"on the official #Eurovision app, you can hear all of tonight's songs as many times as you want!" I already have.OK, no one expects the songs in the Eurovision Song Contest to be heavyweight musical masterpieces oozing with integrity and artistic merit. The contest has long been a showcase for Europe's lowest-common-denominator bubblegum pop music and questionable fashion choices.
— Kit Marsden (@manek43509) May 10, 2014
That being said, even in the world of expendable cheesy pop, there are still good and bad examples of songwriting. Unfortunately, Eurovision more often seems to give an unreasonably large platform to the latter.
My impression during the live television show last night was of an endless parade of unremarkable, instantly forgettable tunes - but it is only the day after that one realises how disposable so many of these Eurovision entries actually are.
If nothing else, pop music of this sort can at least boast irritatingly catchy chorus hooks with simple lyrics and melodies which get stuck going 'round and 'round your head, whether you want them to or not - well, usually, anyway! However, looking back over the events of the previous night, or twenty-six songs which were performed, I can remember only a handful of them.
Interestingly, I remember the chorus to the Greek song 'Rise Up' (which also featured performers on trampolines), which came nowhere in the voting process. I remember some parts of the Dutch song - which came second, but which I actually thought should've won. (Even more remarkably, I actually have one mutual friend with the Netherlands' singer on Facebook.) And I was pleased to discover that I remembered the chorus of the British entry too - despite its being rather short on words!
As for the winner - Austria's bearded lady, Conchita Wurst - only one line from the song (the crabwise sequential run into the chorus) has stuck in my mind, despite having heard it twice. As Rod Liddle notes in The Spectator, while Conchita Wurst can certainly sing, and the Austrian song was by no means bad, it was not the best song of the evening - its extraordinarily high tally of points can be ascribed in no small part to its novelty factor.
However, rack my brains as I might, that is all of last night's musical content which I can recall. Sure, I remember plenty of the acts' gimmicks - the Romanians' circular piano; the erotic Polish milk-churning; the Swiss whistling (Swisstling?); the Spanish singer looking like she'd just got out of the shower - but none of their actual songs.
While this slapdash approach to songwriting can work in the surreal crucible of the Eurovision Song Contest, in the real world such tracks would, in all likelihood, sink without trace. Could it be that it's not actually as easy to write a catchy pop hit as so many people seem to think it is?