Can Finland’s punk group summon the spirit of Lordi and return to the Eurovision top ten?
Song Title: “Aina Mun Pitää”
Artist: Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (aka PKN)
Semi-Final: First, Position #5
Last year’s entry: “Something Better” – Softengine (11th Place)
Finland has been most successful in the past when they’ve thrown convention out the window and committed to something offbeat. In 2006, “Hard Rock Hallelujah” brought home the title because it was a great hard rock song, and while the staging was your garden variety “stand there and sing,” Lordi nailed the hard rock atmosphere with some really amazing costumes. After a decade of varying success at Eurovision, can Finland build on last year’s momentum and return to the top ten?
If you’re going to send a song from a less-popular genre to Eurovision, it better be a great representative of the genre (as “Hard Rock Hallelujah” was). So how much of a punk song is “Aina Mun Pitää?” Well let’s see: it has an aggressive sound, employs a bare musical structure (just verse/chorus), uses no background vocalists and likely no dancers as part of the performance, lasts only 90 seconds, has no real melody, and lyrically expresses the everyday frustrations that all of us have felt at some point. This song and band truly espouses the accessibility punk holds dear; it’s “rock and roll by people who [don’t] have very [many] skills as musicians but still [feel] the need to express themselves through music.”1
This is about as punkish as a punk song can be, and as a result I think it’s the best entry in its semifinal. But then I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Eurovision entries from less-popular genres, especially rap entries like Woki Mit Dem Popo from 2012, or Igranka from 2013. Does it help that the band was formed at a camp for adults with developmental disabilities? I mean, of course it does, but plenty of entries have some kind of backstory that help make them more popular2 or less popular.3 So while I’m thrilled that we have a few performers with disabilities this year — visible representation is really important for marginalized people — that’s but one piece of what makes me such a fan of Finland this year.
I know others disagree with me on the merits of “Aina Mun Pitää,” but I’m rooting for this to place high in the finals, and at least so far the bookmakers are on my side of this argument.4 Regardless, PKN have cemented themselves as a staple of my morning routine. “Aina mun pitää feed the cat / aina mun pitää brush my teeth …”
Eurovision MiniPop Icons created by Ben Morris – See all 40 MiniPops here! You can also find his icons on t-shirts, phone cases, and mugs!
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punk_rock#cite_note-MM-5 ↵
- Look, I love me some Conchita Wurst, but do you think that entry wins without the bearded drag angle? Yeah, no. ↵
- Looking at you, Russia. ↵
- Not that that means anything. They currently have the UK as 10th most likely to win, so ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ↵