Over the weekend it was Statehood day in Lithuania. Aussievision contributor Laura Smith put together this list of their five most memorable songs.
Švęskime Valstybės dieną kartu! (Let’s celebrate Statehood Day together!)
Over the weekend (July 6) it was Statehood Day, which commemorates the coronation of King Mindaugas, the first king of Lithuania, in 1253. The day has been officially celebrated since 1991 and is one of three state holidays celebrated in Lithuania.
Lithuania have been participating in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1994. From their debut year, where they finished dead last with a total of...I’m sorry, zero points, the only way for the Baltic nation was up! Since the introduction of the semi finals, Lithuania have qualified for the final 9 out of 16 times, having participated 20 times in total.
Their national selection show, "Eurovizijos" dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka, also commonly known as Eurovizijos Atranka, is a marathon of a television event with plenty of interesting songs to keep fans entertained, showcasing their unique culture and talent. This show has resulted in a number of Eurovision entries that remain iconic to this day. But which ones are the most iconic? Strap yourselves in for the most wacky, colourful, memorable moments of Lithuania’s history at the Eurovision Song Contest.
1. Eastern European Funk - InCulto (2010)
Fun party spirit? Check.
Funky ska rhythm? Check.
Oversized novelty instruments? Check.
Costume reveal? You’d better believe that’s a check.
Sparkly booty shorts?! Check!
Tongue-in-cheek lyrics protesting Western Europe’s treatment of Lithuania? Yep, that’s there too!
Although this song failed to qualify to the final, it definitely got Eurovision fans up and dancing!
2. This Time - Monika Linkytė & Vaidas Baumila (2015)
This performance featured the first ever kiss between two men on the Eurovision stage, as well as another kiss between two women at the same time (the second in Eurovision’s history), causing international controversy. But did you know that one of those men was Jurijus Veklenko who sang Run With The Lions for Lithuania in the 2019 contest? Iconic.
This cheery, light-hearted song got Eurovision viewers falling in love, although interestingly enough, it was never originally intended to be a duet! Although this song was intended for a solo artist, it was performed as a duet by Monika and Vaidas in the semi-final of Eurovizijos Atranka. For the final, the composer of This Time requested that the duo reunite to perform the song, leading them to victory in the national selection and 18th place in the Eurovision 2015 final.
3. When We’re Old - Ieva Zasimauskaitė (2018)
When We’re Old is like a basket full of baby bunnies and puppies and kittens and sunshine in song form. It’s an extremely beautiful, soft, heartfelt ballad - the perfect song for a slow dance at a wedding.
The staging, including the special, touching moment where Ieva’s real-life husband appeared at the end of the song as she serenaded him, got hearts melting all over the world as she sang some of the last lines of the song in Lithuanian. This marks the first time the language has been featured at Eurovision since 1999. Ieva Zasimauskaitė’s tender performance came 12th in the final.
4. I’ve Been Waiting For This Night - Donny Montell (2016)
I’ve Been Waiting For This Night marks Donny Montell’s second Eurovision appearance for Lithuania, after representing them for the first time in 2012 with the song Love Is Blind. With an infectious earworm of a chorus, flips, smouldering gazes into the camera, and even one helluva high note, this performance has it all! Donny Montell’s energetic, lively performance placed 9th in the final, giving the Baltic nation its best ever points total of 200 points and Lithuania’s highest placing this decade.
5. We Are The Winners - LT United (2006)
We couldn’t have a list of the most iconic Lithuanian Eurovision entries and not include We Are The Winners by LT United! This legendary piece of trolling got everyone to vote for the winners, giving Lithuania their best Eurovision result ever of...6th place?! This timeless classic was robbed.
As much as Lithuania winning Eurovision is a seemingly far-fetched idea, it was this idea that propelled LT United to unprecedented success. In fact, this song was so iconic that Lordi (the actual winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest) sang it at their winners’ press conference after the Grand Final. LT United also recorded a version of this song for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and Robbie Williams even sang it at one of his concerts! Whether you think this song is a winner in your eyes or not, LT United and We Are The Winners definitely put Lithuania on the map!
There we have it - our top five most iconic Lithuanian Eurovision entries! Which ones made your list? Until next time, ačiū! No, that wasn’t a sneeze, we were just thanking you for reading this article in Lithuanian!