With “SHUM”, Go_A have released a massive hit. Within the space of a few weeks, its music video has racked up over a million views. So it’s no surprise that of the three songs in Ukraine’s internal selection, “SHUM” was chosen to represent the country at Eurovision 2021.
However, there is one small obstacle on the song’s road to the contest. “SHUM” borrows heavily from existing Ukrainian folklore. In fact, the song is a re-arrangement of different versions of the traditional Ukrainian folk song “A v nashoho shuma”.
Vikna, the main news programme of broadcaster STB, which itself is one of the broadcasters of the Ukrainian Eurovision selection show Vidbir, has reported that “SHUM” will get a revamp. STB also reports that the group will release a new version in early March alongside a music video.
These revelations came during an exclusive interview with the band, during which STB filmed the group watching reaction videos to “SHUM” — including one from wiwibloggs’ own William and Deban reacting in our YouTube channel. You can watch the report below.
Previously, when speaking to the Kyiv-based magazine Focus, the group told a similar story. Here’s how the magazine reported it.
“However, as the musicians explained themselves, ‘SHUM’ can’t represent Ukraine in Rotterdam, because the work is folklore, and not original. Though it is the title song of their new album SHUM.”
Did “SHUM” violate any of the current Eurovision rules?
Eurovision.tv reported that the song needed reworking to fit the contest’s requirements. Besides the extensive borrowing of folklore, the song is one minute too long in its current form.
The current Eurovision rules do not state anything explicitly about the use of already-existing folklore. They do state, however, that broadcasters must inform the Reference Group if the melody or lyrics were published before 1 September.
In any case, it’s become a point of heated debate among Eurovision fans over the past few weeks as people debate whether “SHUM” is too close to the folk song “A v nashoho shuma” to be considered an original composition.
Regardless of Eurovision rules, Go_A’s use of folklore does not violate any copyright law. The lyrics and melody of “A nashoho shuma” are considered public domain as the authors remain unknown. This means song components can be reworked and re-used as much as people like to without having to pay the respectable creator a share of their revenue.
What are you expecting from Go_A’s “SHUM” revamp? Do you think the song will benefit from a revamp? Let us know in the comments down below!