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

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Paloma
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Paloma

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

Safiya
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Safiya

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
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Sabrina

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
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Veta

Agree 100%

Kim
Guest
Kim

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

blueeyed
Guest
blueeyed

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

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

ROOP is better than any song from 2019!

xohxoh
Guest
xohxoh

We love a song with the message.

GoddessWins
Guest
GoddessWins

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

Chris
Guest
Chris

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

This
Guest
This

Normal people better know than you do!

Joe Bradley
Guest
Joe Bradley

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
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Vilius Hideo

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
Guest
Vilius Hideo

Sorry for grammar mistakes 🙂

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

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
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

Really? I would’ve pegged her as 25.

blueeyed
Guest
blueeyed

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

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

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.

Mat
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Mat

Everybody knows but nobody wants to say that this year the winner is RUSSIA !

This
Guest
This

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

kuku
Guest
kuku

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

Vilius Hideo
Guest
Vilius Hideo

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? 😀

Vik
Guest
Vik

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
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BadWoolfGirl

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
Guest
Vik

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
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Rike

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
Guest
Fancarola

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

Tom
Guest
Tom

Of course Vilnius why not Kaunas?

blueeyed
Guest
blueeyed

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
Guest

True

Nico deMask
Guest
Nico deMask

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

Edouard
Guest
Edouard

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
Guest
Roy Moreno

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
Guest
Skiwalko

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
Guest
Roy Moreno

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

Metalvision Song Contest
Guest

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
Guest
Roy Moreno

The holy trinity is once again upon us!

Joe
Guest
Joe

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

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

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

Elsa
Guest
Elsa

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
Guest
Sergej

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

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

calm down serguej

Robert
Guest
Robert

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
Guest
Paul

How old is he?

Sergej
Guest
Sergej

38

Candy
Guest
Candy

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

TOM
Guest
TOM

They are the winners of Eurovision they are they are!

Dijana
Guest
Dijana

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