Editorials & Opinion

Five must-have ESC songs for your rainy day playlist

A big rain storm just hit New York City, where I currently reside, on Tuesday. For hours on end, raindrops pelted my dorm room window and thunder clapped intermittently in the distance. Personally, I love the rain. Unlike most of the other people in my dorm, I think it’s calm, soothing, and peaceful.

I attribute that to my rainy day playlist, the mix I designed specifically for when the rain falls and the wind howls outside. Songs on my playlist, I think, are elevated with the sound of the showers against the glass and the thunder lowly rumbling.

Obviously, there are tons of songs within the Eurovision sphere on my playlist (What kind of eurofan would I be if I didn’t?). So, if you want to make your own playlist (or add on to one you may already have), here’s my top five rainy day Eurovision songs to listen to as the elements rage outside. Note: this ranking isn’t my ranking of these songs in general, but rather a ranking of how well these songs go with rain (imo of course).

#5: “Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet?” by Friderika

For my first pick, we go back six years before my birth to 1994. 1994 had one of the most solid top fives in Eurovision history, Hungary coming fourth out of a field of 25. Despite being infamously slammed by then BBC commentator Terry Wogan, the simplicity of the guitar and string heavy instrumentation paired with the solid vocal performance of Friderika led the debuting Hungary to a placing that has not been matched by Hungary since (and 2 points from the UK suck it Wogan). I love just closing my eyes and listening to the dulcet sounds of this song with the pitter patter of rain in the background.

#4: “When We’re Old” by Ieva Zasimausaite

Fourth on this countdown is my personal winner of Eurovision 2018, the Lithuanian entry. Many people online didn’t seem to jive with this minimal, simple composition when it won the Lithuanian national final, Eurovizijos Atranka. However, being a huge fan of Ieva since her 2016 Atranka attempt, I was in love with it from the start. It wasn’t until Lisbon that other people saw what I saw in this song, placing 11th in the final. The gentle piano arrangement coupled with the bewitching timbre of Ieva’s voice is sure to delight on a rainy day.

#3: “Nocturne” by Secret Garden

The nineties in Eurovision were full of ballads. Not to say that all ballads are good in the rain, but some of them definitely are. “Nocturne” is like that. In 1995, Norway took Europe on a mystical journey (and Europe took it to the winner’s circle), and “Nocturne” still takes many fans on that jury to this day, as it is consistently a favorite in the ESC Top 250 at the end of the year. Let this song whisk you away with the rain at your back.

#2: “Dancing in the Rain” by Ruth Lorenzo

Okay, I get it, this is an obvious choice, considering the title, staging, and the wet hair Ruth had in Copenhagen. However, it’s so easy to see why this song lends itself so well to rain. Open: the gentle sound of rain, thunder in the distance, then the gentle inverted C chord on the piano followed by one of the most spectacular voices of 2014 (at least, according to the ESCXTRA team). It’s a match made in heaven.

#1: “I Evighet” by Elisabeth Andreassen

In case you haven’t noticed, I love the nineties in Eurovision. As a matter of fact, my favorite non-winning entry in Eurovision comes from 1994, and my favorite ESC year in general is the same year that tops this list: 1996. The first time hosting it in Oslo, Norway did not pull any punches, trying to out-Ireland Ireland and start their own win streak (only to inevitably be out-Irelanded by Ireland). However, I truly believe that this song far surpasses the year’s winner, and even puts songs like “Nocturne” to shame. Give it a listen and you’ll understand why I think this.

Honorable Mention: “Esamība” by Madara

This isn’t technically a Eurovision song, but I felt that it would be disingenuous to not mention “Esamība” here. The strings in this piece are highlighted by the gentle sounds of the rain, and Madara’s almost hypnotic vocals can bring anyone to inner peace. It may not have won Supernova, but that doesn’t mean it should be left out of your playlist.

There you have it, here are the bare bones of a eurofan’s rainy day playlist. The next time that rain rolls through, put these songs on shuffle and listen to the rain in a new way. You may just change your perspective.

What songs would you put on your playlist? Let us know in the comments!

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