Protest songs at the Eurovision Song Contest

While political messages are unwelcome at the Eurovision Song Contest, they nevertheless seem to make their way onstage every few years. Here is an overview of some of the more controversial incidents:

PORTUGAL: Fans interpreted the 1974 song E depois do Adeus (And after the farewell) by Paulo de Carvalho as a call for revolution. It took last place in the contest - but became a symbol of Portugal's Carnation Revolution three weeks later.

UKRAINE: Listeners understood the 2007 Ukrainian entry's gibberish title Dancing Lasha Tumbai as instead saying "Russia goodbye." The song finished in second place, and the singer, Andrey Danilko, alias Verka Serduchka, was barred from performing in Russia.

ISRAEL: In 2007, the Teapacks' rollicking Push the Button was said to be a reference to Iran's nuclear programme. After a thorough investigation, the European Song Contest jury decided that the song was open to interpretation and allowed the band to compete.

FINLAND: If Krisa Siegfrids had not ruffled enough feathers with the lyrics to Marry Me, she certainly put audiences in a tizzy with her performance, during which she kissed one of her dancers in protest against a ban on same-sex marriage in her homeland. In the end, the song was 24th in the 2013 finale.

ARMENIA: In 2015, the band Genealogy paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of the displacement and killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire with its song Don't Deny, but they had to change the title to Face the Shadow after the jury objected.

Last update: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 13:11
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