Throwback Thursday: Alexander Rybak and his ‘Fairytale’…

This ‘throwback’ will bring us to an amazing fairytale, literally!;) Who does not know which «fairytale» I am talking about or who is Alexander Rybak, I guess it’s time for you to read this ‘throwback’ and to listen to this unforgettable entry…

Just a reminder…

Alexander Rybak is a Belarusian-Norwegian singer, composer, brilliant violinist, outstanding pianist and now even an actor. Rybak was born in Minsk (Belarus), but his whole family emigrated to Norway, when he was just 4 years old. Alexander speaks Russian very well, but with a bit of an accent. He was the one, who  represented Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow (Russia) and became the winner of the contest with 387 points, which at that time was the highest result any country has achieved in the history of Eurovision, but under the old voting system. “Fairytale” was the name of the song that Alexander, by the way, wrote and composed by himself. 

Why should you remember ‘Fairytale’ ? Or the cutest Eurovision entry ever

In my modest opinion it’s one of the most memorable songs of all Eurovision times. I remember watching Eurovision 2009 and having no doubt at all that ‘Fairytale’ will be the winning song. Back in 2009 this song was so fresh, so catchy and so simple and beautiful at the same time that I think it touched absolutely everyone. Besides, the performance of Alexander was really sincere. Basically «sincere» is the first word that comes to to my mind when I think about the performance itself. Anyone who listened to the song and saw his performance could get that Alexander was truly in love with his song, he was enjoying a lot being on stage and he was transmitting all his positive energy to the audience. And when he was playing the violin, people were going crazy in a good sense, of course. Rybak was definitely feeling like a fish in the water on Eurovision stage.

All in all, the combination of Rybak’s cuteness, performance, voice, the melody of the song and the brilliant violin playing made him be the number one in 2009. The whole time of the performance I couldn’t help smiling and singing along. Did this happen to you? I personally didn’t have any single doubt about the winner of 2009 like many other people I know who watched the contest of that year.

Is ‘Fairytale’ still a popular song?

I believe it is a popular and a very well-known song in the Eurovision world. I don’t think you can hear in on the radio stations of your countries very often, but I can tell you that in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine you still can hear ‘Fairytale’ from time to time and people remember it very well. Woud I say that this song can be popular among millenials? Not exactly, as this type of songs and music, is, unfortunately, not the most «modern and cool» one if you speak about 2019. I’m certainly sure that many people will remember this song forever and will always recognize the song and the singer. I will definitely be among these people.

What the others had to say:


Alexander Rybak’s 2009 winning “Fairytale” is a hard one to review – especially when looking back at ten years on. I remember watching the 2009 contest and it was clear when Rybak took to the stage that we had a winner. Fresh, unique and performed to aplomb, even to my 12-year-old self it came to no surprise when “Fairytale” stormed to the Grand Prix when voting was announced. In results terms, “Fairytale” remains one of the most successful and well-remembered winners from recent times, particularly with those who don’t necessarily follow the contest as keenly as some of us do. “Fairytale” is my close friend’s favorite Eurovision entry, and when I told him we were looking back at it for this week’s Throwback Thursday he said “Fairytale is a bulletproof pop song, with Rybak using the violin as an unconventional tool to unlock a king of jovial rock star charm.” My personal problem with the song is that I really don’t think it has as aged, compared to winners from a similar time. When “Fairytale” was performed in Moscow back in 2009, it was a smart and bravado song that was bold for Eurovision. To me now, looking back, it appears slightly gimmicky and overrated when comparing it with winners such as “Molitva” in 2007, and even Bilan’s “Believe” in 2008. I just feel that because “Fairytale” was so hyped and adored in 2009, fast forward ten years and the charm of the song has gradually worn off.


Cue the violins cos here comes Norway’s Alexander Rybak. Fairytale was participating at a point in my life where I was still getting into grips with Eurovision. His clear smooth voice along with the backing singers harmonies really got to me during his performance in Moscow.

Norway is usually a hit and miss when it comes to their Eurovision entries. However, this is one of the occasions where the performance itself ticks all the boxes, I can see why this ended up with the amount of points it has. Dare I even say it’s Norway’s best entry to day? (personally it isn’t but it’s up there) but I will always do the violin movements whenever I’m in the club dancing.


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away called…Estonia, there lived ME, the man who became obsessed with this song shortly after it was picked to represent Norway back in 2009. From the playfully catchy tune to a hairdo Justin Bieber could only DREAM of, it was love at first sight and I could not stop badly humming the song while Cinderellaing my way through homework right up until it actually won the contest. Time tends to not be too kind to a lot of Eurovision winners in my eyes, not because I suddenly regret liking them, but because hearing them for the 12,584th time makes me crave for a padded cell to rave like a lunatic inside of. BUT there’s something about Fairytale. A certain charm and energy that makes me enjoy it even after all these years. It’s infectiously catchy without ever becoming annoying and I could live happily ever after even if it kept popping up in future playlists. Now THAT is how you write a song.


Fairytale is certainly one of the better winners from the 00s… but that isn’t saying a huge amount. This is a good song, performed well and is a strong, cohesive, entertaining package. Back in 2009 I didn’t really see the hype for SUCH a landslide win, especially as to me 2009 was a competent year. Looking back, that feeling hasn’t really left me. I wouldn’t slip the song if it was on a playlist… but it’s rare I pro-actively want to listen to it.

I really enjoy the lyrics of the chorus, projecting a narrative I think is universal to all us. The verses leave me a little cold, though. The oeuvre doesn’t hugely sustain itself lyrically – even though there are some pleasant harmonies and modulations in the second verse.

Alexander’s slight smile and momentary pause for breath before the second chorus is possibly the most interesting part of the live performance – and most innovative. I’ve harped on about melancholy time and time again, but I think this is the first instance of juxtaposition between melancholic content against more upbeat/seemingly positive visual imagery.

The violin performance- an iconic component of the song (or ‘gimmick’ to use a term fitting for the decade!) – is slightly over-egged and detracts from the message of the song. However, it does showcase Rybak’s passion. Norway had a really rough decade (Wig Wam being the obvious exception!) so it is great they ended it on a high!

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