So as many if you will probably know, Eurovision just finished a bout a week ago with Italy taking the win. There were some great performances like the ones from the Ukraine and Iceland and some that you wonder how they got to the finals in the first place. And as always, the UK got zero points. But the outcome of Eurovision isn’t what I want to talk about today, no, instead I’d like to look at the songs themselves.
You see I ended up having to miss the show itself so I’ve been watching a lot of compilations of the best performances and the official videos of these songs as well and in the comments I’ve been seeing a bit of a pattern. Now I understand that comments aren’t the most reliable to base an idea on but they still got me thinking. I noticed that on a lot of the videos where the singer is either using their native language or showing their countries culture through the song that many of the comments would mention that “this is what Eurovision is supposed to be about, showing the culture of your country, not some Americanized pop song.” The song from the Ukraine being the main culprit of this.
Now I’m not going to go into whether this mindset is good or not since that’s a whole other discussion on it’s own, but I’d like to talk about the evolution of this contest and how it shows the westernization of the world after WWII. The first Eurovision was in 1956 and when listening to the songs from that year you can see how all the songs were in their native language and in a more sophisticated and less popular style. But as the years have gone on and the western influence has grown more and more of the songs were in the style of the American pop songs that were popular.
This idea of Americanization was something that was very prominent in the 1950’s in Canada where trends and entertainment would come from the US as it was seen as the centre of western civilization. And as the years have moved on and technology allowing people to connect with each other easier the spread of American influence has grown as well as we can see in these recent song for Eurovision.