Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s Anti-pick of the 70s

A week full of songs we just don’t like. It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for the 1970s and it’s Nick‘s turn to tell you about an entry he can’t stand.

Israel 1978: Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta – A-Ba-Ni-Bi (Winner, somehow)

When asked to write about a song I hated from the 1970s, it was clear that I had to pick a song from one of my least favourite Eurovision countries. So that was Spain, Malta or Israel (sorry if you’re from any of those countries). And then this entry sadly popped into my head, the entry I see as the most undeserving winner of all time.

A-Ba-Ni-Barf is a song which says nothing, does nothing and feels like nothing for the full three minutes. Why? Because the language ‘game’ they’re playing is ridiculous. Now, I don’t speak Hebrew, but their ‘game’ is cringeworthy. This ‘Bet’ game means that there’s a ‘bet’ sound coming in after every syllable for… Yeah for what? For nothing, for being ridiculous or, as fans of this song would like to call it ‘to be playful’.

An example of how horrendously awful this works. The Hebrew for I love you is Ani ohev otach. So when we apply Izhar’s little game, Ani ohev otach becomes A-ba-ni-bi o-bo-he-bev o-bo-ta-bach. And so we turn those three little words into a line full of bo’s and be’s, which no one needs, no one ever asked for and which makes very little sense. To make it worse: The word I gets translated into A-ba-ni-bi. Since when do we need seven letters to describe ourselves?

Imagine having to do it in every day life. A simple sentence like ‘Are you going to the shop today?’ would turn into ‘A-ba-re you-bou go-bo-i-bing to-boo the-be sho-bop to-boo-day-bay?’ Can you see how tiring this is? How utterly ridiculous this winner is?

I don’t see the fun in it at all. Or should I say A-ba-ni-bi don’t see the fun? Anyway, this entry is best to be forgotten and this ‘Bet-game’ should be banned on sentence of a lifetime in jail.

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Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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