Picture: Volodymyr Ivasyuk Memorial Museum / MÉLOVIN

Seasoned artist and Eurovision 2018 star MÉLOVIN is returning to Vidbir — the Ukrainian selection for Eurovision — with the song “Dreamer”.

The haunting melody has become one of the favourites in this year’s edition. Many have speculated about his intentions with the lyrics. MÉLOVIN has explained that it’s a universal story of daring to dream inspired by Ukrainian composer Volodymyr Ivasyuk — who gave his life for Ukrainian music during the Soviet occupation. 

Scroll down to read MÉLOVIN’s “Dreamer” lyrics!

MÉLOVIN at Vidbir 2024

Kostyantyn Bocharov, alias MÉLOVIN, barely needs an introduction to Eurovision fans. The X Factor Ukraine 2015 winner has stolen the hearts of many song contest followers and still has a strong fan base. 

In 2017, he missed out on a ticket to host city Kyiv after finishing third in the country’s national final – despite winning the televote. A year later, he was victorious in his Vidbir effort. However, at Eurovision in Lisbon, he finished eighteenth.

Over the past five years, MÉLOVIN’s repertoire has switched from English to Ukrainian. The “Under The Ladder” star has been open about his struggle with panic attacks and alcoholism. In 2021, during Ukraine’s most popular pop festival Atlas Weekend, he came out on stage as bisexual — being one of the first Ukrainian artists to openly reveal themselves as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. 

At Vidbir 2024, he will sing a partially self-composed song titled “Dreamer”. 

What do MÉLOVIN’s “Dreamer” lyrics mean? 

“Dreamer” is a track about self-determination and self-love. MÉLOVIN asks listeners to not stop dreaming, even in difficult situations — which is obviously a current topic in Ukraine. 

The song is an anthem against oppression, which is a universal topic that also relates to the struggles of global LGBTQ+ community. This becomes clear in the song’s lyrical progression: “Do what you wanna do/ If they call you a/ heathen/ Listen to your heart/ It leads to your freedom”. 

After some speculation, MÉLOVIN revealed that the lyrics were in fact inspired by a person — Ukrainian musician Volodymyr Ivasyuk. 

Volodymyr Ivasyuk’s struggle to adapt to the oppressive and conservative Soviet society has recently served as an example of Ukrainian self-determination and progressiveness. Born to a Ukrainian-speaking father from Western Ukraine and a Surzhyk-speaking mother from Southern Ukraine in 1949, Volodymyr Ivasyuk became one of the founding fathers of modern Ukrainian pop music under Soviet occupation. 

In 1970, when Ivasyuk was just twenty-one years old, one of his songs became a massive hit among Ukrainians. After fifty years, this song – “Chervona ruta” – is still among one of the most-loved Ukrainian songs. On top of that, recently, a raw version of his 1972 song “Pisnya bude pomizh nas” went viral on TikTok.

However, Ivasyuk’s life was cut short as he was killed under suspicious circumstances in 1979 at the age of 30. Until 1991, Ivasyuk was denied a grave by local communist authorities. In May 2023, Ukrainian YouTube channel Zahin Kinomaniv made a documentary about him with English subtitles. 

MÉLOVIN describes the creation of the song

In a video on his YouTube channel, MÉLOVIN explained: 

“The song was created in the month of July. I wrote it in Lviv. The day before, I heard a lot of explosions. (…) I went to the cemetery to Volodymyr Ivasyuk, the one who wrote “Chervona ruta’. A legendary person. A person who was put down. Put down by the Soviets, because it was disagreeable [what he did]. Everything that happened is currently happening with us again.” 

“History is repeating itself and I want to bring that message through music.”

“I went to his grave. He has a very beautiful monument at the Lychakiv Cemetery. He stands next to a grand piano. I took his hand, the hand of the statue, and I said: ‘Maestro, give me inspiration for a song.’. It just gives me chills. I returned to the hotel, to the balcony and inside my head, music started played. From a start to an end. I realised that it was quite wild, as if some choir sang in my head.”

“I quickly returned to my room, recorded the song on my voice recorder and realised that I had to return to the grave the next day to thank him. So I bought a huge bouquet of blue and yellow flowers with such a, you know, heart-shaped candle.”

“And I said: ‘Volodymyr, if I manage to go to Eurovision in Malmö, I promise that your story through music and your name will be heard in the whole of Europe.’.”

Some of the lyrics, especially those at the beginning of the track, seem definitely inspired by the life story of Volodymyr Ivasyuk: “They spilled my blood/ Called me a sinner/ They want me shut/ So I lifted MY VOICE…”. 

 

MÉLOVIN – “Dreamer” lyrics

Written by: MÉLOVIN (Konstyantyn Bocharov) and Oleksandr Biliak 

I wanted to
Be a dreamer
It took some time
To believe in

They spilled my blood
Called me a sinner
They want me shut
So I lifted MY VOICE…

You wanna touch
You wanna wear my shoes
Either
Wanna live in better place
we could build it
I wanna show what’s like to be a believer
I wanna see your deepest dreams
to reveal them all

A brand new day a brand new life
They say it’s not but It’s all right
Just keep the fire burning inside
You’ve gotta keep dreaming

Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna feel your body
Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna start a party
Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna see you’re ready
Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna keep you dreaming on

Do what you wanna do
If they call you a
heathen
Listen to your heart
It leads to your freedom
You’ve got nothing to prove
Nothing to lose
Either
From the floor you’ll hit the top so just show them a-a-all

A brand new day a brand new life
They say it’s not but It’s all right
Just keep the fire burning inside
You’ve gotta keep dreaming

1 2 not a test
3 4 took a breath
5 6 i’m a mess
Cause i’m a dreamer
This is not a test
Counting Uno Dos Tres
They say I’m a mess
But I’m a dreamer

Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna feel your body
Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna start a party
Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna see you’re ready
Dreamlover Dreamlover
I wanna keep you dreaming on

What do you think about MÉLOVIN’s “Dreamer”? Did you expect this story behind the lyrics? What do you think about the lyrics? 

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Zhenia
Zhenia
2 months ago

As a Ukrainian, I’m not the biggest fan of Melovin’s lyrics in either 2018 or 2024. They aren’t the worst thing ever, but, they come off as a little generic. That being said, maybe, this broad approach encompasses many types of oppression, so it would resonate with more people. Personally, I prefer a more individualised approach.

Despicable Annie
Despicable Annie
2 months ago

Good thing he explained them because his broken English lyrics are always nonsensical.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago

“So I bought a huge bouquet of blue and yellow flowers with such a, you know, heart-shaped candle.”
Awww, Mélovin. 🙂

I think I should mention: “They want me shut” is one of those quirky English phrases that is specific to certain dialects. It might make sense in Lancashire, but not in the south of England. I wonder: Is that just a south of England issue with that lyric?

Kate
Kate
2 months ago

Ivasyuk was a legend, absolute pop icon in Soviet Ukraine, so glad Melovin inspired by his heritage, wish him good luck in Vidbir, his favorite jury Danylko is came back too 🙂

Helly
Helly
2 months ago

Thanks for the article! This story is so interesting and deep. Every Ukrainian knows the music of Volodymyr Ivasyuk, his talent is a brilliant indeed. Respect to Mélovin for honouring our unique heritage ? Love his Dreamer ?