1944 by Jamala: Winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2016
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest was special for Ukraine for several reasons.
For the first time, the song was dedicated to tragic historical events. Jamala got the opportunity to perform at the contest after the 2nd try. And Ukraine won Eurovision for the 2nd time. And the song “1944” is the only one in competition’s history performed in two languages: English and Tatar.
We had a hard road to victory. After the announcement of Ukrainian Eurovision’s participant, Russian politicians tried to make people think that “1944” isn’t an apolitical song. But according to the decision of the European broadcasting Union (EBU) the song passed “profanity and political content” check.
Jamala’s victory caused a lot of impressions – both positive and negative. A resident of Armenia created a petition on the site change.org. He demanded to cancel the championship of Ukraine and change other contest’s results and the rules for Eurovision 2017, giving people the right to choose the winner. However, the petition was rejected: “The winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was decided by music industry professionals and you, viewers at home, each with a 50 percent stake in the result. Ukraine’s Jamala won, thanks to broad support from both the juries as well as the votes by the television viewer. She did win with an outstanding performance of an emotional song, telling a personal story” (EBU).
But there also were pleasant moments. The song “1944” got “Eurostory Awards 2016” for the best line of the song among all the songs participating in Eurovision. The judges noted the line “You think you are Gods, but everyone dies“. Jamala says that this line is the most important message of her song.
Another good thing is the Marcel Besancon Award in the category Art Prize for voting commentators. Verka Serduchka got the Press Prize and Ani Lorak got the Art Prize.
But what did Jamala tell millions of hearts of people by singing her “1944”? The singer has already said that the origin of her song is a grandmother’s memories about the tragedy of the Crimean Tatars. The song is dedicated to violent deportation of Crimean Tatars to Uzbekistan and close areas. This tragedy affected Jamala’s family, too. This song has a political character in some way because it refers to a political offense. Only in 1990 the return of Tatars to their homeland started.
The song “1944” is extremely sensual and melodic. There is no direct hint at the tragedy of the Crimean Tatars in the song text, but you can feel a human cry in its lines. We are sure that Ukraine is worth to be the winner. That we can do and go through everything!