Will Eurovision like Israel’s “Hurricane”?

Will Eurovision like Israel’s “Hurricane”?

The annual Eurovision international song contest is coming up in May, but Israel waited until this week to release the video for “Hurricane,” which it hopes will be the country’s fifth Eurovision winner.

Eurovision organizers already have refused to allow two Israeli songs, saying they are too political. “October Rain” reportedly was rejected because of lyrics referring to Hamas’s Oct. 7. attack. A second-choice song, “Dance Forever,” which also referred to the attack and the massacre at an outdoor dance party, was turned down too.

“Hurricane,” which uses the melody and many of the lyrics from “October Rain,” has been approved for the competition, which will take place in Malmo, Sweden.

Key themes of the song, to be performed by the singer Eden Golan, have changed, though some allusions to the attack remain. The word “flowers,” which means “fallen soldiers” in Israeli military jargon, was removed. Part of the chorus, which had said, “I’m still wet from this October rain,” now says, “I’m still broken from this hurricane.”

The original song’s Hebrew lyrics said, “There is no air left to breathe / There is no room / I am gone day to day / They were all good children, each one of them.”

That has been amended to, “Don’t need big words / Just prayers / Even if it’s hard to see / You always leave me one small light.”

Before the first live performance of the song last Sunday night, Golan told Kan 11, the Israeli public broadcaster that airs Eurovision, that she thought the song has a more personal theme now. “I think the message is clear,” she said. “It’s about a woman who is going through a personal crisis. A hurricane.”

But Shayna Weiss, a scholar of Israeli pop culture at Brandeis University, noted that the genre of “Hurricane” — it’s a soulful ballad, while more recent Israeli Eurovision entries have been more upbeat — hints at tragedy. “It’s a sad song,” she said.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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