Belarusian Band Working To Replace Song Rejected By Eurovision Organizers

The Belarusian band Galasy ZMesta has prepared two new songs for the Eurovision Song Contest, band leader Dmitry Butakov told Belarusian state television in an interview broadcast on March 21.

One of songs is about bunnies, while the other is more serious, Butakov said, adding that he didn’t know which one would be submitted to replace a song that was rejected by Eurovision organizers.

The European Broadcasting Union on March 11 informed Minsk that Galasy ZMesta’s song I’ll Teach You was rejected because it would put the nonpolitical nature of the contest in question.

The song included praise for Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka and used lyrics such as “I’ll teach you how to dance to the tune.”

Butakov said in the interview that he believes that the text of the first song was not accepted because “apparently there were some interested people who made it so that they perceived it that way.”

Calls to reject Belarus’s entrant to the annual Eurovision contest had been growing in the runup to the event in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on May 18-22.

Lukashenka has overseen a brutal government crackdown on protests calling for his resignation, fresh elections, and the release of detainees. More than 30,000 people have been arrested, hundreds beaten, and several people killed in the crackdown.

Butakov also said that the band’s stage show will be “old school,” noting that the band is not made up of young people.

“Therefore, everything will be somewhere in the old man’s way (but) in a good way,” he said.

Butakov said Galasy ZMesta songs normally are well received by Western audiences. He said the band’s songs are played on the radio in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Canada.

Based on reporting by Belarusian state television and Tut.by
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