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Old 05-20-2006, 04:38 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
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Silmaril Orcs and Elves compete in Song Contest

Did some of the European members watch the Eurovision Song Contest this evening? I had read preview reports about the various groups, and one that was frequently shown on pictures was the Finnish heavy metal group Lordi. Visually, it sticks out from the rest; my reaction was spontaneous - they look like orcs!


Well, our earth isn't Middle-earth - guess who won?! There's no accounting for tastes, and their song entry for Finland, "Hard Rock Hallelujah", took first place by popular telephone voting all over Europe. And the German commentator who hosted the post-contest show on TV said exactly what I had thought - "Orcs won the Eurovision Song Contest!"

The Norwegian entry had Elves - not costumed as such, just some pretty girls singing and playing Hardanger fiddles (which reminded me of some of Howard Shore's LotR film music). But their song was titled "Alvedansen", which means something like "Elves dancing". Alas, the Elves did not manage to collect very many points...

Isn't it interesting that both of these countries are Scandinavian? It's obvious that the legends that formed the background for Tolkien's works are still active in Nordic regions!
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:49 AM   #2
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I was very happy for our Finnish Downer contingent last night...despite having been in the contest almost from the beginning, Finland have never been given douze pointes before, let alone won.
The Orcs were very funny, (definitely Uruk-hai rather than Misty Mountain goblin) although I do find metal a rather boring music form.
Alvedansen does indeed mean Elf Dance, it was rather a sweet song I thought.

But it's true that if you did a Venn diagram involving heavy (death/black/thrash/whatever) metal, Tolkien and Scandinavia, there would be a rather big subset in the middle....
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:00 AM   #3
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Oh, lordi! Indeed, Esty, there's no accounting for taste. There's orcs everywhere these days.

I will do some web searching to see if I can catch a few songs of those groups just to see what you are talking about. Seems like some Icelandic elves (Sigur Ros) would have made a welcome addition!
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:36 AM   #5
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I only caught the end, so I only caught the winners performing their reprise.

Great costumes. Terrible, hackneyed 80s-style metal song.

If that is sufficient to win Eurovision, I dread to think what the other entries were like ...

Bring back Abba ...
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:52 AM   #6
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Bring back Abba ...
Or John Shuttleworth and Europigeon..... I only saw clips on News 24 but I can't help thinking that the Orcs were more wholesome than the UK entry....
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:30 PM   #7
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Or John Shuttleworth and Europigeon..... I only saw clips on News 24 but I can't help thinking that the Orcs were more wholesome than the UK entry....
If only...John Shuttleworth's lyrics wouldn't be one bit out of place on Eurovision - "You're like Manchester, you've got Strangeways..." And at least he's performed in 'Iceland' on his 500 Bus Stops tour, so he's already very Europe-friendly.

Personally, I thought the most Orcish entry was the British one, which was so cringeworthy I couldn't bring myself to watch; at least 80's hair metal has the necessary Eurovision kitsch factor, so I was quite pleased an act like that won it.
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:44 PM   #8
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Orhis alter ego could resurrect "jilted John" - altogether now..."Gordon is a moron"

Well for the actual UK entry it was more the impression given by my albeit cursory glance that it was an aging creep surrounding by schoolgirls. Either the residual teacher instinct is fine tuned to "child protection issues" or I am getting very middle aged and stuffy.

To get relatively back on topic it did remind me of Terry Pratchett's Soul Music - I am sure that Imp y Celyn had a troll in his band ..

ZZTop have got to be dwarves ..... and I think Morten Harket could have passed for an elf in his younger days - that Scandanavian thing again
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:52 PM   #9
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:06 PM   #10
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And look pointy ears!!!
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:14 PM   #11
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The Eye Sauron approves of ye band.

Is it Middle Earth Idol gone wild?

My reaction last night was "Wow, all that's missing is a giant flaming eye in the background". Or some guy dressed as Saruman coming on stage and saying to the lead singer, "Whom do you serve?"

Although, I'll bet if you watch them live, you might see their manager:



And the elf dancing! Oh, I can say no more as I only saw clips of them on the news.

Next year, watch out for Gothmog and the Balrogs singing their hit single "Burning burning, burning!"
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:26 PM   #12
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When I first saw a picture of the Orc fellas I thought it was GWAR, who do have a Tolkien inspired song. But I mean this whole heartedly, listen to them at your peril. They are not pleasant.

I'm quite amused at the prospect of Scandinavian countries being inspired in future to maybe put some of their black or death metal bands forward for Eurovision.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:59 PM   #13
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Wow. The elves must have really lost their musical touch to get beaten by orcs.
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:06 PM   #14
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Wow. The elves must have really lost their musical touch to get beaten by orcs.
Not necessarily - the one thing that's certain about the Eurovision Song Contest is that quality is not necessary for winning. The best entries did not place well...
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:31 PM   #15
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Oh now, we all know Eurovision isn't about the songs. Or do none of you hear Terry Wogan's commentary

The Elves were ok, the song was pretty but it got dull fast. Whereas the Orcs kept you amused at least!
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:34 PM   #16
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I can't say that I like the kind of music Lordi plays - or their particular way of doing it. But if one looks at the history of the Eurovision song contest, especially the last 10-20 years, that surely was refreshing!

I guess most of the votes for Lordi came from people who normally don't bother to vote for the contest because it's all so trimmed and clean "Euro-pop" that no-one with any real interest in music will ever consent to even listen...


But this Scandinavia - Tolkien - Monster-Heavy / Elven folkmusic -thing I think is an obvious one. I at least - as a Scandinavian - can see the connection pretty well. I couldn't see these kinds of things coming out from Guatemala or Myanmar (or Monaco, France or Austria).

With this I think it quite understandable, why Tolkien's books are so highly appreciated in the Scandinavian countries (they are appreciated elsewhere too, surely ). After all, he picked a lot from our lore & languages to build up his world.

And I can't see the pick being a random-one, when the Finninsh band Värttinä was called up to make the music to the Toronto-musical. There are the same stories, the same sentiments I think Tolkien himself was after. (And I'm not trying say this is exclusively Scandinavian - but still something very essential to it)
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Personally, I thought the most Orcish entry was the British one, which was so cringeworthy I couldn't bring myself to watch; at least 80's hair metal has the necessary Eurovision kitsch factor, so I was quite pleased an act like that won it.
It always surprises me that for a country that can produce such great artists and bands we always end up with such dreadful Eurovision entries. But it's Eurovision I suppose so quality is most definately not assured.

I didn't hear the British entry but it sounded pretty dreadful from the reports. Still, at least they picked up a few points, which is progress. Remember the duo that couldn't even sing in tune ...

Did the Elvish entry "tra-la-lally"? That could explain why they didn't do so well ...
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:37 PM   #18
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Did the Elvish entry "tra-la-lally"? That could explain why they didn't do so well ...
See the link in my post (no 4) to watch any of the entries.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:09 AM   #19
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Go Lordi!

Well, I'm just glad that Finland won though the song was horrible. Like most of the others.

But the norwegian song, I don't know if the words were anything Elvish... I could see from the subtitles that they were mostly like: "Come on, admit it, you want me, I smell so good..." And I'm not sure if that's very elf-like...
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith
I was very happy for our Finnish Downer contingent last night...despite having been in the contest almost from the beginning, Finland have never been given douze pointes before, let alone won.
Thanks! You know what they say, 40th time lucky...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
I'm quite amused at the prospect of Scandinavian countries being inspired in future to maybe put some of their black or death metal bands forward for Eurovision.
Well, Nightwish was one candidate for representing us years ago, but they got turned down...


According to the official Eurovision site, Norway's song was "Elve's Dance" in English, but Lommy is right, the lyrics didn't say anything about elves. Still, it's no wonder that they came up with a song title like that since forest spirits, elves and trolls are such a big part of Scandinavian mythology - often combined with the magic of Midsummer's Eve, like in Norway's song, I assume. Lordi, on the other hand, has got his influences mostly from historical/ horror stories. For example, the band's guitarist is supposed to be a mummy from ancient Egypt and Mr. Lordi is a reincarnation of Jenghis Khan and Freddy Krueger. But they do look rather orcish.

Lordi faced quite much criticizing beforehand from accusations of Satanism (the accusations were unfounded, though) to disgracing Finland in the eyes of the Europeans, and as a Swedish newspaper put it, a competition between Beauty and the Beast ended in the latter winning.

I think it's nice that in the middle of basic pop songs some countries have something more traditional or natural to them. Norway's Elves were sweet singing in Norwegian and all, but our Orcs were the alternative option in the contest which was bound to gather at least a few votes from their fans. Even though we don't have such characters in our folklore as in the band Lordi, hard rock/ metal as a music genre is what Finnish bands do best and for once we chose a representative accordingly.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:42 PM   #21
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I had some vague memories of scandal and horror surrounding the black metal scene in Scandinavia (that sentence looked like an exercise in using "sc" as often as possible, didn't it....) and this thread inspired me to remind myself.
Put "black metal" into Wikipedia, the whole story is quite bizarre and quite horrible. There is also the inevitable Tolkien/Orc connection, too...one of the main men of the movement, who burnt down a bunch of stave churches in Norway, called himself "Count Grishnakh"....
Metal is extraordinarily byzantine with all these sub-genres and whatnot. I had no idea, I thought it was just a bunch of sweaty blokes with guitars...
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:08 PM   #22
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It always surprises me that for a country that can produce such great artists and bands we always end up with such dreadful Eurovision entries. But it's Eurovision I suppose so quality is most definately not assured.
I know, Britain ought to be able to win it every year but for some reason the Pop Idol - The Rejects contestants are chosen! The Elven thing reminded me of one of these dance tracks with female vocalists with the house beat removed, to be honest (and, um...not dissimilar to an Irish winner a few years back). Some tra-la-la-lallying would have been an improvement!

My favourite Eurovision entry was the entirely fictitious entry by Father Ted Crilly and Father Dougal Maguire, My Lovely Horse.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancing spawn of ungoliant
as a Swedish newspaper put it, a competition between Beauty and the Beast ended in the latter winning.
And as that Swedish newspaper referred to the fight between Lordi and Carola (from Sweden), one Finnish columnist turned that upsidedown today: it was a competition between the Beauty and the Beast right, but it was the Beauty that won...
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:47 PM   #24
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I checked out the link in davem's post. That was worse than the American Idol preliminaries.

Okay, may not worse, but still....

I like heavy metal, and that was just bad.

And one guy looks more like a klingon than an orc.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #25
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Haha, I actually like the song, for two reasons: 1. I love power metal, and 2. It just makes me giggle imagining orcs rocking out. I always knew Lurtz was a heavy metal god.
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:01 AM   #26
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Actually I have watched the Eurovision contest too, this time. My first thought when I saw the Finnish band was "Orcs! as well!

I think they owe more of the success to their masks and dressing up than to their music. At least the spectators got to see something wholly different!
And there must have been a fair number of fans of such music watching this time, who otherwise don't watch this contest at all. (as Nogrod says in his post.)

My own vote went to the song from Bosnia/Herzegovina, which sounded a bit oriental and sentimental . (it was in the 3rd place, I think)

I hadn't watched the contest for several years now, because there had hardly ever been anything to my taste in the last 20 or more years.
I think back with nostalgia to Udo Jürgens, Vicky Leandros, Dschingis Khan and ABBA (I'm still a fan of ABBA!) The last winner I liked was Nicole with "Ein bisschen Freude" in 82.
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Old 05-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #27
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Well, the orcs are at it again - it's Eurovision night, and last year's winners, Lordi, started off the evening with a fantasy/horror show. Interestingly, I thought the first contestants, Bosnia/Herzegovina, looked very Elvish, though the music didn't sound like it...

We shall see what the evening brings - at any rate, the theme is "fantasy"!
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:23 PM   #28
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Finland lost. (But won Sweden, which is the most important thing (thanks for voting by the way ) The Finnish song was the best, though I had to vote Slovenia. And I just can't emphasis enough how relieved I am that Ukraine didn't win!

EDIT: The British thing was, again, the worst.
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:48 PM   #29
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After missing the hilarious Lordi last year I had to watch it this year and now I feel like suing Eurovision to pay me back for three lost hours of my life. The only saving grace was Apocalyptica and Finnish good taste in the show they put on, but as for the 'music'? Someone wants to go round Europe handing out ears. Some real Orcs were on the loose.

About three acts were entertaining and Germany did something with genuine songwriting merit (though not my personal taste, it was quality stuff) and yet this all got bypassed as Jimmy Krankie won it with some horrific dirge? Even Terry Wogan couldn't lift it out of the mire. I am proud to be a Brit and to have our sub-Carry On Film entry come second bottom.

There I feel better now.
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:09 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë
After missing the hilarious Lordi last year I had to watch it this year and now I feel like suing Eurovision to pay me back for three lost hours of my life.
Well... how many hours we could sue ourselves from wasting?

But I think it's once again the attitude-thing. I know many people here in Finland who organise get-togethers for the Eurovision song contest (I was invited to one also but didn't have the energy today). They make little appetizers from all the countries involved and then eat and drink heavily while watching the show. No one basically likes the music but they have one more reason to party and have fun...

But if it was the orcs (and elves) last year, now many of the songs brought to my mind the Haradrim and the Easterlings. Not that I know how their music might have sounded in the mind of Tolkien but the performances of many East-European countries gave a nice oriental twist to the competition. I myself can even admit actually liking the Bulgarian song.

So a new ME fashion in Europe?
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:12 PM   #31
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Save your time - watch only the entertainment bits put on by the Finnish TV company. Then watch Germany's entry, Bulgaria for oddness, Ukraine and Sweden for laughs. Bin the rest and save yourself three hours, or it will make you wish you'd scrubbed your ears out with a wire brush.
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:26 PM   #32
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Save your time - watch only the entertainment bits put on by the Finnish TV company. Then watch Germany's entry, Bulgaria for oddness, Ukraine and Sweden for laughs.
I do basically agree with this interpretation (and yes I also liked the entertainment bits - just guess how much the Finns were afraid before the show that they would be sooo bad), but there are some interesting things hidden in this whole show. Like the Ukraine entry. It was called Dancing lasha tumbai. It was rumoured that it was meant to be "Dancing Russia bye-bye" (taste the pronounciation in your mouth) and I think I actually heard them singing it that way once during the show. So not only laughs... but politics as well.
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:36 PM   #33
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"Goodbye", not "bye bye".

Again, this competition had nothing to do with music. The neighbouring love effected the most and somewhat the musical styles, though deffinitely not like last year. The point system is pathetic.

But the stuff about Finland between the songs was fantastic!
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:42 PM   #34
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"Goodbye", not "bye bye".
Ahh... you're right. My bad.

But just to steer this a bit more back to Tolkienish waters. I just started wondering why people think the orcs would love heavymetal -music or be associated with it? That surely wouldn't have been the Prof's mental image of their music as there basically was no heavymetal when the orcs were created...

What kind of music the orcs would have listened / danced / fought with? Some Wagner perhaps? Or "tribal music" (just thinking how things would have been named in the twenties/thirties etc.)?

EDIT / PS.
Or would Wagner fit with Gondor better in the Prof's mind?
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:09 PM   #35
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I didn't get to watch it this year. Sucks having no TV.

And Lal, the fact that it's a waste of three hours is entirely the point! You watch it every year in the desperate hope that something will be good, that the countries that neighbour one another won't give only 12 points to the person closest to them, that the person you want to win actually does. And every once in a blue moon those things happen, like last year, and it makes it worth watching again the next year.
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:15 PM   #36
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And every once in a blue moon those things happen, like last year, and it makes it worth watching again the next year.
I think something like it happened also this year. How on Arda did Serbia win the thing??? That was a suprise if anything.

...ok, it didn't turn the whole competition upsidedown, but...
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Old 05-13-2007, 06:52 AM   #37
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Right now the Eurovision loving part of the Danish population is cursing the easterlings to Mordor and people are actually talking about that Denmark should quit Eurovision and things like "eastern european song-mafia" is being uttered.
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Old 05-13-2007, 07:12 AM   #38
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Right now the Eurovision loving part of the Danish population is cursing the easterlings to Mordor and people are actually talking about that Denmark should quit Eurovision and things like "eastern european song-mafia" is being uttered.
I bet that's happening everywhere in the west, at least here it is. But ironically that Ukrainian person is now banned from Russia's stages!
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:19 AM   #39
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Right now the Eurovision loving part of the Danish population is cursing the easterlings to Mordor and people are actually talking about that Denmark should quit Eurovision and things like "eastern european song-mafia" is being uttered.
Same here! It's being nicknamed the Balkanvision Non-Song Contest

And it would be a shame if Western Europe pulled out, as not only would all the funding be lost so it wouldn't be such a good show, but it's a long tradition. I'm so disappointed because although nothing even remotely approaching 'taste' has been heard since Abba, you do at least always expect a genuine song to win. I'm intrigued to know what Germany thinks as they did make an effort, in contrast to the embarrassing (even in Eurovision terms) rubbish churned out by the UK, France and Ireland.

I don't know what this has to do with Tolkien any more except he will be rolling in his grave to have that lot last night even tenuously associated with him and it deserves to be Assigned To Mordor forthwith!
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:07 AM   #40
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Quote:
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I'm intrigued to know what Germany thinks as they did make an effort, in contrast to the embarrassing (even in Eurovision terms) rubbish churned out by the UK, France and Ireland.
I thought Ireland's entry was quite hobbity, actually. Of course, it's completely another question whether Hobbits' taste in music is rubbish ( ), but the lyrics about flowers and blackbirds, and no matter what people might do, they can't stop the spring... it took me right into the Hobbiton. Also, the instruments were mighty similar to Howard Shore's score - even down to the bodhrán.

The theme this year was True Fantasy, and there sure were some songs that fell under that category quite well in my opinion, like Bulgaria's piece (Russia apparently had a fantasy of completely other sorts going on... ), and I kind of liked the Easterling flavour. Anyway, I think it's great deal of the fun that many of the songs are plain hideous, but I was happy for Georgia that was a first timer and did so well.
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