My top 5 songs from…Lithuania

Lithuania entered Eurovision in 1994 as part of the great wave of new countries and was also the same year as their Baltic neighbours Estonia. They’ve sadly had less success to date than Estonia (or Latvia) but are frequent qualifiers to the grand final, thanks to the size and organisation of the Lithuanian diaspora. I last did a Lithuanian top 5 in March 2017 so there have been three more songs now eligible for this top 5. One of those is my new number 1 and holds a very special place in my heart.

5. Sasha Son “Love” (2009, 23rd place, 23 points)

Clinging on (just) with a place in my top 5 is Sasha Son, proof a hat at a jaunty angle and a fairly classy song can take you somewhere.

4. Donny Montell “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” (2016, 9th place, 200 points)

Donny has entered Eurovision twice (2012 and 2016), and his two entries are among Lithuania’s better results. This entry is his more successful one, and it’s actually Lithuania’s second best result to date. The song is reasonable but it’s the staging that sets this one apart – very impressive. Plus a beefed up Donny puts in an energetic live performance.

3. Andrius Pojavis “Something” (2013, 22nd place, 17 points)

Speaking of energetic performances, this is not exactly one of them! But there is something about this I find charming/appealing– maybe it’s Andrius’s nonchalant attitude or perhaps it’s those expressive eyebrows! The accented English also seems to work well in this song (well, for me anyway!) and it’s a decent uptempo number (though with some rather curious lyrics!)

2. Monika Linkytė & Vaidas Baumila “This Time” (2015, 18th place, 30 points)

This rare Lithuanian duet was originally my favourite Lithuanian song, but has slipped to number 2. This is 3 minutes of bouncy, happy joyfulness and of course contains a famous same sex kissing moment (two couples no less). One of the backing singers in this (who was one of the same sex kissers) went on to represent Lithuania in 2019, Jurij Veklenko, narrowly missing out on a place in the grand final (and he narrowly missed out on my Top 5) but he has a place still as part of the 2015 team.

1. Ieva Zasimauskaitė “When We’re Old” (2018, 12th place, 181 points)

So my new number 1 from Lithuania is a song that became very special personally to me, but even without that bias I am sure this would still be my number one. Such a sweet quiet song was dismissed by the fandom in the run up to the contest, but I first saw the potential of this when I saw Ieva live at the London Eurovision Party – she delivered it in such a sweet, endearing and hauntingly beautiful way, I wasn’t surprised when that got translated and further enhanced on the Eurovision stage. The result was Lithuania’s third best result and their best result by a female performer.

For me, this song was indelibly linked with my relationship with my boyfriend, which was still in its first few months. It stayed with us through times when we thought politics and bureaucracy threatened to split us apart, and we chose it as one of the songs to be played at our wedding – it played during our signing of the marriage register. It’s a song I won’t be forgetting!

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