Many Americans excuse our lack of knowledge (and interest) in Eurovision by claiming that, yes it IS really popular, but ONLY in Europe! It’s a local event that doesn’t really travel well. And YET! Australia, Asia, and especially South Africa are just a few of the far-flung outposts that LOVE the songs of Eurovision. The small Afrikaans music scene in Cape Town and Johannesburg would probably run out of songs if they weren’t so quick to translate just about every Eurovision pop hit into their language and release the cover version to great success.
In the legendary 2006 ESC (that I just wrote about) one of the really fine little songs that fell through the cracks was this international product of Swedish reality contest winner Sandra Oxenryd singing an ABBA-esque pop ditty for Estonia. “Looking through My Window” narrowly missed proceeding from the semifinal, but still has its many fans.
And the proof of its popularity came a few months later when the song became a hit for Afrikaner boyband Hi5.
Believe me, this is no isolated case! The great bloggers at ESCkaz compiled a list a few years ago of 127 Eurovision songs recorded in Afrikaans or the original language by South African artists. By now that number has probably doubled. (I will try to find some other fun cover versions to post soon.)