Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2023 Part 35 – Switzerland

Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Remo Forrer Switzerland Copyright: SRF/Lukas Maeder

Watergun by Remo Forrer.

Eurovision may officially be an apolitical beast, but the reality of world events inevitably finds its way to the stage. Just as the dissolution of Communist Europe and the optimism of greater unity peppered the Contest at the start of the 90s so the spectre of war makes its presence felt today.

Remo illustrates this in his anti-war ballad. It evokes the futility of war as reflected through the eyes of men who as boys played with toy guns but who now find themselves unwillingly on the front line. The poignant reference to having become body bags suggests the perspective is the dying reflection of a fallen soldier.

I’ve heard some suggestion that this might be in poor taste when young Ukrainian (and Russian) men are having to fight to the real death in a manufactured and brutal war within the Contest’s geographical footprint. I have to disagree: I find this achingly moving and I think Remo’s intention is absolutely sincere.

This needs to stand out. In an idiosyncrasy of the running order, it’s following another anti-war song, the bombastic Croatian entry. After that has lampooned war-mongering dictators Remo offers a moment of quieter reflection. That contrast may be the undoing, or the making, of his chances to get to the Saturday night.

My marks: 8 points