Monty’s Eurovision Countdown Part 36 – Ukraine

As Russia’s war against Ukraine drags on into a third year it’s perhaps unsurprising that its influence is felt less in terms of voting sympathies. The shadow of war feels as strong as ever in their Eurovision selection. The conflict isn’t blatant here but the theme of humans being able to draw the strength of saints has a clear line to the superhuman stamina Ukrainian citizens are still being forced to conjure up.

Alyona Alyona, one of the country’s biggest rap stars teams up with Jerry Heil, an artist whose impressive growth has been chronicled through three Vidbir attempts, ultimately successful this year. They make an unlikely pairing but one that packs a heck of a punch.

The Teresa and Maria of the title aren’t just as random a pairing as Alyona and Jerry might first appear. They’re Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary. The choice, seemingly made unaware of some of the criticisms levelled against the former, is because they are women whose lives began humble but through whose deeds were posthumously elevated to sainthood by the Catholic Church. The message feels less religious, and more allegorically aligned with the stoic efforts of everyday Ukrainians, particular her women.

Musically this is a combination of a killer hook with a rap section describing the struggle and urging their fellow countrywomen onward, through the seeming futility of it all.

12 PointsThe rap section won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I adore this. I love the contrast of styles, and the strength the song wills. I only wish the sublime sung section was longer, I want to savour its delights, but it feels over all too soon. Unlike this cruellest of wars.

 

Photo: EBU

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