March 1, 2007 8:55 PM   Subscribe

The Eurovision song contest season has just begun, and already there is controversy. The Israeli entrant, the Teapacks' "Push the Button" [warnings: Windows Media video, strange-looking accordian player], has English, French, and Hebrew lyrics that talk about certain "crazy rulers" who are "gonna blow us up to kingdom come" concluding that "I don't wanna die, I wanna see the flowers bloom, don't wanna go kaput-kaboom." These lyrics are apparently too political for Eurovision, which is likely to ban the song.
posted by blahblahblah (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Huh? Eurovision has non-european entrants?!
posted by phrontist at 9:04 PM on March 1, 2007

... Sounds like there's not much love to go 'round...
posted by bugmuncher at 9:19 PM on March 1, 2007

Teapacks is also known as a very funny group, with crazy lyrics, and great in concert. But this song seemed too out of place for Eurovision, given that most eurovision songs are treacly pop.
posted by dhruva at 9:20 PM on March 1, 2007

While you can't suss it out from the absolutely atrocious Eurovision website, countries are eligible if they are part of the European Broadcast Union. The EBU isn't Europe so much as EMEA--it includes the Middle East and parts of Africa. Israel made it's Eurovision debut in 1973.
posted by donovan at 9:21 PM on March 1, 2007

Although I left Israel 10 years ago, I still remember this group. They were always famous and a little controversial. their name is actually TIPPEX.
posted by Afreemind2007 at 9:32 PM on March 1, 2007

I think the Blue Meanie is the Accordion player.

As for the lyrics, the phrase is "gonna blow us up to bitty-bitty kingdom come"...

can someone provide French and Hebrew translations?
posted by RobbieFal at 9:43 PM on March 1, 2007

Dang-- I get "Invalid Format" and am promptly kevorked.
Is it Safari? Bad Karma? Cortex?
posted by Dizzy at 10:05 PM on March 1, 2007

Youtube version here.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:07 PM on March 1, 2007

Hah. What does it say about me that I immediately thought the song was about Dubya?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:08 PM on March 1, 2007

I gather that the Eurovision Song Contest is always a real freak show anyway. The Manolo always has fun with it, in his inimitable fashion.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:11 PM on March 1, 2007

A mitzvah, bbb. Thanks!
posted by Dizzy at 10:13 PM on March 1, 2007

I for one welcome our new Eurovision overlords.
posted by tighttrousers at 10:46 PM on March 1, 2007

Hah. What does it say about me that I immediately thought the song was about Dubya?

Maybe that you live in the USA? I thought the same exact thing at first.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:57 PM on March 1, 2007

More Eurovision on Metafilter.... Amberglow's original link is broken, but you can still watch France Gall.
posted by muckster at 10:59 PM on March 1, 2007

Considering that Lordi got it last time, these guys seem like a shoo-in.

Plus, it's a pretty catchy song. It reminds me of a less metallic System of a Down (and no, not just because they're from the Middle East).
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:01 PM on March 1, 2007

It immediately made me think of Gogol Bordello. Maybe the accordion?
posted by goingonit at 11:45 PM on March 1, 2007

Huh? Eurovision has non-european entrants?!

Israel has participated in the contest since 1973.

Israel is in the same time zone as most of Europe, its original population (as the Iranian president never tires of pointing out) came largely from Europe, and a lot of Europeans consider Israel as a European country in a cultural sense. (Although it is a huge stretch to use the word "culture" in the same sentence as the Eurovision song contest.)
posted by three blind mice at 12:06 AM on March 2, 2007

Toto Cutugno's song was also extremely political. But it wasn't banned. In fact, it won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990. Lyrics with English translation.
posted by skepticX at 1:09 AM on March 2, 2007

Eligibility for Eurovision is dependent not on being in Europe (either physically or culturally) but on a nation being a member of the European Broadcasting Union. There are quite a few EBU members outside Europe, mostly in North Africa, who could take part but choose not to. These include Libya and Algeria. Syria is apparently an associate member and could apply for full membership.
posted by biffa at 2:00 AM on March 2, 2007

Israeli won in 1998. They were represented by a transexual of Yemenite orgin, Dana International.
posted by leebree at 2:26 AM on March 2, 2007

I had never heard of Eurovision until last year. It's a fascinating contest, and the voting just really confuses the hell out of me. But it's great fun to watch at the bar when you're hammered.
posted by antifuse at 2:37 AM on March 2, 2007

the voting just really confuses the hell out of me

Actually the voting is pretty straight-forward, initially. Representatives are allowed to vote only for other countries' performers. Tally up the votes and you have your winner.

It's when there's a tie... that's when it gets all convoluted.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:01 AM on March 2, 2007

it's the incomparable triumph of israeli propaganda that the most militarized country in the region can export itself as a flower-child pacifist to a large number of people.

a more accurate portrait is the sticker song.
posted by limon at 5:38 AM on March 2, 2007

Eurovision has non-european entrants?!

See also the Union of European Football Associations.

On Eurovision, it is a shame Morrisey pulled out of the running to be the UK's entrant. Still Justin Hawkins will be entertaining.
posted by ninebelow at 6:07 AM on March 2, 2007

warning: strange-looking accordian player

Strange-looking accordion player? What? did you miss the vocalist? the mandolin player? the guitarist?
posted by micayetoca at 6:26 AM on March 2, 2007

Israeli won in 1998. They were represented by a transsexual of Yemenite orgin, Dana International.

I heard from some Israelis that this even became a minor poltical issue in Israel, because Dana International's victory gave the ultra-Orthodox apopleptic fits while giving Israeli secularists a nonstop source of amusement.
posted by jonp72 at 6:45 AM on March 2, 2007

Until they let Zlad in, I'm boycotting this contest.

posted by zoogleplex at 10:54 AM on March 2, 2007

This year's Eurovision entry for the UK could possibly be Justin Hawkins (MP3), ex lead singer of the execrable The Darkness, who have now thankfully split. I'd say that this was utterly sad and desperate, but Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker have also been linked with itl although I have almost no time for Morrissey, even he doesn't need to stoop as low as this.

The best thing about Eurovision in the UK is Terry Wogan's withering commentary.
posted by TheDonF at 1:31 PM on March 3, 2007

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