I've been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest for a very long time and religiously watch it most years.
I believe that Ireland, although having won it seven times, will never, ever win it again; as I discussed in my Jedward Mania blog post two years ago.
I have become particularly disillusioned with this annual song contest over the past few years, especially with regard to the bloc voting method used. The inclusion of national panels of judges into text-voting has done nothing to improve things, nor will it ever. The whiff of this year's bribery scandal and the corrective measure of naming of the judges on panels neither surprises me on one hand, nor re-assures me on the other.
In fact I think this competition is doomed, for certain European countries, as it continues down it's farcical, musical route.
This year, for the first time ever, I stated that not only would I never watch it again but that Ireland should never enter it again..... ever. And I meant it too.
But then the last week or two came along and brought with it some performances and comments that got me thinking.
First up was Coláiste Lurgan/Seo Linn with their very infectious Irish version of Aviici's 'Wake me Up' on the Late Late Show. I challenge you to watch this and not be caught up in it ....
This appearance on the Late Late Show was presumably as a result of their YouTube video which has received over 2 million hits.
Notice how smoothly it was adapted for a stage/TV performance - relatively speaking?
Now here's an earlier YouTube video they made of 'When I'm Gone', otherwise known as 'The Cup Song' - or 'Amhrán na gCupán as Gaeilge - from the movie Pitch Perfect ....
This is amazing too.
They have very cleverly brought Irish culture and language to mainstream, popular music, injected it with a huge dollop of energetic youth and made it so very cool. I would imagine that they've also made enrolling in The Gaeltacht , as Irish college is colloquially known as, very appealing too!
And it also seems to be catching on with regular secondary schools getting in on the act! Watch how the Santa Sabina Girls adapt 'Amhrán na gCupán'/'Up The Dubs' for last weekends Dublin vs Mayo national final ....
Very effective video, given that Dublin won!! Up The Dubs indeed! Baile Cliath Abú ....
I'm loving this trend.
Imagine if one of our very many songwriters were to work with someone like Seo Linn & co and were to write an original, catchy song in the same vein as the above songs, as gaeilge of course.
Then imagine adding elements of the Late Late Show performance above (musical instruments, Irish dancing and an energetic but choreographed chorus) and transporting it all to Eurovision 2014.
Costly perhaps but I'm sure substitutions could be made and no need to over-costume.
Let the raw talent and natural energy of the young performers shine through.
I can see it, really, I can.
We will never win but what better stage to showcase the talented, energetic youth of Ireland and our Irish culture to the rest of Europe and beyond than the Eurovision?
Making being and speaking Irish cool, on the world stage.
Remember, Riverdance was only an interval act - and that will be 20 years ago exactly next year ;-)
'Dhá cheann déag de phointe' anyone?