This month it’s a Eurovision special! Victoria Parkey is here to tell you all about the beauty of the power ballad and why you should vote for the bangers, not for the politics…
Happy Eurovision season! There really is nothing like four hours of tactical voting (ugh), mediocre songs and garish outfits to bring together a divided continent.
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the best – and arguably most criminally underappreciated Eurovision song of all time. Keep your ABBAs because in 1993, Niamh Kavannah won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with ‘In Your Eyes’, a track that I would go as far as to call power ballad perfection.
Did I listen to this song on repeat during a slightly tipsy 45-minute walk home from Dalston to Stoke Newington, using up a considerable amount of my phone data? Perhaps. Do I have any regrets? Categorically not, because it’s an aggressively good song for reasons that I will outline now.
‘In Your Eyes’ – as you’ve probably already garnered from its title – is incredibly melodramatic and predictable in its lyrics, to the point of almost every single line containing at least one massive cliché – and it truly embraces the concept of simplistic rhyming schemes (we’re talking “inside/hide” “pain/again”), which is everything I want from a Eurovision banger. Nuance is for suckers.
Just when you think one song cannot physically contain any more melodrama in the space of three minutes and nine seconds, it hands you a magical key change in the last chorus, a final parting gift.
Nothing about ‘In Your Eyes’ is trying to be different or cutting edge – it wholly embraces every formulaic power ballad trope and hands it to you on a platter of drama, heartache and string synths and good God will I accept it willingly.
The beauty of the power ballad banger is that it really doesn’t make any attempts at being cool but inevitably has the power (ha ha) to force any drunken crowd to wrap their arms around each other’s shoulders and sing along, loudly and badly.
It’s the splendor of your dad singing along to ‘We Are The Champions’ in the car. Slash in front of a church in the desert, clad in leather, shirtless, in November Rain just absolutely shredding away. The pure majesty of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ being the last song dropped at the end of every Passionate Necking night at the Montague Arms (RIP, gone but not forgotten).
Also, don’t forget the cardinal law of good Eurovision etiquette: vote for the bangers not for the politics.