Israeli Eurovision Retrospective

There’s a long and hilarious article in this week’s New Yorker about the Eurovision contest, and it includes a short section of Israel’s three historic wins at Eurovision. It’s really really hard to explain Eurovision if you haven’t seen it–kind of like an international American Idol, with a lot more gibberish and disco–but I actually think these three videos do a nice job of summing it up.

First, the winners from 1978, Yizhar Cohen and Alphabeta singing “Ah-Bah-Nee-Bee” (if you’re wondering what that means in Hebrew, it’s kind of like a pig-Latin way of saying “I” or “me”):

Then the following year, in 1979, we have Hallelujah, sung by Milk and Honey. Check out the suspenders on Milk (or is that Honey?)!

Finally, my personal fave, Dana International winning for Diva. I don’t know why exactly, but I am incapable of watching this video without my mouth dropping open. It’s not that crazy, really, but something about it leaves me gaping. The singing starts at about 1:15.

Finally, an entry from this year’s competition with a slightly religious theme. Aisha, of Latvia sang a song called “What For” which includes the following lyrics:
What for do people live until they die?

Only Mr. God knows why
His phone today is out of range.

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