Not a Eurovision Blog, But . . .
(. . . I've still got stuff to say!)
What were you doing back in 2006, when Greece gave us that semi-final opening? I was just about to start my first year of teaching high school English, with Greek mythology on the syllabus. And if I had cared at all about Eurovision then, you can bet my students would have got an earful.
The best thing about knowing Greek mythology is being able to divide the world up among the gods in the pantheon. I don't mean just the obvious stuff, like Hera ruling marriage and Athena ruling crafts. Twelve different things in a single category could "belong" to different deities. Give me a few minutes on my favourite crafters' Web site and I'll show you twelve kinds of knitting projects, one for each Olympian. And give Greece a few million Euros on credit (Forgive me . . .) and they'll show you which famous Eurovision song best represents each of them as well. So, how many can you identify?
Answer key after the jump!
Zeus -- Nel Blu Dipinto in Blu (Italia, 1958)
Poseidon -- L'Amour Est Bleu (Luxembourg, 1967)
Hermes -- Save Your Kisses for Me (UK, 1976)
Athena -- Making Your Mind Up (UK, 1981)
Hephaestus -- A-bah-nee-bee (Israel, 1978)
Ares -- Dschinghis Khan (Deutschland, 1979)
Aphrodite -- Viva La Diva (Israel, 1998)
Hera -- Waterloo (Sverige, 1974)
Artemis -- Wild Dances (Ukrayina, 2004)
Finale -- My Number One (Hellas, 2005) and Love Shine a Light (UK, 1997)
I get the rationale behind most of these choices. But for the others, I'd like to know what the organisers were thinking. For instance, what does the god of craftsmanship have to do with A-bah-nee-bee, which means "I love you" in . . . can we borrow the "Pig" from Pig Latin here or would that be too offensive . . . oh, wait . . . never mind . . . I get the crafty Hephaestus connection now. =P
But I still need someone to explain to me what Hera has to do with big jars. Thanks in advance!
Then there is the question of why Greece didn't go all the way. There are more than just eight Olympians--and we get my personal "lucky" number when we recall the one who is never counted because he lives in the Underworld. And we should recall him, because one look at the winner that year shows us that he got his revenge. ;-)
On the other hand, it is sobering to realise which god has been getting shortchanged for decades, especially when it is he who is the proper ruler of the entire Eurovision Song Competition.
Long, long before the ESC was anything more than a twinkle in its founders' eyes, there was another music competition held on Mount Timolus. The two competitors were Apollo, god of music, and Pan, god of the wilds; and the judge was Timolus himself. And because the Greeks knew what was what when it comes to art and beauty, Timolus declared Apollo and his lyre superior to Pan and his pipes . . . and the dissenting Midas (yes, that Midas!) was punished with ass's ears. And I can't think of a better myth to remember in this golden age of music competitions.
Apollo, if you're reading . . . and listening . . . here is your Eurovision song . . .