Mark Watson Talks A Bit About LifeFlaws Mark Watson Tour 2014Hotel Alpha - the new novel by Mark Watson

Sound and (euro)vision

As you will be aware, I am running what will be a successful campaign, via this blog, to win the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, which has been something of a problem for Britain for some time. I’ve not previously given that much thought to the problem, but as you know I like music, I like a challenge and I like competitions. So I feel the time is right for me – and us – to enter this fray. I have appointed as head of this operation Josh, who wrote the Mark Watson Christmas song and is very focused on his responsibilities here. The below message is from him and it sets out what we need in order to take this project forward. There’s meant to be a graph in it but I had a fail, as they say on forums, so you’ll have to imagine it (I will append it as soon as I get a bit of time online). With or without the graph, the message is clear. This is our chance to change musical history. Or rather, the musical future. I’m aware we have not yet been officially selected, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else getting the nod once they’ve seen our plans.

So I hand you over to Josh and I hope some of you will hear his rallying cry.


The Eurovision song contest, huh. What a thing it is.

The other week Mark decided we were going to win it next year, and he put me in charge of what I like to call the UK Eurovison Patriotic Triumph Deliverance Taskforce, or UKEPTDT. Together we will write the song that will win the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan.

As we all know, in recent years we’ve hardly been doing excellently, but just how excellently have we not been doing? We’ve won the grand accolade 4 times since we started in 1959 but only once since the 1980’s. Before then, we’d never come less than half way up the board, since then we’ve come last 3 times. In fact, if you look at this graph I’ve made, even adjusting for the increased number of entries, before the end of the decade we’ll be doing negatively well.

Obviously,we need to do something spectacular.While not wanting to accuse anyone of tactical voting, since invading Iraq, we’ve been doing worse than ever, so we need to do something extra special to compensate for our international reputation.

So, what we need is the following:
We need an amazing song
We need some brilliant music
We need an excellent performer we can send to Azerbaijan
We need to record a profesional-sounding demo of the song
We need some people to do the pyrotechnics and clothes and stuff
We need to go round Europe telling everyone to vote for us
It is unknown how the BBC will choose the UK entry, but, under new Eurovision rules, it has to include a public vote on between at least 2 songs, so if we get into that competition or whatever it will be, we could be onto a winner.

Now, what can we learn from the successes and failures of this year’s competition? Obviously, Azerbaijan only teaches us that if you have a non-offensive song and a lot of land-borders then you can do well, but seeing as we’re an island nation with only one border and a modicum of self-respect, that’s not an option. Italy coming second with a suave little jazz number and Georgia coming ninth with their industrial metal offering taught us that if you’re doing something no one else is doing then you pick up all the votes for that style. And, of course, Jedward showed us that if a song and performance is slick enough, you can get away with anything.

I want to see you all pitching in here, be it with lyrics, chords, the fact that you happen to know a pop star, especially one with a strong European fan-base, or anything else you can offer. You can post here or go to the forum where there will be a thread. Don’t feel that you can’t help just because you’re foreign, Eurovision takes all sorts.

British national pride is on the line here, so it’s time for us to stand up and fight for what we believe in, assuming, of course that what we believe in is winning Eurovision.

If it’s not, pretend it is.

You can use it however and whenever you want.

Fondest regards, Josh Rodell
Head of the UKEPTDT

25 Responses

  1. Primary chords all the way, with a nice cheesy modulation in the middle. The musician part of me *headdesks* but that’s the sole basis of pop music …

  2. Oh, and PLEASE don’t do write it in C major; it is the most bland key of them all imho. G major also is probably not the best key for Eurovision, as it is the saddest-sounding major key. A major is all bright and happy so might be a good key, or even E major … a lot of it depends on what range you want the melody to have, but A major is always a safe bet. (And then for the cheesy modulation it could go into E … )

    Anyway, here endeth the ramble. Feel free to ignore it! :)

  3. Misha says:

    Surely you just need to stick to the 4 chord forumla? ;)
    Or better yet, C# minor. Although that might be a bit sad.

    Either way, I vote for fairy outfits and silly hats ala Moldova.

  4. alot of rachels says:

    during the show martin White tweeted alot about the annoying chord progressions so maybe ask him what’s best :p

    I have no musical knowledge or anything about lyrics. but I like playing the ukulele or the stylophone.

  5. Lydia says:

    I like the idea of pyrotechnics. I’m quite good at setting fire to things. By which I mean I am good at blowing up hand mixers.

    I can sort of play the guitar. But I am too embarrassed to do it when anyone else is there.

    So I am, in other words, a bit useless.

  6. Kate B says:

    Sadly I am really pretty terrible at all things musical. But I will happily show my full support!

  7. Kathryn says:

    Boring chord progressions are undesirable but they are very Eurovision. I’m not very good at actually writing music but I can offer you a high degree of technical knowledge about chords and keys and things. My many years of studying music theory and my Music A-level must be good for something.

    My music teacher would be turning in her grave. If she were dead, that is.

    A major can be hard to sing in, but it is certainly bright and up-beat, and I assume that’s what we’re going for here. What is the general level of cheesiness we want to aim for?

  8. Rachael says:

    I could fly around Europe telling people to vote for us, I have nothing else on.

  9. Anji says:

    Woo hoo! It all sounds exciting, and I’m in a bit of a ‘take the world on’ mood today (I passed my theory test today, and after 10 years of putting the whole driving game off, I’m not fully rocking it).
    I’m not at all musical, and my old choir teacher put me onto the OHP, thats how bad I am at singing! But, my one bit of advice would be the singing has to start before you get 30 seconds in – if a musical into goes on 30 seconds or longer it’s too much. It’s a pet hate of mine, it’s not proven or anything but I thought I’d add it in the mix!
    Woo hoo! I can offer lots of those and positive thinking etc along the way. I know you’ll all be pleased to hear that ;)

  10. Allie says:

    I agree with Misha, fairy outfits n pointy hats….maybe some feathery wings with bells on. I would be quite happy to help out with a tambourine. I’m not very good with lyrics though….sorry.

  11. Allie says:

    …. and congrats to Anji on passing the driving theory test. I’ve been putting it off for 20 years!

  12. Nuala says:

    This blog makes me smile. Next year Europe, the year after – the world! Go Team Watson!

  13. Nia says:

    Personally, I like a bit of a cappella, even if it’s a few seconds.

    I can play guitar, piano and flute and a bit of other stuff but I get very nervous in front of people so wouldn’t be much help.

    Anyway, I’m willing to give as much help and support as I can.

  14. ChrisP says:

    I’d love to be involved on a bit of guitar! For sure!

    I could possibly do some music writing stuff but I’m no good at writing songs but if you give me an idea of what sort of melody/chord stuff you want I’m sure I can work with it. Josh himself is pretty handy on the six strings himself though.

    Either way, count me in!

  15. Hello, me here.

    First off, the graph, showing our success over the length of the ESC is here. I should warn you, it makes shocking viewing.

    Also, the forum thread is now up, if you want to go there then do so, but I will keep popping back here.

    It’s brilliant to hear that people want to help, and even better that people are already thinking of chord progressions. I don’t think we should be constrained by tradition here though, if we have just another Eurovision song then our reputation and lack of borders will mean we don’t stand a chance.

    One very good point raised by Anji, whatever song we end up with should probably start with a catchy chorus within the first couple of seconds.

    All you people who say you can’t help because you’re not musical, remember points 3-6 on the action plan. There’s a lot of logistics that needs doing as well as, and I am loathe to say the word, admin. There will be easily enough jobs for whoever wants them.

    Lastly, I would like to refute ChrisP’s allegation of being “pretty handy on the six strings”. I cannot play guitar at all. I may be handy on the ukulele, but that’s not very hard at all.

    Thank you and goodnight.

  16. @NLi10 says:

    We lost due to the Jury’s of the other countries not being big fans of Blue

    Italy only got their massive (70 point lead) on Judge votes due to returning to the contest. Our best hope then is to not be in the contest next year, tehn to return with Take That or similar to storm it.

  17. Ingrid says:

    Like i said before…
    That would be awesome! I think if we just got as many watsonians together as possible playing a large and random assortment of instruments it could be really cool.
    I can play the piano and the fiddle (better at the fiddle though) and i would totally be up for it!

    Also i could sew costumes, come up with ideas, promote or anything you want really! Sounds great! :)

  18. I’m pretty hot on writing lyrics if I’m given a good tune. Not as good as Tim Minchin though, which begs the question, can’t we just get him to do it?! :)

  19. Josie says:

    God, just do something along the lines of G, D, C, D with lots of “shalalala”‘s. Then we can spend time on a light show and acrobats.

  20. Phill says:

    As I don’t think anyone’s posted it up yet, the link to the forum thread is:

  21. Ally says:

    I can neither write songs, nor do I know any pop stars, nor do I even live in Europe… But I watch Eurovision every year in Australia (It was quite cool when us Aussie watchers got a shout out this year :P)

    From I can see the winner tends to fluctuate between people who can sing and people who are original combined with a large dose of how many fans you already have and where you’re from.

    If I think of anything I can do to help I’ll let you know!

  22. Kate W says:

    Christmas show? Peter Andre and fake antlers? That’s a pretty weird evening, Mr Watson.

  23. Catherine aka Cathy says:

    I agree with the other Cathy (traineeflorist). Can we get Minchin to write something catchy? You two are friends. Surely for Queen and country and friend and fans he would do it.

  24. Corey says:

    This all sounds fun. I haven’t got time for ideas right now after a punishing couple of days at work that saw me come within touching distance of me quitting. I wrote out my resignation letter and everything before my boss persuaded me my future lies there.
    But anything I can do to help, count me in!

  25. I’ve contacted Minchin on twitter about it, no word back yet.

Leave a Reply