Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

May we Have Your Votes? The Winner of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is an Anti-Spectacular Performance by Portugal

The 2017 Eurovision Song Festival finals have ended with a clear winner.

Both the European and Australian professional juries and the viewers who called in their votes chose overwhelmingly Portugal.

Surprisingly, the winning song had nothing to do with bad singing, poor texts or steamy choreography. It rather seemed an anti-spectacle.

No special effects, no wild steps, only a simple voice with piano and violin.

An almost-hushed, chilled, smooth, jazzy, dreamy, tender, peaceful, delicate, lyrical, melodic, stilled, arresting, Latin-American, lovely ballade by someone who looked corky, hobo-chic, natural, unpolished and unassuming – very Dutch, if you ask me, which he is from his father’s side. A melancholic, romantic, minimalistic, reassuring chanson about love, a touchy lullaby. How refreshing, between all the fast-paced noise and glitter – apparently appreciated by many people. A real rebuke of the countries who hoped to win with kitschy or aggressive performances.

The winning number was Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral. After winning, he sang it together with his sister, LuĂ­sa Sobral. Here you can see an earlier life recording with Salvador accompanying himself on piano, or his sister accompanying him on guitar.

The winning number reminds me of Belgian Jaques Brel. Or maybe is a bit like Dutch Toon Hermans about love, but then more still and smooth, and … in Portuguese. They sang in their mother tongue.

Here is an Engels translation of the song text. And here is a Dutch rendition I made (from the English versions around):

Als ooit iemand vraagt wie ik was

Zeg dan dat’k alleen bestond om jou lief te hebben

Nog voor jou was ik alleen maar moe

En zonder iets om te bieden


Mijn liefje, hoor mijn smeekbede

Ik vraag je: kom terug, komt terug om van me te houden

Ik weet dat je liefhebben nooit in je eentje kan

Misschien kun je ‘t beetje voor beetje herleren


Mijn liefje, hoor mijn smeekbede

Ik vraag je: kom terug, komt terug om van me te houden

Ik weet dat je liefhebben nooit in je eentje kan

Misschien kun je ‘t beetje voor beetje herleren


Als je hart dat niet wil

Al die passie, al dat lijden

Zonder plannen te maken voor later

Mijn hart kan liefhebben voor ons beiden

The interviews with the dark horse winner are worthwhile too, both before, during (the best interview), and after his performance. The singer, who generally keeps his private life under wraps, barely made it to Kiev because of health problems about which he doesn’t want to talk, claiming that he wants no pity; the essence is the song, a plea for meaningful music, and not the artist.

The Contest this year was dedicated to a call to Celebrate Diversity. Ironically, the Eurovision-first-time male all-white trio of metrosexual or homosexual presenters (in a funny sketch we saw them naked together in the shower, but they did not out themselves as either, so that’s everyone’s guess) compered a showy show that ended with a run-away winning number that was the total exception to the rule of kitsch and commerce that had formed the pack of the other performances in the hectic loud disco extravaganza. Tolerance for the other, approved with a mass-vote for an authentic going one’s own loving way.

That wasn’t the first time; just remember Dana International, who recently won as an openly transwoman. In any case, Europies and Aussies in 2017 wanted the outsider to win. Maybe, we can still hope for a better world.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo and Rav Zev Leff. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Many people can't understand or like him because he has such a wide vision that he never fits any specialist's box. But that exactly what others love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.