1944 (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Single by Jamala
from the album 1944
Released9 March 2016
Jamala singles chronology
Eurovision Song Contest 2016 entry
Art Antonyan, Jamala
Finals performance
Semi-final result
Semi-final points
Final result
Final points
Entry chronology
◄ "Tick-Tock" (2014)
"Time" (2017) ►

"1944" is a song written and performed by Ukrainian singer Jamala. It represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and won with a total of 534 points.[1][2]

A music video for the song was released on 21 September 2016.[3]

Background and lyrics[edit]

The lyrics for "1944" concern the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, in the 1940s, by the Soviet Union at the hands of Joseph Stalin because of their alleged collaboration with the Nazis.[4] Jamala was particularly inspired by the story of her great-grandmother Nazylkhan, who was in her mid-20s when she and her five children were deported to Central Asia. One of the daughters did not survive the journey.[5][6][7][8] Jamala's great-grandfather was fighting in World War II in the Red Army at this time and thus could not protect his family.[7] The song was also released amid renewed repression of Crimean Tatars following the Russian annexation of Crimea, since most Crimean Tatars refuse to accept the annexation.[9]

The English lyrics were written by the poet Art Antonyan. The song's chorus, in the Crimean Tatar language, is made up of words from a Crimean Tatar folk song called Ey Güzel Qırım that Jamala had heard from her great-grandmother, reflecting on the loss of a youth which could not be spent in her homeland.[10] The song features the duduk played by Aram Kostanyan[11] and the use of the mugham vocal style.[12]

National selection and Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Ukraine withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, citing costs.[13] After deciding to return to the contest in 2016, a selection process to determine the representative of Ukraine was opened, combining resources from the state broadcaster NTU and private STB.[14] Jamala was announced as one of the eighteen competing acts in the Ukrainian national selection for the contest. She performed in the first semi-final on 6 February 2016, where she won both the jury and televote, advancing to the Ukrainian final.[15] In the final, on 21 February, she was placed second by the jury and first by the televote, resulting in a tie with The Hardkiss and their song "Helpless". Jamala was announced as the winner, however, as the televoting acted as a tiebreaker.[1] She received 37.77% of more than 382,000 televotes.[16]

Jamala represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, performing in the second half of the second semi-final.[17] "1944" is the first Eurovision song to contain lyrics in the Crimean language. She won the final receiving the second highest televoting score and second highest jury vote.

Accusations of politicisation[edit]

In a February 2016 interview with The Guardian, Jamala said that the song also reminded her of her own family living in Crimea nowadays, claiming that since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea "the Crimean Tatars are on occupied territory".[4][nb 1] The song lyrics, however, do not address this annexation.[19] Eurovision rules prohibit songs with lyrics that could be interpreted as having "political content".[19]

Immediately after the selection of this song, some Russian politicians, as well as authorities in Crimea, accused the Ukrainian authorities of "capitalising on the tragedy of the Tatars to impose on European viewers a false picture of alleged harassment of the Tatars in the Russian Crimea".[8][nb 2]

On 9 March 2016, a tweet from the European Broadcasting Union confirmed that neither the title nor the lyrics of the song contained "political speech" and therefore it did not breach any Eurovision rule, thus allowing it to remain in the competition.[21]

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

The song won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, receiving a grand total of 534 points, officially surpassing the previous record set by Alexander Rybak with his song "Fairytale" in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, which won with 387 points.[2][nb 3]

The national juries voted “Sound of Silence” by Australia first with 320 points, and the televote voted “You Are the Only One” by Russia first with 361 points. The televoting result for Ukraine, of 323 points, however, was sufficient, when added to their jury score of 211 points, to put them in first place, with a grand total of 534 points, leaving Australia second and Russia third.

Critical reception[edit]

Prior to the Ukrainian national selection finals, "1944" received 8.33 out of 10 points from a jury of Eurovision blog Wiwibloggs,[22] the highest score among the six finalists in the Ukrainian national selection.[23]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[24]
Digital download – EP
2."Watch Over Me"5:47
3."Hate Love"3:46
4."I'm Like a Bird"3:33
5."Thank You"3:22
Total length:19:28


Chart (2016) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[25] 54
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Flanders)[26] 13
Finland Airplay (Radiosoittolista)[27] 64
France (SNEP)[28] 49
Hungary (Single Top 40)[29] 40
Russia (TopHit)[30] 129
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[31] 32
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[32] 46
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 73
Ukraine (Tophit Ukraine Charts)[30] 2
Chart (2022) Peak
Lithuania (AGATA)[34] 8

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide 12 February 2016[24] Digital download Enjoy


  1. ^ Crimea is currently de facto controlled by Russia, after a controversial Self-Determination referendum.[18]
  2. ^ Russian MP Vadim Dengin of the far-right LDPR believed the song's victory was fixed because "Most of the citizens of Ukraine who do not receive any salary or pensions have nothing to pay for electricity, and secondly, they do not care about this Eurovision".[20] He also expressed hope that the song would be banned from participation by Eurovision.[20]
  3. ^ Because of the new scoring system, however, with separate sets of televotes and jury votes, the results are not directly comparable with each other, as the number of points was limited to 492 in previous contest. With the current system, the score of "Fairytale" would have been 690.


  1. ^ a b Omelyanchuk, Olena (21 February 2016). "Jamala will represent Ukraine in Stockholm!". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Ukraine wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  3. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Jamala - 1944 (Official Music Video)". YouTube.
  4. ^ a b Veselova, Viktoria; Melnykova, Oleksandra (11 February 2016). "Crimean singer in line to represent Ukraine at Eurovision". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  5. ^ Savage, Mark (22 February 2016). "Eurovision: Ukraine's entry aimed at Russia". BBC News. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Jamala entered Eurovision-2016 national selection". QHA.com.ua. 26 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Jamala leads after the first semifinal of the National Selection to the Eurovision 2016". The Day. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  8. ^ a b Russia MPs slam Ukraine's choice of Crimean Tatar for Eurovision Archived 2 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Yahoo News (23 February 2016)
  9. ^ "A Eurovision win provides symbolic victory over Russian repression". The Economist. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  10. ^ Halpin, Chris (8 February 2016). "1994 Lyrics – Jamala (Ukraine, Eurovision 2016)". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  11. ^ ""Հենց ինքնաթիռը վայրէջք կատարեց Հայաստանում՝ միանգամից զգացի, որ ես տանն եմ". Ջամալայի բացառիկ հարցազրույցը 168.am-ին". 168 Ժամ (in Armenian). Archived from the original on 18 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Jamala - 1944 (Ukraine 2016) | Eurovision Song Contest". Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  13. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (Sergio) (19 September 2014). "Ukraine: NTU will not participate in Eurovision 2015". esctoday. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  14. ^ Gallagher, Robyn (19 November 2015). "UKRAINE: STATE BROADCASTER TO COLLABORATE WITH STB FOR NATIONAL SELECTION 2016". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  15. ^ Omelyanchuk, Olena (6 February 2016). "Ukraine: Results of the first semi-final". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Детальні результати глядацького голосування "Євробачення-2016" (фiнал)" (in Ukrainian). STB. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  17. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2016). "Allocation Draw: The results!". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  18. ^ Gutterman, Steve (18 March 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions". Reuters.com. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  19. ^ a b Ukraine picks Crimean Tatar for Eurovision Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, Times Union (21 February 2014)
    Eurovision: Ukraine's entry aimed at Russia, BBC News (22 February 2016)
  20. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) In State Duma they want Jamal not to be allowed in Eurovision, Ukrayinska Pravda (22 February 2016)
  21. ^ "The Ref. Group concluded that the title & lyrics of the song don't contain political speech and don't breach @Eurovision Rules". European Broadcasting Union. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  22. ^ "Wiwi Jury: Ukraine's Jamala with "1944"". Wiwibloggs. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Wiwi Jury Results: Jamala is our favorite to win in Ukraine". Wiwibloggs. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  24. ^ a b "1944 – Single". itunes.com. Apple.
  25. ^ "Jamala – 1944" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Jamala – 1944" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Jamala: 1944" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Jamala – 1944" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  30. ^ a b TopHit Track Info – Jamala, "1944"
  31. ^ "Jamala – 1944" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  32. ^ "Jamala – 1944". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  33. ^ "Jamala – 1944". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  34. ^ "2022 9-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.

External links[edit]

  • "1944" - lyrics at eurovision.tv