‘I’m right beside you, you’re never alone’, ‘Together we’ll dance through this storm’, ‘I will never give up on
E.U. you’, just a selection of the lyric’s from the United Kingdom’s 2017 song ‘Never Give Up On You’ by former X-Factor contestant Lucie Jones. These lyrics could and have been perceived by many as an anti-Brexit ballad, voicing the opinion that despite what the referendum says, the UK are very much still a fundamental part of Europe. These lyrics make a strong case for this interpretation of the song, however many other factors must be taken into account.
First of all the BBC have outsourced the songwriting on this song. It was in fact penned by the Danish singer songwriter and past Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest. As such the political element of the song is diminished as Emmelie would have no vested interest in writing a song with such a hidden meaning. Secondly the singer, Lucie Jones is Welsh. Despite the singer’s own political views, Wales voted in the majority for Brexit, and surely if they wanted to put forth a strong anti-Brexit ballad, the obvious choice would be to choose a Scottish/Northern Irish or London born singer as these regions voted majority to remain. Finally the idea of the song having such a hidden meaning is again not likely as such political messages are deemed against the rules at Eurovision.
Hidden meanings aside, the UK’s effort for Eurovision 2017 is a strong, emotional song that is helped by Lucie Jones’ powerful singing voice. She has a proven ability at being able to perform live having competed under high pressure stakes, not only on the X-Factor live shows, but also with regular appearances on the West End stage and winning the You Decide competition to be chosen for Eurovision 2017.
The accompanying video for the song is also simple but effective. The video sees Lucie dressed in simple colours either black, white or red while subtle lighting effects stream over her face as she performs. This include globes of light (similar to the ones used by Austria in their set design at Eurovision 2015) that almost look like a constellation of stars or at other times snow. The song really ramps up a gear in the final 45 seconds when the key changes and Lucie belts out the song at the top of her lungs. This is reflected in the video with the introduction of a frenzy of red lights.
Judging by recent interviews given by Lucie, and if the video is anything to go by, we can expect an understated approach to the staging of the song, allowing for the music and performance to speak for itself, rather than introducing any complicated routines, props gimmicks or acrobatics.
The reason I mentioned Brexit at the start of this review is that it could have an impact on the UK’s result. The nation haven’t been popular at Eurovision for quite some time, regularly placing outside of the top 10 since 2003. Although this is a combination of poor song choice, dated artist selection and terrible staging, politics (whether Eurovision like to admit it or not) does have an effect on countries’ finishing position as in 2003 UK invaded Iraq. Similarly a self-imposed exile from Europe, as a result of the Brexit referendum, could see Britain at the bottom of the leaderboard in the final, despite having a strong entry.
My Ranking: 9th in the Final
My Prediction: 24th in the Final