Israel accepts the revised lyrics for October Rain

The state broadcaster in Israel has asked for alterations to a song’s lyrics that was entered in this year’s Eurovision competition. It was banned last week by organizers for violating political neutrality regulations. The words of October Rain, which seem to be a reference to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, were promised not to be changed by Israeli broadcaster Kan. Isaac Herzog, the president of Israel, demanded “necessary adjustments” in order for Israel to be included to the program.

 

Israel had four previous victories in the Eurovision Song Contest. Sweden, the winner of the previous year’s competition, will host the tournament this year in May. Kan is currently selecting its entry; Dance Forever is in second place and October Rain is the top submission. Kan requested that the lyricists of both songs “readapt the texts while preserving their artistic freedom” in a statement released on Sunday. It further stated that President Herzog had “emphasized that the nation ‘ must raise its voice’ in international forums precisely at a time when those who hate us are seeking to repress and boycott the State of Israel.”

 

Kan declared that it had “no intention to replace the song” after the European Broadcasting Union announced last month that it was reviewing the lyrics. Next Sunday is expected to see the confirmation of Israel’s entry, which will be performed by 20-year-old singer Eden Golan. Last month, Kan’s website released the English version of October Rain’s original lyrics. These contain the phrases “They were all good children, every one of them” as well as “Who told you boys don’t cry/ Hours and hours/ And flowers/ Life is not a game for the cowards.” According to the Israel Hayom newspaper, the allusion to flowers was noteworthy because they are frequently used to symbolize war casualties.

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