Yesterday I presented one of my songs to the 2013 Eurovision song contest… a lively little tune which I wrote when I was just a kid over 20 years ago. I never played it in public and promptly forgot about it. Well a few months ago I rescued it and I began re-writing the lyrics again. What makes the song particularly interesting is actually the lyrics; not because they’re specially pretty, but because they’re in two languages simultaneously.
- I’m a boy and you’re a lass,
- you’re a lucky star for me,
- just sayn’ you’ll understand,
- they say I’m in ecstasy.
But if your mother tongue is Spanish, this may be what you hear:
- Ana, voy a añorarlas,
- llora la que está por mí,
- ella señalando está,
- deseame en éxtasis.
The pronunciation isn’t exactly the same when you read it out loud, but thanks to the magic of music and rhythm (which affects the stress and accent of the pronunciation) the two “versions” sound very very similar. While I was doing background research on the idea I realised this hadn’t actually been done before; there is a concept called Mondegreen which is when you misinterpret a word or phrase of a song, but it’s not the same thing. There’s also a concept called homophonic transformation which is when you translate the sounds (not the contents) of a poem from one language to another.
This is what the lyrics mean in Spanish:
- Ana, I’m going to miss them,
- the one who desires me is crying,
- she’s pointing the finger,
- desire me in ecstacy.
I’m really looking forward to finding out if I pass the first filter, although I am realistic. Better to have tried and failed than to not try, no? Let’s see if they like it in Armenia.
They didn’t… but it was nice to see that the song they chose came in a miserable 18th place with only 41 points.