Tim: So, here’s a fun thing I discovered when coming up with suggestion for the new work Pride-themed playlist – was looking at This Is My Life, stone cold banger from Eurovision 2008, and turns out: there’s an Icelandic version as well! It was performed at their national selection, and…it’s different.
Tom: Solid “2000s daytime TV game show” vibes from that introduction, there. Actually, from the instrumentation through most of it. You’re right that it’s different, though.
Tim: Isn’t it just? It’s not just the instruments, and basically genre change, though – the lyrics are something very different. If you want to go back and hear the English version for yourself I won’t blame you, but the lyrics are, basically, I AM GAY LIVE WITH IT. Yes, there are other interpretations, but put it up at Eurovision with that backing, those outfits and the lines like “I spent my days in vain just waiting / for happiness to come my way” and “There’s no denying all the heartaches”, followed by “I opened my eyes, finally I realised” and then the massive THIS IS MY LIFE I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE A THING, and you might as well put out a parade of rainbow flags on stage.
Tom: I suspect, from the way you’re leading into this, that this isn’t quite– sorry, I just got to that high-pitched bit in the middle eight and it completely distracted me — the Icelandic one isn’t the same?
Tim: No – in fact, it’s almost entirely different: the title translates to Perfect Life, and the lyrics are not really alike at all. They’re singing to a person, chatting about how a perfect life will arrive once they’re here, and it’s really just a basic love song. And that makes me wonder what the plan was: was it originally written as a big gay anthem before being toned down for a domestic audience to vote for, or written like this and then beefed up for Europe? Either way, though, I know which version I’m sticking with.