because 99% of foreigners don’t know any other Lithuanian city except for the capital. But that’s mutual. Do Lithuanians know two-three largest cities in Norway or Austria, or Slovenia without help of Google? I don’t think so.

Dejots
7 months ago
Reply to  blueeyed

True

Nico deMask
Nico deMask
7 months ago
Reply to  blueeyed

Norway: Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim.
Austria: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz.
Slovenia: Ljubljana, Maribor, and Kamnik (maybe!)
I’m gonna google now.

Edouard
Edouard
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom

It will probably be Kaunas if they win – it’s going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2022, so hosting Eurovision the year before will be excellent promotion for the city, and will help to boost tourism for that.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
7 months ago

Just imagine having a song that rhymes ‘fire’, ‘desire’ and ‘higher’ winning Eurovision :3 Who would’ve thought
I can totally see this winning and I’m super fine with it 🙂

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
7 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

Helena Paparizou has already done that in 2005:
“You’re a fire
and desire
When I kiss your lips, you know, you take me higher”

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
7 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Oh fudge, you’re right xD
I literally listened to this song today and I forgot

Metalvision Song Contest
Reply to  Roy Moreno

Romania also came third with that rhyme pattern in 2010 (Paula Seling’s and Ovi’s “Playing With Fire”, guess how the chorus goes…). 😉

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
7 months ago

The holy trinity is once again upon us!

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

Everything about this song is so clever and well thought-out

Polegend Godgarina
7 months ago

they might not be the youngest in the competition but their song sounds fresh, that’s all that matters

Elsa
Elsa
7 months ago

That is a good point indeed! It is far from a masterpiece, but it is the only one so far who makes me smile in a good way 🙂

Sergej
Sergej
7 months ago

You fuc.kers misspelt the country!!!! LITHUANIA!!!

Polegend Godgarina
7 months ago
Reply to  Sergej

calm down serguej

Robert
Robert
7 months ago

Young people often discriminate against people getting older, maybe in general.. You’re the only 1 who decides how to feel, let alone feel old.. Love the song

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

How old is he?

Sergej
Sergej
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

38

Candy
Candy
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Vaidotas is 38 years old. Definitely not “too old” 🙂

TOM
TOM
7 months ago

They are the winners of Eurovision they are they are!

Dijana
Dijana
7 months ago
Reply to  TOM

??Fire ??Like so much ??it’s everything in one , performance, voice , artistic ?