What a list of firsts: first Latin American, first Jesuit, first to use the name Francis, first…Vatican entry for next month’s Eurovision Song Contest!
You read that right! This is an exciting time in the Vatican. A sense of “newness” fills the Roman air. You’d be forgiven – by most anyway – if you wanted to “Sing a New Song Unto the Lord!” And it gets me thinking: now is the right time for yet another distinctive first.
If you’re not familiar with Eurovision, here’s the short of it: Eurovision is a European international song competition in which countries compete against each other by sending one national representative to a contest broadcast live on television across the continent. Think American Idol does the EU. This year, 38 countries are being represented, and this is our chance to make it 39!
Entries need to be catchy, representing their country but with broad appeal, and I think the Vatican may just have the right combination to take it all the way to the finals, and with a nod to the gospel…of love! I’ve even thought of a few possibilities we could nominate:
Go old school: Cardinals Bertello (Italy), Becker (Germany), and Grocholewski (Poland) crooning the Bee-Gees’ (see what I did there?) How Deep is Your Love.
Bring it hip-hop style: Cardinals Turkson (Ghana) and O’Malley (USA) doing something from DJ Dangermouse’s Grey Album.
Journey has a new front man from the Philippines, so people look east: Cardinal Tagle rockin’ Don’t Stop Believing.
Softer with a feminine touch: Mother Mary Clare Millea covering Love Will Keep Us Together. Bring in LCWR sisters to harmonize.
Of course, for Eurovision none of that may be big enough. Look, the UK is running Bonnie Tyler, which could totally eclipse Mother Millea. So I say, let’s run with the opportunity we lost on the basilica balcony that Wednesday night a month ago: Pope Francis himself doing a smooth, jazzy version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.
Ire magno vel vade in domum,1 as they say! Let’s win this!
- Ahem, “go big or go home.” ↩