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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 12:38 GMT
How do you write a Eurovision hit?
Lordi singer
Can Morrissey emulate Lordi?

Morrissey may have to sit down and try to write a Eurovision hit. Is there a formula he should follow?

Previous winners include Love Shine a Light, Fly on the Wings of Love and Take Me to Your Heaven.

The man hoping to emulate them has penned Girlfriend in a Coma, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Interesting Drug and We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.

In one of music's most unlikely collaborations, the BBC has confirmed that Morrissey, known for his bleak satire, could represent the UK at the altar of high camp - the Eurovision Song Contest.

The corporation is in talks with the former singer of The Smiths, the Mancunian band which influenced a generation.

Puppet on a String was like a salmon swimming up the river
Bill Martin
Puppet on a String writer

His legion of fans are still digesting the news, some with disgust, although their votes could be needed in the preliminary televised round that has in the past cast glamour model Jordan aside.

Even allowing for Morrissey's love of the absurd, how one of the industry's most respected lyricists will conform to a format that crowned Diggi Loo-Diggi Ley, Ding Dinge Dong and Boom Bang-A-Bang as winners is an intriguing question.

And if Morrissey is looking for a template to follow, then he needs to provide some key ingredients, according to music expert Dr Harry Witchel.

His analysis of 50 years of Eurovision winners suggested that pace and rhythm, an easily memorable song, a perfect chorus, a key change, a clearly defined finish and a dance routine are part of a successful recipe.

"Morrissey has a strong tradition of heartfelt music and I wouldn't be surprised if he went towards the balladic style," he says. "A lot of the dance stuff has an element of 'cheese' and I don't think he'll go down that road.

"Based on his most popular canon of work, he could find himself forced to do a ballad and he could pull that off."

'Be distinctive'

But Bill Martin, who wrote the UK's first winner in 1967 for Sandie Shaw, said the only formula is to be different.

"Puppet on a String was like a salmon swimming up the river. It had to be different. This was 1967, the year of flower power, Sergeant Peppers and A Whiter Shade of Pale.

"We wanted to do long notes, like a circus song. It had to be concise, in the sense that it wasn't over-orchestrated. The bassoon was totally different.

Charlotte Nilsson, Lordi and Morrissey
Eurovision throws up a mix of talents

"But I can't see how Morrissey is going to be different. He's too old and he's not original."

Eurovision is no longer just about a song, he says. It is a dancing and video extravaganza which would be unsuitable for Morrissey.

There would be a certain symmetry to Morrissey trying to emulate the feat of Shaw exactly 40 years later. She was a childhood hero of his, who duetted with him on several Smiths songs.

Threats

And his followers claim he is not as miserable as the media paint him, and that his wit and charisma are overlooked.

He did remark last year, after Daz Sampson failed to greatly trouble the scoreboard, that he should have been asked to write the UK entry, but it was a comment interpreted as tongue-in-cheek.

One fan has threatened to sell his collections if Morrissey enters the contest, while others believe he can take something as hackneyed as Eurovision and give it a new dimension.

And the sense of novelty that recent winners have brought to the contest - transsexuality, death rock - means there could be the appetite for a new twist.


Add your comments on this story, using the form below.

I think morrissey would make a fantastic, fresh change to our otherwise bland, dare I say boring entrys in this tongue in cheek contest, should he get the gig best of luck to him! I for one have never watched it, but im sure to watch if Morrissey is on!
Russell Shevlane, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire UK

I'd love to see Morrissey performing in Helsinki. Several wonderful male artists have been very close at winning - without gimmick, dance routines or such. A good song, a powerful perfomer and an intense presentation are all that is needed. And never mind the politics and voting strategies: Finland only gets pity points from Sweden and Estonia, has lately even managed to disqualify from the whole competition, but still we won. Finns are still extremely baffled about it...
Myrsky, Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki knows I'm miserable now...
Dan S, Cambridge

So long as Morrisey rips his skirt off and puts a key change in we don't mind!! Maybe he could get Cheryl Baker on backing vocals???
The Schlagerboys, Birmingham, United Kingdom

It doesn't matter how good, bad, or formulaic the song is - it's the politics that count these days! With precious few 'friends' in Europe (particularly eastern europe), we won't get the votes whatever we do. Listen to Uncle Terry's commentary if you want the true picture of Eurovision!
Zoe, Nottingham, UK

It's good to finally have someone entering the Eurovision for us that I have actually heard of (even if I don't like his music). What is amusing is often the most lively and fun band win, yet we often go in with a sombre song. Doesn't matter what we enter, the europeans will all vote for their neighbouring countries anyway, and we certainly aren't going to get Ireland or France's votes.
Oliver Newton, Wivenhoe, Essex

Dr Harry Witchel's time has been wasted. In this day and age, politics and neighbourly voting decides the winner of the contest... I hope Morrissey does represent the UK, and thouroughly mocks the whole event in the process, just like Lordi did...
JMC, Bristol

Though I heartily approve of Morrissey entering Eurovision, aren't we all forgetting that in order to win you need to write music in the style that only someone with hearing problems could appreciate and lyrics worthy of a three-year- old? Surely little chris would be a better option.. "Belligerent ghouls run song contest schools"
Will Theakston, Lyon, France

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