Who has watched the Eurovision movie knows that is a light-hearted, comedy like movie in which the main characters are two Icelandic residents of Husavik, who get chosen, after a serie of ridiculous happenings, to represent Iceland in the popular song contest. If you haven’t watched it, I recommend it, it is a good laugh. The male protagonist is Will Farrell, a well known comedian, and the guy who interpreted ELF. My American friend told me he would watch the movie just because of this guy. And it’s based in Iceland which is a cool place.
Anyway, what I found interesting about this movie are the two main songs that the duo, called the Fire Saga, perform at the contest. One is designed to win the contest, while the other one is spontaneously composed by one of the two. Now, I won’t say in which occasion, to not give you spoilers, but I will say what I thought about the lyrics of the two songs, which I found brilliant in relation to the context in which the story unfolded.
The standard, competing song is called “Double Trouble”. It’s a catchy pop song designed to catch votes from the audience, as probably the majority of the songs in the real contest are: a mixture of scenographic choreography paired with relatable lyrics about everyday topics. Double Trouble talks about a couple in love and how they feel about each other and It is full of love stereotypes. Hey baby when you talk to me, I know I am in double trouble tonight is the main lyrics of the chorus, and it is comparing love to trouble, the kind of which makes you do crazy things and stay up all night thinking about the other. It goes on with how can something so wrong feel so right, which is an idea connected to feelings that are strong and difficult to push down. Being this a duo, they then sing a part each. The guy goes Never felt this alive
Loving you’s my nine to five
Nothing makes me feel like you do
Up is down, down is up
I don’t really give a (what?)
I just wanna break every rule, which conveys the idea of adrenaline, cheerful confusion and excitement that is stereotypical description of the beginning of a romantic relationship. The girl then sings Sometimes I pinch myself ’cause I don’t know
Am I dreaming now? (You’re not dreaming, no)
I wanna stop the clocks and hold you close (I’ll hold you close)
But I don’t know how which refers to the dreamy feeling and the wishing to do the impossible to stay close to the other one. The song can be defined catchy and makes you smile, and there is no deep meaning into it. Just a happy catchy song, and it can be argued that no real feelings are shown, or at least, only one side of love is shown, the happy, entertaining one.
Then you hear the other song, and you cry. Well, I cried. The title is Husavik (My hometown) and is sung by the female character. The lyrics are much less stereotypical and the setting is more sober, and the singer sings some lyrics in her native language. Her voice is the protagonist, and all her passion for music and her feelings come out at once. The first verses talk about the feeling of being small in front of the world, in which everyone seems to make it but not you: All by myself
With this great big world before me
But it’s all for someone else. Then she sings about her feelings towards her duo partner: I’ve tried and tried again
To let you know just where my heart is
To tell the truth and not pretend. In the movie she tries to talk with him, but he is just too focused on winning to listen and understand. Then she sings about her love for her hometown, and how she needed to go away from it to realise that all she wanted was to stay there. This theme is atypical in the sense that most of the songs talk about the thrill of exploring the unknown, while here we have a clear depiction of the greatness of someone’s home: Where the mountains sing through the screams of seagulls
Where the whales can live ’cause they’re gentle people
In my hometown, my hometown. What follows is what I believe I think is the description of what love actually is: You want the world (want the world)
All the neon lights and billboards
To be seen and to be heard
And I followed you (oh-ooh)
But now I know what makes me happy
And I can tell you feel it too. It talks about compromise. She wanted something different but she followed him in his wishes, and supported him. He was oblivious that she wanted something different, but he learned, slowly, that she did not have his same ambition, she did not want to win, she wanted to create music to show her passion and love for music regardless of the contest. The contest was just an opportunity to spread her creation. He understands this and shows it in the best possible way, letting her perform solo in the foreground while supporting her playing the piano and occasionally with his voice, in the background. The effect is great, because she is a better singer than he is, so her voice solo can finally be heard fully without his interference, and instead he takes a step back and helps her. He understands what makes her happy, and lets her go solo. She feels it, because she knows he’s letting go his biggest dream of fame giving to give more importance to what truly matters: making the other happy. And he does it because it is what she needed to be happy in that moment, and he is happy she found herself.
Mind me, by no means I want to say that must give up your dreams for someone else. What I am saying is that its is good to have the ability to prioritize the other when most needed, and try another time. And the other will be probably be there to support you, if they understand your effort. That is what love is, in my opinion. It is being able to put your needs temporarily aside when the other one needs you, and to be happy about the other happiness, even if it means that your happiness is put in the background. And also love is freedom, it is letting the other go solo when they need it, because some things need to be dealt with alone.
So, do yourself a favour and watch this movie, because I believe it is more than just a fun one. There is a lot more to it than what I described in this post, including the Russian participant which is another great character which raises issues around the strict policies that this country have towards homosexuality. And anyway the songs are just hilarious and designed to give the spectator a laugh.
Links to the songs
Double Trouble https://youtu.be/7j9hseLiAys
Husavik (My hometown) https://youtu.be/qjuphuG3ndw
Husavik (my hometown) acoustic version https://youtu.be/21c3duHlFAc by My Marianne, the singer who dubs the actress in the movie when she signs