That is the only thing I can think of that created the news that caused me to write this post!
This is nothing like a PiL track. It is also nothing like a John Lydon track. That said,
“Public Image Ltd. (PiL) have been selected for the 67th annual Eurovision Song Contest airing on February 3. The band will represent Ireland with their new single ‘Hawaii.’.”
The NME and American Songwriter are both ‘kind of saying’ that;
‘kind of’ because i THINK that there is an Irish ‘run off’ in February before the final decision to compete in May(?) This article is one of many providing a little back story to the song.
The song … is a love letter to Lydon’s wife. Nora Forster, Lydon’s wife of nearly 45 years (who) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.
It goes on ..
“A deeply personal track for Lydon, ‘Hawaii’ is sobering reflection of the couple’s life together. The song is punctuated by one of their most special memories, a trip they once took together. Some begin again / We’re here / You and me … Remember me / I remember you / Hawaii. Written by Lydon, “Hawaii” professes the power of love through the good and the most traumatic of times.
All good. No problem. Sorry to read about his wife’s diagnosis. The song is nice enough - though to these untrained ears a little schmaltzy - if not to say ‘derivative’ - as in ever since Elvis went to Hawaii, songwriters have been picking up their instruments and writing yet another song about Hawaii. John is no different.
But here’s the thing
1] Lydon was born in London. Yes to Irish parents (and holds an Irish passport) but he also has American citizenship and is on record as saying “I view myself as British first and foremost.”
Let me take you back to Eurovision ’81. The winner? Buck’s Fizz, with a song called ‘Making Your Mind Up’ .. maybe John should acquaint himself with a little Eurovision history and decide who he is.
2] An entire song called Hawaii - whoever thought of doing that … oh wait - to represent IRELAND - the home of some of the greatest writers and musicians in the world. Is there really not a real Irish choice?
Fun fact - Ireland is the ONLY entry ever to win the competition twice with the same singer songwriter - not only that,he wrote a third song … that also won.
3] The chintzy Hawaiian sound does a massive disservice to the real music that emerges from those islands.
Just on Maui … there are superb professional musicians that I know, including;
🔸 Randall Rospond
🔸 Tom Conway
🔸 Gail Swanson
🔸 Jamie Gallo (sorry - Facebook link)
🔸 Vince Esquire
Not to mention Alana Cini, Joel Katz, Peter Kater, Chris Sendrey, John Grover and so many others I know and love - and even that list doesn’t include even more famous musical residents like
🔸 Willie Nelson
🔸 Lukas Nelson
🔸 Alice Cooper
🔸 Mick Fleetwood
🔸 Lily Meola
🔸 Steven Tyler
🔸 Kris Kristoferson (I think - he certainly used to.)
None of them … NONE .. produce music that the world associates with that Hawaiian sound. Even a ‘Ukulele band like Kanekoa play their Ukuleles less like Tiny Tim and more like well - Led Zeppelin.
Kanekoa : Going to California
Led Zeppelin : Going to California -
I don’t dislike his song - but I really hope somebody Irish with Irish music wins the chance to represent their country and that yet another piece of misappropriated Hawaiiana is stopped from taking the world by storm.