Overthinking Eurovision 2013: Iceland

You, too, will soon be humming this song during important business meetings.

As one of my favorite comedy groups (The State) used to say, “And now for something completely different.”

I was originally planning to do a normal review of Iceland’s song, “Eg a Lif,” written by the dauntingly-named Eypor Ingi Gunnlaugsson. But after listening to it a few times I found it compulsively catchy, and as long as I was going to be singing it over and over again I figured I should roll with that.

The internet has been abuzz with accusations that “Eg a Lif” sounds suspiciously like “I Am Cow,” a song by the Canadian band The Arrogant Worms. Listen to the comparison here.

Personally, I don’t buy this at all. First of all, “I Am Cow” is sort of a mini-song, three choruses and then done in two minutes. “Eg a Lif” has a full verse-chorus-bridge structure, so there’s a lot more TO it. Secondly, the songs FEEL very different. “Eg a Lif” is quiet and sad, “I Am Cow” is a triumphant anthem. The idea that “Eg a Lif” was somehow unnecessary because “I Am Cow” already existed is ridiculous. Third, the melodies are not the same. The first three notes of “I Am Cow” rise to the tonic, whereas in “Eg a Lif” they rise to the third. But most importantly, as Wrather pointed out, NEITHER song has that original a melody. It’s basically a hymn, right? Really simply chord progression with a flowing melody line over it. It’s been written before, it will be written again.

I’m sort of annoyed on behalf of Eypor, because he has written a beautiful song, and I don’t even think that the snarky dudes on the internet BELIEVE he ripped off The Arrogant Worms. Haters gonna hate. Meanwhile, this female a cappella group has covered “Sig a Lif” and now I can’t stop listening to THAT. Also, these adorable kids.

Is everyone is Iceland blond? Like, everyone?

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