Ukrainian singer Jamala wins Eurovision competition angering Russia (with partly Turkish lyrics)

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Eurovision-Winner-Ukraine-001

Jamala of Ukraine on Sunday won the immensely popular Eurovision Song Contest with a somber, controversial tune that evokes Moscow’s deportation of members of her Crimean ethnic group during World War II.


She sang “1944”, a song about the deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union on orders of Josef Stalin. Her performance also was considered a strong rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2014 military push into Ukraine, according to European media reports. Russia annexed Crimea.

Russian state media this week called the song anti-Russian; Moscow said it violated Eurovision rules.

Contest officials ruled the song didn’t breach rules preventing “lyrics, speeches or gestures of a political or similar nature.”

Ukraine missed the competition last year because of its financial crisis, according to British media.

Ukraine’s Jamala wins Eurovision competition

Jamala – 1944 (Ukraine) at the Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision Song Contest 2016 – Winner’s Press Conference

 

Lyrics of the song:

-1944-

When strangers are coming,
They come to your house
They kill you all and say
We’re not guilty, not guilty

Where is your mind, humanity cries
You think you are gods, but everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul, our souls

Gençliğime doyamadım
Ben bu yerde yaşamadım
Gençliğime doyamadım
Ben bu yerde yaşamadım

We could build a future,
Where people are free to live and love,
The happiest time our time

Where is your heart, humanity rise.
You think you are gods, ha, but everyone dies.
Don’t swallow my soul, our souls

Gençliğime doyamadım
Ben bu yerde yaşamadım
Aman, aman, aman…
Gençliğime doyamadım
Ben bu yerde yaşamadım
Gençliğime doyamadım
Ben bu yerde yaşamadım
Vatanıma doyamadım

Eurovision-Winner-Ukraine-001a

Inspiration

Jamala, whose full name is Susana Jamaladynova, told Ukraine Today in February that she wrote the song because she was inspired by a story her great-grandmother told her about the deportation of her family and others in Crimea.

“I would prefer that all these terrible things did not happen to my great-grandmother, and I would even prefer if this song did not exist,” the tearful competitor told reporters after the competition.

Stalin accused the Tatars of collaborating with the Germans during World War II, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Jamala said that the composition is about all people who are victims of past tragedies. She prepared for the contest by listening to the soundtrack from the Holocaust movie “Schindler’s List.” Jamala said she hopes her song will have the same power as the movie’s music.

Jamala: So much sadness

Jamala told the UK’s Guardian newspaper this week in a phone interview that she had not been home since Moscow’s intervention.

“Of course, it’s about 2014 as well,” she told the newspaper. “These two years have added so much sadness to my life.”

“I really want peace and love to everyone,” Jamala said as she accepted the winner’s trophy. Later, at the news conference, she said: “I was sure that if you sing, if you talk about truth, it can really touch people. And I was right.”

Tributes for the singer’s gutsy performance came flooding in. Justin Timberlake, who performed as a non-competitor at the event, tweeted “#CantStopTheFeeling #Eurovision. Congrats @jamala #Ukraine!!”

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” is Timberlake’s latest song, which he debuted at the competition.

European institution

Eurovision is the longest-running international TV song contest. It was held this year in Stockholm, Sweden, after Mans Zelmerlow, a 29-year-old from the Swedish capital, won the 2015 competition. Since its first broadcast in 1956, Eurivision has been known its unique blend of ballads and big hair, politics, patriotism and Europop.

It’s one of the longest-running TV shows in the world — and with estimated annual audiences of 180 million, according to broadcaster the European Broadcasting Union, arguably one of the best loved.

Past winners included Lordi, a Finnish metal band dressed as Orcs and Conchita Wurst, a glamorous bearded lady from Austria.

Russia’s Sergey Lazarev finished third.

Eurovision and ‘Brexit’: Secret message in UK song?

Next year’s contest will be held in Ukraine, thanks to Jamala’s victory.

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