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Tomorrow night’s the night: The Eurovision song contest.

As you probably know, there’s a new rule, introduced a couple years ago, that all countries are allowed to translate their songs into English for the international contest.

In fact, I have a hunch that the Danish entry, “Show me who you are”, was originally written in English, and only then retrofitted into Danish, not the other way around.

Why? Look at the lyrics. The Danish version says “Du er her, og du er ej” (you are here, and you are not). “Ej” is a very quaint variant of “not”, never used in normal speech. It’s something you use in lyrics when you have no other way of making your sentence work. By contrast, the English version says “But your mind goes running free”. Much easier on the tongue.

The chorus is even worse:

Vis mig hvem du er
Sig mig hvad du tror
Lad mig komme nær
ej på sidespor
Show me who you are
Tell me what you think
Let me get close
Not on sidetrack

Again, the nasty “ej” pops up. This time in the chorus. If you find yourself using “ej” in a chorus, you know you’re in trouble. Or you just don’t care. Constrast again with the English version:

Tell me who you are
Show me what to do
Let me be the one
That you hold onto

Again, this makes much more sense and sounds a lot better.

It’s interesting how the new rule actually lowers the quality of the songs in Danish. Not that I care. As you know, I think we might as well switch to English for everything right away :-)



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