The release of the Eesti Laul 2021 songs has brought the usual cheers and jeers, calls for certain artists to win and questions about how others made the cut. But this year another topic has dominated chat among Eurofans: the lyrics of Alabama Watchdog’s eponymous song.

Within minutes of the song’s release, many Eurofans called it out for being transphobic. The following verse seems to mock people who have started the process of transitioning.

“There ain’t no girls if they’re plugged online, if they eat those pills and the hormones fly, reverse or recovery won’t come so easily so who’s gonna pay if it won’t feel swell?”

The group also faced criticism for other verses, which many have interpreted as making light of the pandemic, lockdown rules and vaccination. This is one verse that has been referenced on social media.

“A voice that echoes from west to east, and a plague that runs from east to feast, we’ve all been duped with a growing lie, and the media won’t let it die.”

And the chorus…

“Get down for the lockdown ‘Stay sane till it blows out’, I preach those lines, but I won’t realise my soul will thrive in a ghost town.”

You can read the complete lyrics at the end of this post.

Alabama Watchdog say they aren’t transphobic

Our readers have been among those expressing their shock. As one user wrote: “I was enjoying Alabama Watchdog until the transphobia became apparent. Really disappointed that it was allowed to pass the preliminary round.”

Interpreting lyrics is subjective, and we all tend to look at lyrics through our experiences and the issues we’re hearing about in the media we consume. If you scroll through the comments on the official ERR upload of the video, some interpreted the transphobic passage as a comment on birth control.

We reached out to the Estonian group and put the allegations of transphobia and anti-lockdown sentiment before them. This is what the band had to say.

“In short, we didn’t write the song to offend anyone and we’re not transphobic or lockdown deniers as people claim us to be. For example, in March we shared a picture on Facebook with the hashtag #staythefuckhome to encourage people to stay safe and in their own homes during the first Covid wave. At the end of the day, we’re just simple everyday people who tried to write the best possible song that they can.”

“However about the song itself — the lyrics of the song are written from an everyday man’s perspective who tries to observe the messy world of 2020 all the while trying to find their place in it. It was deliberately written in a way, where it doesn’t take sides on a topic but rather acknowledges a problem’s existence and/or tries to ask questions. Since there were so many different controversial topics that went through the media, nearly every line references a completely different thing.”

“If a person reads the full paragraph in one go, it can mean something completely different. But I guess that’s a mistake on our end for not clarifying things…whoops…”

And a plague that runs from East to feast 

“That is a direct reference to Covid-19, since the first lyrics were written in the spring of 2020, the majority of news was about Covid and there wasn’t much of anything else mentioned at that time.”

We’ve all been duped with a growing lie, and the media won’t let it die –

“This is referencing the media’s influence at times to produce misleading articles and click-bait journalism and make them bigger than they actually should be. During the first wave of Covid, I saw international outlets that posted articles about some myths and unchecked facts about Covid, which reinforced the point that I made.”

There ain’t no girls if they’re plugged online, If they eat those pills and the hormones fly, Reverse or recovery won’t come so easily, So who’s gonna pay if it won’t feel swell?

“During the lockdown, I saw articles about young kids that were labeled trans and administered hormone pills to undergo transition. Some of the articles were talking about lawsuits over children who were de-transitioning since they did not feel that it was the right decision for them and about cases where there were negative effects on their bodies as a result. The articles essentially asked the question, ‘who will take responsibility that allowed an underaged person to take body altering pills with such ease’.”

[Editor’s note: The London-based gender identity charity Mermaids recently told the BBC that gender clinics and their services can save lives and that very few people regret their decision. However, they said they “welcome an examination of the evidence in this contentious area.” If you would like to read more about the topic, you can visit the Mermaids web site.]

Get down for the lockdown, ‘Stay sane till it blows out’, I preach those lines, but I won’t realise, My soul will thrive in a ghost town

“This is referencing people to get ready and stay safe during the 2020 lockdown. I was inspired by David Goggins who encouraged people to take this time to reflect on one’s self so that they would come out of it stronger. Implying that one’s soul can grow if they take this time and reflect on their neglected issues now that there’s a less busy world.”

“I hope that has clarified everything. Again, we’re not Covid-deniers or transphobic. We just referenced different controversial topics.”

What does the name Alabama Watchdog mean?

In our recent podcast, we wondered aloud what the name Alabama Watchdog actually means. One theory we floated was that the band adopted the name to suggest some sort of right-wing political leaning, or to parody someone with conservative beliefs. The band says both theories are incorrect.

“Sadly, the name actually doesn’t mean anything haha. To give a backstory, we (the three of us) have actually been a band for 3 or so years under the name ‘Up the Sky’.”

“During the latter year, we sort of went through this weird phase where we started to value everything else first and the music came later. For example, we thought about ‘what our message’ was at first or what ‘our brand’ was and the music at the very last step.”

“Because of that, the definition of ‘what we are and what we represent’ as a band changed constantly from one thing to another and we didn’t really have a grasp of it any more. It sort of felt like we put ourselves in a really weird box y’know? That ‘We have to be THIS and we can’t be THIS OTHER THING and This is how our tone of voice will be,’ etc and etc…So one day we just decided – “f*ck it, let’s start again, screw the ‘brand’ and ‘identity’ and let’s make music our first and only priority.”

“Nobody really cares what your brand is until your music is good at first anyways so why bother? Nowadays I sort of feel that we as musicians are pushed into a zone where we have to think about everything else first and only then be a musician.”

“So we started again and ditched the previous band name and everything attached to it, which meant that we needed a new name. I had this demo ‘Alabama Watchdog’ and that was just two random words put together, the way I file my demo’s on my computer is just stick ‘Some words’ together to differentiate between themselves. The demo became the ESC song and the name of the band just came there! The name combination just sounded cool to all of us and that’s how it stuck. I really like to reference Dave Grohl at this point where he said ‘Coming up with a band name is the hardest thing ever! I mean Foo Fighters? That’s the dumbest F*ckin name ever!'”

“We want the band name’s meaning to stick to ‘nothing’ because if we start to think about anything else than the music, then we’re right back at square one. But I guess kudos to the creative ones coming up with all the name meanings — they’re sure as hell fun to read!”

Alabama Watchdog lyrics

Another day is gone, cancelled and done
A voice of a generation begone
To use up the violence, a mean to silence
The one percent, to please your friends, to look like a hero
A voice that echoes from west to east
And a plague that runs from east to feast
We’ve all been duped with a growing lie
And the media won’t let it die
I’m a simple man, wanna see what’s wrong from right
But nowadays they label that as “left” or “right”
I’ve got more questions than ever before
I better pick a side for the coming war

Get down for the lockdown
“Stay sane till it blows out”
I preach those lines, but I won’t realise
My soul will thrive in a ghost town
Get down for the lockdown
“Stay sane till it blows out”
I preach those lines, but I won’t realise
My soul will thrive in a ghost town

There ain’t no girls if they’re plugged online
If they eat those pills and the hormones fly
Reverse or recovery won’t come so easily
So who’s gonna pay if it won’t feel swell?
The rain gets thicker and the lies get bigger
The truth will not hide when we see those figures
Who’s gonna lead when priests play the sinners?
Those words will fly as a killer

Get down for the lockdown
“Stay sane till it blows out”
I preach those lines, but I won’t realise
My soul will thrive in a ghost town
Get down for the lockdown
“Stay sane till it blows out”
I preach those lines, but I won’t realise
My soul will thrive in a ghost town

I’m a simple man, wanna see what’s right for me
And none of that looks as if it’s right to me
I’ve got more questions then ever before
I better pick a side for the coming war

Get down for the lockdown
“Stay sane till it blows out”
I preach those lines, but I won’t realise
My soul will thrive in a ghost town
Get down for the lockdown
“Stay sane till it blows out”
I preach those lines, but I won’t realise
My soul will thrive in a ghost town (Come on)

Photo courtesy of Alabama Watchdog / Gerli Tooming

63 Comments
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Same
Same
10 months ago

How sensitive ya’ll. Don’t listen if u don’t like the lyrics. That’s all. Chasing -‘phobic’whatever became everyone’s hobby these days.

Last edited 10 months ago by Same
Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
11 months ago

Should I really be so surprised at the amount of transphobia in these comments?

It makes me angry, that the people who claim to be fans of a contest that promotes, diversity, tolerance and acceptance are so anti-trans, are so anti-diversity, anti-tolerance and anti-acceptance.

Azuro
Azuro
11 months ago

It’s not transphobic to say you need to reach a certain age of maturity before making life altering decisions for yourself.

Trabsphobia is calling Dana a man or using her birth name.

There’s an age of consent before you can engage in sexual activity, that’s not homophobic or heterophobic. Sexual activity is only temporary. Surgery is often permanent.

Those who rush others into a transition make a mockery of actual transgender individuals.

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
11 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

You’ve clearly misunderstood the issues here. The debate on age and gender is NOT or has ever been about surgery – it’s about ‘puberty blockers’ which put puberty and the changes it brings on hold whilst the individual in question is able to come of age to be able to make the life changing choices that transition may bring. Puberty blockers are literally the thing that keeps many trans kids alive, as it slows down their bodies becoming the thing that they are not. So yes – denying the people (or their parents/guardians) the choice to delay puberty is the… Read more »

Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
9 months ago
Reply to  Denali Danesh

Idk who the ef voted you down when you presented the issue eloquently. Puberty blockers save LIVES people. We’re not talking about hormones, we’re talking about delaying puberty until the person is of age to choose whether to continue with medical transition or not.

Hector
Hector
11 months ago

From my humble point of view, I like their explanation, and that’s what I got from reading the lyrics at first. I think they try to be ambiguous, to raise controversial topics and not give an (explicit) opinion about them. Could have they chosen better words to express that idea? Probably, if not absolutely (this huge controversy proves it). I guess it is relatively easy to understand that particular line as transphobic phrase. That being said, I think that is a different topic than the previous one: we can talk about if they actually are transphobic, or we can discuss… Read more »

Polliu
Polliu
11 months ago

Even the band’s name sounds like a right wing’s name. So Trump supporterish…

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
11 months ago
Reply to  Polliu

That’s a bit harsh on the 36.7% of the Alabama electorate who voted democrat. 😉

Ralf0711
Ralf0711
11 months ago

The song: silly, the reaction of the group: even more silly. i would hate to hear a song like this at the ESC. i hope for estonia and the rest of the world, that this song will be forgotten before it gets any attention.

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
11 months ago
Reply to  Ralf0711

of course Ralf – standing up for the very basic human right to exist is “silly”?

Please grow up

Ralf0711
Ralf0711
11 months ago
Reply to  Denali Danesh

Hääääää? ?? Standing up for the very basic human right to exist? We are talking about discrimination. So,don’t tell other people to grow up.

T.J.
T.J.
11 months ago

Transphobia?!?!
People are you real?????
Is it enough to find 3 words in the lyrics to deduce this? What about different interpretations? I find this culture of being offended by the tiniest nothingness more and more annoying. People should look at REAL discrimination and stop making such a fuzz about literally NOTHING!

Ashton
Ashton
11 months ago
Reply to  T.J.

Ok. So prejudice against trans people is ‘nothing’ to you. So using offensive terminology is ‘nothing’ to you. So discrimination against trans people isn’t real discrimination to you. That’s very telling of what kind of person you are.

T.J.
T.J.
11 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Get real! Learn the definition of discrimination. then you can come back to me. You are the one who‘s judgmental. One post and you judge a person as a whole. Shame in you! Before you step up against alledged „discrimination“ you should first get your language and attitude straight!

Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
9 months ago
Reply to  T.J.

Y’all in the comments are transphobic af. Trans people are killed at a higher rate than their cis counterparts. How is that not discrimination?

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
11 months ago
Reply to  T.J.

Oh TJ – you really are a piece of work.
Transphobia is REAL discrimination

D J Richert
D J Richert
11 months ago

That’s the great thing about music, if you don’t like it you don’t have to listen to it.

Same
Same
10 months ago
Reply to  D J Richert

Amen!

dxi
dxi
11 months ago

Yeah, I’m not buying this

Chessguy99
11 months ago

What they wrote is what they wrote. Call out the committee that decided to include this group/song in the contest. With 156 reported submissions, I question the intent of the selection committee and ERR as to why included this over other songs.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago

Don’t insult our intelligence. We know exactly what they were trying to say and this weak damage control ain’t fooling anyone. Typical straight bully bull*hit that we all had to grow up with. Their side is always only focusing on the detransitioning part of the trans population, just like they’re always only focusing on the terrorist part of the Muslim population (both probably not even 2% of the entire population). Typical white heteronormative privileged conservative propaganda to do away with both of them all together. It’s disgusting that they’re still allowed to compete and if they had any dignity and… Read more »

Simon
Simon
11 months ago

Can you maybe refrain from demonizing white people?

Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Demonizing white people? Talk about white fragility dude. And yes, I’m white. I recognize that we have a lot of privilege in western societies. I cannot understand people who don’t see that and choose to live blind to other people’s struggles.

Dave
Dave
11 months ago

This is such a blatant strategy to a) gather attention from ESC sites and Estonian press, b) try drumming up the troll/alt-right vote come February, c) reap the rewards of the famed “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” concept that I’m honestly disappointed that Wiwibloggs, as pretty much any other website that covers Eurovision, is giving space and coverage to this bunch. The right to parody doesn’t allow anyone to disguise controversial (and in this case, potentially harmful) opinions as such. These guys are shrewd enough to push such a divisive message and call it a commentary on “an… Read more »

Max
Max
11 months ago

I think asking questions is a good lyrical device to tackle sensitive issues… However, my experience as a writer and interviewer is that you need to be careful with formulating those questions.
Also, who is actually asking those questions in the song?
Who is that ‘everyday man’?

Belle
Belle
11 months ago

“written from an everyday man’s perspective who tries to observe the messy world of 2020 all the while trying to find their place in it.” Ahhh yes the most oppressed and challenged group of people

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
11 months ago

“The articles essentially asked the question, ‘who will take responsibility that allowed an underaged person to take body altering pills with such ease’.””

Sorry, but I call BS. If that was your intention, get a better lyricist. Your line, “Reverse or recovery won’t come so easily, so who’s gonna pay if it won’t feel swell?” doesn’t come across as being concerned with the outcome but rather, a complaint that your taxes might be being used to help them.

Spill the Tea
Spill the Tea
11 months ago

Of course Eurofans would be offended by a song with non-sense lyrics. lol

Nils
Nils
11 months ago

Is there any chance to get an Eurovision phone case for Samsung Galaxy A 71 ?
At Wiwibloggs shop there are only for S-series and I don´t find for A anyplace.
Does somebody know a webside for Eurovision phone cases, where I can find a suitable case ?

EllieLazarev
EllieLazarev
11 months ago

Sure Jan

Kosey
Kosey
11 months ago

Sorry, not convinced me. The song oozes negativity from the first lyric. They could be immature and just looking to provoke, but I can do without it. I think ESC can do without it as well.

Max
Max
11 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Who is that ESC?

Yep
Yep
11 months ago

Not much of a fan of this song anyway, it’s Uku or Koit for the win for me

Rob
Rob
11 months ago

I don’t like the conspiratorial overtones in some of those lyrics, but at the same time I have to acknowledge that they raise pertinent questions about the 1%, the media, the clergy etc. and phrase them in a razor-sharp and unabashed language. The reference to gender transitioning as a conspiratorial plot is so out of place in the grand scheme of things that it’s either simply a deliberate provocation or perhaps an echo of J.k Rowlings’ controversial Tweets which use gay issues against trans people and call on enforcing restrictive gender stereotypes. It seems like the band regards transitioning as… Read more »

NickC
NickC
11 months ago

Regardless of the lyrics, it does not have much to offer musically.

Apple
Apple
11 months ago

I guess I was the only one who thought the transphobic pill line was about birth control???

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
11 months ago
Reply to  Apple

even if it was about birth control – is that really something that a group of straight boys should be making comment on?

Birth control pills are the right of every female – so these guys should shut the F up about that too!

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
11 months ago

I feel the need to say something as a trans person. Cisgender people do not get to decide whether they are transphobic or not. Only transgender people do.

As for me, I decided not to give the band or their song my time anyway.

Nancy G
Nancy G
11 months ago

Thank you for sharing your perspective. It’s a good point that I did not think about. Often people who are racist or sexist don’t even realise why the things they say are hurtful. This applies to the transgender experience too.

Colin
Colin
11 months ago

Whether someone’s being offensive or not can lie in the intent, reception or both. It’s still a matter of dispute among experts. People can have a lack of information on a certain issue or they are just being immature. I’m unsure whether *they* are transphobes (in my opinion, that would imply their general worldview). Instead, we can shift focus to their product and call it out as such – an empty vessel for pseudo-edgy lines with one transphobic verse. Because the verse itself is being transphobic, whether by intention or not. And I feel for you for even having to… Read more »

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
11 months ago

That’s not technically true either, You’re assuming that all transgender people find the same things offensive. Very little language is clearly ever “-phobic” and interpretation will vary.
In issues where it isn’t clear, as Colin said, intent comes into whether something was -phobic rather than ignorant or insensitive.

Toby Tucker
Toby Tucker
11 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Spreading misinformation about gender-affirming hormone therapy is gonna be 100% offensive to trans people everywhere.

Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
9 months ago
Reply to  Toby Tucker

Absolutely. Who are the alt-trolls voting all of these comments down? I wish the comment section was moderated more effectively 🙁

123
123
11 months ago

Oh, so now we are deleting comments for opinions we disagree with…Good job, wiwibloggs…
My opinion still stands. You don’t get to decide how other people feel about you just because you interpret things in a certain way…

Last edited 11 months ago by 123
Ben
Ben
11 months ago

That’s nonsense. You can decide whether they’re offensive but whether they’re transphobic depends entirely on the intention.

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Sorry – you’re wrong.

Discrimination, harrasment, bullying, prejudice is about reception not intention.
If someone finds something offensive – then it’s offensive – whether intentional or not.

Hate speech is hate speech.

T.J.
T.J.
11 months ago

Yeah, and only flat-earthers have to decide if the earth is flat or round, true?

Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
11 months ago

Uhmmm… I think I kinda guess that the covid thing was just missunderstood and the names of both the group and the song just mean nothing. Even though, I am not so sure about the transphobic lines. I mean, it doesn’t look like they only care about trans children’s lives if they actually say “there ain’t no girls” or “the lies get bigger” the line just after.

Colin
Colin
11 months ago

Reading this, I am inclined to believe they are not inherently transphobic, but their lack of intent doesn’t excuse jumbled writing. Being ”edgy” without saying anything specific rarely pans out well. I think they musically have something here, but they’d have to work hard to explore *what actually is* the message they are trying to sell. I mean, all the best to them in that regard. Still, this song shouldn’t win Eesti Laul 2021 or get a high result there. Just my personal opinion.

Jo.
Jo.
11 months ago

I’m more surprised by the fact that people actually paid attention to this song and didn’t skip it after the third second.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

Hahahahahaha, exactly.

Azaad
Azaad
11 months ago

Hope they languish in the semis

Joe
Joe
11 months ago

See, unless you’re Alabama 3 or Texas, naming your group after a state in the Deep South when you’re not actually from there should be the first red flag.

Nancy G
Nancy G
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe

EXACTLY! I think the naming of the band must have been deliberate because Alabama has strong stereotypes and so does the word “watchdog”. Their explanation is strange to me.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
11 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Honestly as an American I looked at that band’s name and immediately went “Oh, they sound like they’re the type that purposefully try to offend people.”

Joe
Joe
11 months ago

Alabama Watchdog sounds like a spin-off of the Good Old Boys

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe

PEEERIOOODT

HK44444
HK44444
11 months ago

I think the lyrics are mostly about corona and lockdown. Don’t find them «phobic». I think some people overreact.

And more importantly – their song is great! At least I think so. My favourite. Really fresh, catchy rock. Just my kind of Music. I hope they do well! Such Music – downtoearth feelgood rock – Will always have an Audience. Would love more of it in ESC

Ashton
Ashton
11 months ago

Ok, so they’re basically saying “hey, we aren’t transphobic, we only said transphobic things in our song. But we didn’t mean it :)”

Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

It’s the “Money for Nothing” defense

Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Or even “Fairytale of New York.” The difference is those songs are good.

Pandaman
Pandaman
11 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I’m pretty sure they know what they meant better than you or me, since they are the authors of the lyrics.

Toby Tucker
Toby Tucker
11 months ago
Reply to  Pandaman

They are just plugging the current-popular “gender critical” plug against trans men. If they didn’t know and just found out, saying “we didn’t mean it that way” is not enough.