Te Deum, the Musical Theme Eurofans Love (and Love to Hate…)

At the start of all officially sanctioned Eurovision events (including internet streams) one hears a few bars of a rousing, grand Baroque march, the 1688 prelude to “Te Deum” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. In itself, the fanfare is a lovely piece of music, and especially after the long months of summer when Eurovision is dormant, fans thrill to hear the contest’s official theme signaling the start of another season of the Song Contest.

Unfortunately, the short musical theme becomes akin to Chinese water torture for hardcore fans. When you launch an internet streaming player to watch, say, the EBU meeting where the running order of the contest will be drawn, the theme is played on an endless loop until the actual event begins, along with a sparkling visual representation of the Eurovision Song Contest logo.

Often an event like this falls behind the appointed schedule, so if you tune in to see the draw begin at 13:00 CET, you may have to wait 20 minutes or a half hour for the logo and theme to be replaced with the actual video stream of the event. Another such occasion is the half-hour between the live broadcast of a Eurovision semifinal and the closely-watched winners’ press conference and drawing of places for the final night. Hearing a 20 second snippet of music (no matter how lovely) repeated 60 or 80 times can get a little stale. By then fans are ready to yank the cables from their computers in sheer frustration.

Here is a lullaby-soft rendition of the theme played on a ukelele, just for variety’s sake.

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