EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Ireland
Over the coming weeks, sometimes more than once a day, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.
Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Ireland, “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, written by O’Shaughnessy, Mark Caplice, and Laura Elizabeth Hughes. The song is performed in English. Once again – what IS IT with this year’s competitors? – O’Shaughnessy gained fame on talent shows, finishing fifth on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and also appearing on the first season of Ireland’s “The Voice” franchise The song will be performed 18th in the first semi-final on May 8. Ireland has had some rough patches at EuroVision recently, but if the fan reaction to this song is any indication, they’ve at long last found the song that will bring them back to the Grand Final for the first time in FIVE years.
Because I’m checking the whole songs out as I do my previews, I had heard and seen only a clip of this song before sitting down to write this preview. After watching the video, and listening to the “happy sad” lyrics, about someone wondering if the person they love might be straying from them, I was sitting here with tears rolling down my face. The song is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and paired with the simple, exquisitely choreographed video, it makes for a striking and wonderful experience. The video itself is a masterpiece, and although the song’s lyrics imply by their nature that the two young men in it are possibly lovers, it may not necessarily be so – having watched Guy Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes again last night, it puts me in a different mindset of sorts – perhaps they’re lovers, but perhaps they’re just close friends drifting apart. There’s no real indication of the relationship in the video, outside of a brief few seconds holding hands, which could be simply part of the choreography, only that the two young men are close for one reason or another, and leaves it to the listener and viewer to decide, which is marvelous. It is a bit jarring the first time they suddenly break into choreography that looks like it might have been conceived by one of the pros on Dancing With The Stars/Strictly Come Dancing, but after the first time it happens you don’t notice it so much as you do the body language. It’s truly beautiful and gut-wrenching at the same time. The song itself is also marvelous, and is definitely one of my favorites thus far this year. It’s fortunes on the US Charts could be good if they get a deal over here as the song has a very Ed Sheeran vibe about it – you know him, right? Heh Heh – and could really click with American music consumers if given a chance to do so.
Ireland is truly the Grand Champion of EuroVision over the years. They first competed in 1965, and have been involved 50 times since. They have won the Grand Final a whopping SEVEN times – with “All Kinds Of Everything” by Dana, 1970; “What’s Another Year” by Johnny Logan, 1980; “Hold Me Now” by Johnny Logan, 1987; “Why Me?” by Linda Martin, 1992; “In Your Eyes” by Niamh Kavanaugh, 1993; “Rock And Roll Kids” by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, 1994; and “The Voice” by Eimear Quinn, 1996. They are the only country to win the contest three years in a row, grabbing the championship in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Singer/Songwriter Johnny Logan is the only performer to win the competition twice (he’s actually won three times overall, as he was also the songwriter on Linda Martin’s “Why Me?” in 1992). However, recently the country has fallen on hard EuroVision times; their best showing thus far in the 21st century was in 2011, when the twins pop act known as Jedward (can i just say “Ick!”?) managed an eighth place finish with their (gawd awful) song “Lipstick“. Their most recent final entry in 2014 finished in last place, and they have been eliminated in the semi-final round each of the last four years. Given the fan following of this song, and the fact that it’s utterly awesome, I’m thinking Ireland is about to come ROARING back to life…possibly with a top five finish…
Here’s the official music video – it’s amazing, wonderful, tear-jerking, and just about damn perfect!
Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!
In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in! This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…
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Also published on Medium.