TIME-WARP TUESDAY (on a Wednesday…oops) | A sinfully successful Hungarian debut

Where Dublin, Ireland
When 1994
Who Friderika Bayer
What Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet?

The reasons I’ve plucked this song out of thin air for today’s Time-Warp are threefold. Firstly, Hungarian is one of my favourite musical languages (the fact that I barely understand a word of it makes it so cool and mysterious). Secondly, Hungary have thrown some great entries at us since they made their 2011 Eurovision comeback (Kedvesem is now one of my most beloved of all time) and they were responsible for a few gems prior to that too – something I wanted to celebrate. Thirdly, the country’s 1994 debut entry was both in Hungarian AND one of those pre-comeback diamonds, so I’m pretty keen to discuss it. Let’s!

Friderika Bayer was twenty-three when she stepped up to her microphone in Dublin’s Point Theatre (I’m currently the same age, so I feel very inadequate as someone yet to represent any country at Eurovision). She had more responsibility than most of the other competitors on her young shoulders, because, like Poland’s Edyta Gorniak, she was about to be the first singer from her country to appear at the contest. That carries a certain amount of weight.

Fortunately, both Edyta and Friderika debuted in style, finishing 2nd and 4th respectively. Hungary even led the voting before dropping down to that still-successful placing, and I don’t find it hard to understand why – Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet? (‘To Whom Can I Tell My Sins?’) is a stunning song that was accompanied by a beautifully simple and sincere performance. You can draw a few parallels between this entry and Boggie’s Wars For Nothing, despite the 20+ year time difference – both are guitar-backed, down-tempo and sentimental songs performed by vocally proficient brunettes. But Kinek… is the superior song as far as my ears and tastes are concerned. For one thing, it doesn’t send me to sleep. There’s something about the melody and the clarity-tinged-with-vulnerability sound of Friderika’s voice that draws me in, and makes me feel ALL THA FEELS.

Lyrically (yes, this non-Hungarian speaker has Googled the translation multiple times) you won’t find any pleas for peace or cheesy clichés here. Take, for example, the content of the first verse and the chorus:

Nothing is there, only the lightless night
Only the tongue-tied distress, a vain hope
No faith, no love
No one to stroke my hand

Whom can I tell my sins
To be sure that they are forgiven?
Whom can I tell my sins, my God?

Sigh.

This entry is proof that a song doesn’t have to be a) busy, layered, loud and freaking full of lyrics, or b) staged like it’s one’s last chance to use a wind machine, incorporate a costume reveal and do the Moonwalk whilst mowing the lawn and baking a batch of piskóta (so basically, Amanecer) to have an impact. The entire 1994 contest, in fact, was testament to that, with a bunch of top-scoring songs being of the subtle, slow and simple variety – including Ireland’s winner. Some say interval act Riverdance stole the show, but if you look and listen a little closer, that’s not necessarily the case (depending on your attitude towards frenetic Irish dancing).

To sum up, I love this song – and judging by the applause when Friderika was finished, the audience did too. How about you?

 

nsig

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on July 22, 2015, in Time-Warp Tuesdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Bonjour Jaz,

    this really is a beautiful song! I love it, too!

    As much as I like the “Rampensau” performances in the Eurovision every year, I always have a soft spot for the silent moments on stage, too, especially when the songs are sung in their original language!

    It’s still unbelievable to me to see how much the Eurovision has changed over the last 20 years. If we compare the 1994 edition to the 2015, it seems like another universe to me.

    But still – as I’m so old-fashioned – I love these old Eurovision days, where everything was done live with the orchestra and needed to be sung in its original language and focussed on the songs.
    I don’t think that the all-English-entries are always an improvement, IMO!
    And it’s a big disadvantage for Ireland and the UK as they both never won again since this change of rules.

    Concerning the 1994 Eurovision one can say it was mainly a silent, ballad-focused edition that year, wasn’t it?! Except for we were “Having a party” in Germany ;-)!

    And as much as I (still) like the “Rock’n’Roll kids” (I guess I was the only German who bought this CD ;-), #TeamCD, too), I was a freakin’ fool for Edyta Górniak and her outstanding performance that night.

    When it comes up to Hungarian entries, I would say we had “light and shadow”. But I agree that since their return in 2011 they did a pretty good job in choosing their songs and artists for the ESC (Boggie’s “Wars for nothing” not included!).

    Finally, my Top 5 Hungarian entries of them all:

    5. Friderika Bayer (1994): what I like about her performace is that it was so reduced to the song without any further ado, just Friderika and her song (plus the guitarist). For this song-centred perfomance there was no wind-machine needed ;)!

    4. NOX (2005): the performance of “Forogj, világ” was an extraordinary and outstanding one!

    3. Compact Disco (2012): I love this song for more than one reason, and CD gave me my favorite video clip of the class of 2012!

    2. András Kállay-Saunders (2014): that was a brilliant live performance by András! And the song also stood out by its lyrics, different from all the usual “love, peace and harmony” contents (Russia normally sends) we normally hear on stage.

    1. Kati Wolf (2011): “What about my dreams?” was one of my favorites in 2011. But after I have heard her vocal performance live in the Düsseldorf Arena, all my dreams of a Top 5/Top 10 placement were shattered, unfortunately! But I still love the studio version of it, and recently put it on my latest iTunes playlist called “Eurovision girls”. She definitely would have deserved this second chance this year!

    Thank you for this fine retro time-warp and see/read you soon!

    Until next time …

    Wolfgang

    P.S. Knew it, knew it, knew it (what comes next to this blog). You are welcome to sing along on the “Did it, did it, did it” extract from “Bedroom” by Alvaro Estrella ;-)!

    Like

    • I loved the party Germany had in 1994, so danke for that!

      Eurovision that year really is a world away from the show we know today. Even looking back on the early 2000s editions (which I do on a far-too-regular basis) can be a shock to a system now so accustomed to absolutely massive, state-of-the-art LED stages, and non-questionable style choices (Trijntje Oosterhuis the exception there). I think I’d miss the fanciness if it wasn’t there – but I totally agree that the dominance of English these days is depressing. I’m actually scared that within the next five years, there’ll be a contest in which not one song is in a language other than English 😥 There’s a few countries you can seemingly rely on to stick with their native tongue to some degree (France, Italy, Montenegro etc) but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed.

      I enjoyed the revelation of your all-time Hungarian top 5, so I’ll return the favour if you don’t mind. First though, feedback.

      #5. Obviously, I agree! Definitely no wind-machine needed for Friderika to blow us all away 😉
      #4. YESYESYES. One of my favourites of 2005. I still want to learn the choreography.
      #3. I like this one too. It wasn’t hugely popular, but I think it was a cool choice.
      #2. Perfection. And a pretty brave choice that paid off.
      #1. Ooh…so Kati didn’t sound so good from inside the arena? Interesting…I wasn’t a huge fan of WAMD back in 2011 (when it was being discussed as a possible winner). I preferred the Hungarian version, but even then, I was kind of indifferent. I do like it more now though. Especially in studio, when one doesn’t have to look at her poodle hair and the boudoir curtain she was wearing as a dress.

      My own spur-of-the-moment Hungarian top 5 would look a little like this:

      #1. Kedvesem (2013) – I fell in love with this on my very first listen, and if I could marry it, I would.
      #2. Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet (1994) – Need I say more??
      #3. Miért Kell, Hogy Elmenj? (1997) – I know I shouldn’t get a kick out of this, but it’s a 90s boyband dream and that is right up my street.
      #4. Running (2014) – As I said above, flawless, and so contemporary. Eurovision songs can have grit and still work.
      #5. Forogj, Világ! (2005) – Awesome. I miss this kind of ethnopop making up, like, a third of any given contest’s entries.

      PS – Episode 1 of the Stockholm Suggestion Box IS coming…slowly. Up by the end of the week. Hopefully XD

      Like

  2. Ali Nella Houd

    Thanks, Jaz, for reminding us of KMEV, a true gem.

    But hey, will you guys stop picking on Boggie!?

    I think we will find, given time, that WFN will go down as a classic ESC ‘simple ballad’, à la Eres Tu, Un Jour Un Enfant, Birds (another poked out tongue to Anouk’s detractors), and, yes, Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet.

    For my money, Hungary certainly is up there as one of the countries that most consistently ‘produces the goods’ at ESC.

    Hey, that could be a good EBJ post/poll:

    If you were going to be forced to listen to the full ESC repertoire (all broadcast songs from the semis and finals) of just ONE country on random play, with no skipping, for a very long period (e.g. for a drive across the Nullabor) which country would that be? Bear in mind you’d be forced to listen to ALL the songs, not just the ones you like.

    I will ponder what my response would be and get back to you.

    Bye(Alex) for now.

    😉

    Ali

    Like

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t think we’ll ever stop picking on Boggie. I HAVE to, just a little bit. The fact is that WFN does a better job of sending me on a one-way trip to Snoozetown USA than any prescription medication would do. I’m not saying I think it’s a terrible song, but it sure is sleepy. And, since I stalked the comments section on Wiwi Bloggs’ misheard lyrics post, I can no longer hear anything in the chorus but ‘Do you know how many penises are hiding from punishment?’, meaning I can NEVER AGAIN take Hungary 2015 seriously.

      To appease you, however, I will say that I love this idea of choosing a single country’s ESC archives to listen to back-to-back (if you were forced to…or in many a Eurovision fan’s case, if it’s a day of the week ending in ‘Y’). May have to turn that into a post in the near future, and give credit where it’s due. Part of me would want to pick Serbia and Montenegro, but the entire two-song repertoire would hardly take me to the end of my street, let alone across the Nullarbor.

      I’m keen to hear your response, so while I’m waiting I’ll ponder my own final decision…

      Bye(Alex) back atcha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali Nella Houd

    [Cut to consulting room in Vienna]

    Dr Freud:

    “Zooo, Yessmin, mein Kind. Tell me, veye do you sink you are now schtalking ze Boggie-‘hidink-penises’ entriess in ze posts on ze Vee-Vee-blokks? Und veye are zees ‘penises’ hidink from ze punishment??”

    Jaz [on couch]:

    “Well, you know, our world — it’s a mess …”

    [To be continued … ]

    ***********************************************************************************************************

    Ok, I’ve been really slack, and haven’t worked out my “Back-to-back Nullabor-Soundtrak” country yet. Actually, IT’S REALLY HARD. Me and my big mouth.

    But at least I have managed to haphazardly eliminate a few (even though it’s been painful, because I dearly love many — and in Morocco’s case, ALL — of these countries entries).

    So, the following are OUT (unless I change my mind):

    Andorra
    Austria
    Belgium
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Ireland
    Moldova
    Monaco
    Morocco
    Netherlands
    Poland
    Portugal
    Russia
    San Marino
    Spain

    It requires a certain ruthlessness. So what’s that, about 40-odd more to go? … Gawd, it might actually take an entire Nullabor trip to work this out! …

    😦

    Like

    • You know I would be blaming you for my need for Freudian therapy! It has nothing to do with my fascination with reading the Wiwibloggs comment sections, even though they enrage me on a regular basis (though not the ones concerning genitalia).

      Morocco does have a stellar ESC back catalogue, don’t it?

      Ruthlessness will be key in this quest of yours (and mine), and as I have enough trouble picking and choosing top 10s, picking a top 1 out of 40+ options may put me into further, yet non-penis related therapy. There are a couple of countries on your OUT list that I am yet to toss in the trash myself, but I won’t tell you which ones for fear of exclamations like ‘Your musical taste is an abomination on humankind!’ and/or ‘Well, there goes the idea of a joint Nullabor road trip.’

      Lycka till dig!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ali Nella Houd

    Ok, I’m just going to release a trial balloon and see if it floats …

    Turkey.

    I’m not saying that’s my answer, I’m just putting it out there, and saying I tend to like — and often LOVE — their stuff (EXCEPT their last effort, which I find really, really annoying).

    So, until I can think of a better (more final) answer … Take me back to Constantinople.

    PS: BTW, that’s an inspired idea for the PG-rated edition of EBJ:

    “Top 10 genitalia-related ESC songs.”

    E.g. Lithuania 2006 (“We are the wieners of Eurovision”), etc., etc., etc.

    (=oP

    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, I may have to draw the line at a solely genitalia-oriented post on this ESC blog…but I appreciate the thought you put into the suggestion (and Wolfgang seconding the motion as a good idea!). I take your ‘We are the wieners’ and raise you a…um…well, I’ll get back to you on that.

      So, (possibly) Turkey, eh? I have one thing to say to that:

      NA NANNI NANNI NANNI NAAAAAA!!!

      Can’t agree with you on finding that annoying, although at the same time, I understand. That last entry of theirs was everything I could have wanted in a Turkish entry. I guess I’d call it a Turkish delight.

      If it wasn’t for the always creepy ‘Sing with me, my children’ lyric, of course.

      I will await your final decision while STILL debating mine. It’s fine, I’m down to just about twenty countries at the moment. It’s a hoot, really.

      Like

  5. I don’t want to disturb your little “genitalia” conversation, but I’ve got a “little lame word play” for Ali in return, that fits in here and goes something like this:

    Ahem …: In the summertime I always like to travel ‘gen Italia’! 😉

    BTW, what a magnificent idea to have a “Top 10 genitalia-related ESC songs” post on EBJ!
    I would have so many suggestions for that, since there are quite a few song titles that always give me some kind of “Kopfkino” (we say!). As a hint: the UK’s Eurovision back catalogue nearly has it all ;-).
    But unless they are all PG-rated, I’d better leave them in my mind ;)!

    And finally: I love your “Jäzchen” – the Umlaut-a combined with the little “chen” ending is sooo cute und so very “German-ish”. We always put a “chen” after almost everything to make it tiny and little. Can I steal that from you, just for the, let’s say, next 6 to 8 comments, please? Loved that idea! Why didn’t you do that with my name ;-)? I’m jealous now ;).

    Have a good day and

    viele Grüße aus Deutschland,

    Wolfgang

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ali Nella Houd

    Mein liebes Wölflein,

    “Jäzchen” is all yours. Ich schenke es Dir! I’m happy to stick to the (inexhaustible supply of) Aussie diminiutives.

    Also, du fährst gen Italia?
    Via Graz, vielleicht? … Haha.
    (Think about it.)

    (=o.

    Liked by 1 person

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