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Every Song A Story: Themes And Symbols Written by on May 2, 2015 | 3 Comments

Our short series of video essays on presenting an entry at the Eurovision Song Contest is coming to a close. Previous essays  have looked at the power of making ‘Personal Connections‘, using ‘Framing‘ to tell a story, and the lessons that Michael Bay’s technique of ‘Bayhem‘ can offer a Eurovision number. Our final essay brings in the idea of themes and symbols into the performance.

We’ll also look at how the three-minute stage performance does not stand alone. The promotional video is a vital tool in the run up to the Contest. How can the smart delegation leverage the potential millions of viewers to increase the emotional connection on one Saturday night in May?

Finally, lets take all of these techniques, mix them up with artistic flair, and see what happens when everything just works.

The Themes And Symbols That Drive Eurovision

Ewan Spence looks at themes and symbols that can be repeated throughout Eurovision, both on stage, and in the official promotional videos. How can you increase connections and emotions with the audience in the three minutes on stage, and in the weeks beforehand?

A final thanks and tip of the hat to Tony Zhou and ‘Every Frame A Painting‘ for the inspiration to look at the Song Contest with a cinematic eye.

Every Song A Story was always intended to be a short run of video essays in April, so this is the final part. You can watch all the videos here on ESC Insight, and depending on what we see on the monitors in Vienna, there may be a special episode or two in May.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the series – it has been something new for our community, and we hope that you’ve discovered something new in your favourite Contest.

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (

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3 responses to “Every Song A Story: Themes And Symbols”

  1. Shawn L Putnam says:

    Brilliant analysis. Truly impressed – very academic.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Great series of films, Ewan – very informative!

    I did laugh (I suspect the humour was unintentional on your part though) when you spoke about ‘Old Sergej’…poor guy is only 39!

  3. Ewan Spence says:

    Martin, thematically he was old Sergej, compared to young Sergej. Remember… symbols are interchangeable, and you could argue that it also represented a barrier of time. Note how the vision of love in the official video is the ‘innocent love’ of a young boy and gir.

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