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Amar pelos dois

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"Amar pelos dois"
Sobral and a woman on the Eurovision stage
Single by Salvador Sobral
LanguagePortuguese
English title"To Love for the Both of Us"
Released10 March 2017 (2017-03-10)
Genre
Length3:05
Label
  • Sons em Trânsito
  • Sony
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Luísa Sobral
Salvador Sobral singles chronology
"Nem Eu"
(2016)
"Amar pelos dois"
(2017)
"Mano a Mano"
(2018)
Music video
"Amar pelos dois" on YouTube
Eurovision Song Contest 2017 entry
Country
Artist(s)
Language
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)
Luísa Sobral
Finals performance
Semi-final result
1st
Semi-final points
370
Final result
1st
Final points
758
Entry chronology
◄ "Há um mar que nos separa" (2015)   
"O jardim" (2018) ►

"Amar pelos dois" (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmaɾ ˈp(ɨ)luʃ ˈdojʃ]; English: To Love for the Both of Us) is a song by Portuguese singer Salvador Sobral. The song was written and produced by his sister Luísa Sobral and released for digital download as a single on 10 March 2017 by Sons em Trânsito. It premiered on 19 February of that year, when it was performed during the first semi-final of Festival da Canção 2017, Portugal's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

"Amar pelos dois" is a jazz waltz with the lyrical theme of heartbreak after a breakup. The song received praise from music critics, with some reviewers considering it Portugal's all-time best Eurovision entry. The song earned the Sobral siblings various awards, including two Marcel Bezençon Awards. It was included in the European Union Songbook as the all-time top Portuguese love song, and was covered by several artists. The song achieved commercial success, particularly in Europe, reaching either number one or top ten in several territories.

"Amar pelos dois" represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The song gave Portugal its first ever win in the contest since their debut in 1964. It amassed 758 points, setting the record for the highest number of points in the history of the competition, and is the only entry to top both the televoting and jury voting in the second half of the 2010s. Salvador Sobral performed the song alone on stage B, close to the audience, while the background LED screens displayed an enchanted forest.

Background and release[edit]

"I wanted to write a song that represents me, that could be on a record of mine, a song that I could be proud of and that's what I did".[1]

Luísa Sobral, composer of "Amar pelos dois"

"Amar pelos dois" was one of 16 songs commissioned by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) for Festival da Canção 2017, Portugal's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The composers both created the song and selected the performer for their entry. Luísa Sobral composed "Amar pelos dois" specifically for her brother, Salvador: "I never thought about singing this song myself because when I wrote it I already had my brother's voice in mind. I was very fond of seeing him playing my song, because I think he is an extraordinary singer and because it gives me great joy to see him at the song contest and also that it turned out to be a family thing".[1] Salvador Sobral stated that even though "Amar pelos dois" was created by Luísa, she gave him freedom to perform the song according to his artistic personality.[1]

"Amar pelos dois" premiered on 19 February 2017, when it was performed for Festival da Canção 2017, Portugal's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The song was released for digital download and streaming as a single on 10 March 2017 via Sons em Trânsito.[2] On 16 June 2017, it was released as a CD single by Sony Music.[3]

Composition[edit]

"Amar pelos dois" was written and produced by Luísa Sobral. The song is a jazz waltz[4] with a length of three minutes and five seconds (3:05),[2] that moves at a tempo of 92 beats per minute.[5] It is composed in the key of F major and written in triple metre, with Salvador Sobral's vocals spanning from D4 to G5.[6] Without background vocals, the song has an instrumentation consisting of strings and piano. Sobral stated that "Amar pelos dois" is "influenced by those old songs from the Great American Songbook, and it also has a touch of the beautiful bossa nova melodies".[7] The song's lyrical theme is heartbreak after a breakup:[8] "Meu bem / Ouve as minhas preces / Peço que regresses / Que me voltes a querer".[nb 1] Sobral described it as "a love song. A sad one".[7]

Critical reception[edit]

"Amar pelos dois" was met with positive reviews from music critics. Fabien Randanne of 20 minutes called the track a "superb melancholic song" and described it as a "delightfully anachronistic sound".[9] Francisco Chacón of ABC noted that the song's jazz-pop tempo distinguished it from the "outlandish proposals in the otherwise kitsch music scene".[10] The staff of Paris Match listed the song as one of their ten favourite entries of 2017, and noted a "great vocal mastery".[11] Chris Zeiher of the Special Broadcasting Service noted the "simplicity" of the song, adding that "there's something refreshing and reflective" in it.[12] Benny Royston of the Metro named the song "Portugal's best ever Eurovision entry", and commented that "sticking to Portuguese maintains the charm and charisma of this song that pulls at the heartstrings through musical composition".[13] Christopher D. Shea of The New York Times described it as an "unexpectedly earnest ballad" that "has earned a loyal following for upending over-the-top Eurovision expectations",[14] while Richard van de Crommert of De Telegraaf considered it Portugal's all-time best Eurovision entry.[15] Jens Maier of Stern called the song a "surprise", adding that it "enchanted" the contest.[16] Charlotte Runcie of The Daily Telegraph described the track as an "artistic, beautifully crafted" and "sophisticated" song.[17]

Awards[edit]

"Amar pelos dois" earned the Sobral siblings two Marcel Bezençon Awards: Salvador Sobral received the Artistic Award, whereas Luísa received the Composer Award.[18]

At the ESC Radio Awards, "Amar pelos dois" won Best Song. It marked the first time since Sweden's "Euphoria" (2012) that a Eurovision Song Contest winning entry also topped the ESC Radio Awards poll. Additionally, the song earned Salvador Sobral the Best Male Artist award.[19]

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2017 Marcel Bezençon Awards Artistic Award Won
Composer Award Won
ESC Radio Awards Best Song Won
Best Male Artist Won
2018 SPA Awards Best Song in Popular Music Won
Golden Globes (Portugal) Best Song Won

Commercial performance[edit]

"Amar pelos dois" achieved commercial success, particularly in Europe. In Portugal, the song reached number one on the singles chart compiled by the Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa (AFP) after its victory in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.[22] On the Portuguese download chart, the song debuted at number four, after winning Festival da Canção. The following week, it climbed to number three,[23] and ultimately topped the chart.[24] The song was certified gold by the AFP for selling over 10,000 units.[25]

In the rest of Europe, "Amar pelos dois" appeared on several charts, topping the charts in both Finland and the Netherlands, peaking at number three in Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, four in Denmark, five in Greece, six in Belgium, and 31 in the United Kingdom.[26][27][28] On other singles charts, the song was a chart topper in Iceland, peaked at number six in Switzerland, eight in Hungary, and 22 in Austria.[29][30][31][32] In France, it reached number four,[33] and in Spain, "Amar pelos dois" debuted at number one.[34] In the United States, "Amar pelos dois" peaked at number seven on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, as one of the best-performing international digital singles.[27]

Live performances[edit]

Salvador and Luísa Sobral, the latter of which composed "Amar pelos dois", first appeared on radio stations RFM and Rádio Comercial on 8 and 14 March 2017, respectively.[35][36] On 2 May of that year, Salvador Sobral's performance for Spain Calling International became available on RTVE's website.[37] On 25 May 2017, the Sobral siblings performed on RTP1's talk show Agora Nós.[38] Sobral performed alongside Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, on 12 May of that year.[39]

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Festival da Canção 2017[edit]

Luísa Sobral was announced as a participating songwriter of Festival da Canção 2017, Portugal's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, on 5 December 2016.[40] On 18 January 2017, Salvador Sobral was announced to be performing her song, titled "Amar pelos dois".[41] After being sent two songs by Luísa that she had written for the competition, Salvador selected "Amar pelos dois" as the song that he would like to perform. Luís Figueiredo, who did the string arrangement, also chose "Amar pelos dois" as the song to go through the competition's various phases. Salvador Sobral competed in the first semi-final on 19 February 2017, placing second with 20 points after winning the jury vote and coming third in the televote.[42] In the final, held on 5 March of that year, he won the jury vote and came second in the televote, placing first overall with 22 points, becoming the representative of Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.[43][44]

In Kiev[edit]

refer to caption
Sobral performing "Amar pelos dois" during a dress rehearsal for the contest.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 took place at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine, and consisted of two semi-finals on 9 and 11 May, followed by the final on 13 May 2017. Portugal was drawn to compete in the first half of the first semi-final, with the running order for the semi-finals being decided by the producers in order to avoid similar songs being placed next to each other.[45] Portugal was set to perform in position nine, following the entry from Azerbaijan and preceding the entry from Greece.[46] For the grand final, Portugal was drawn to compete in the first half. Portugal was subsequently placed to perform in position 11, following the entry from Denmark and before the entry from Azerbaijan.[47] Sobral was one of the favorites to win the contest, according to bookmakers.[48] With its tool, the "Eurosearch Song Contest", Google correctly predicted his victory.[49] For the winner's encore, Salvador and Luísa Sobral sang the song as a duet, as they previously did in the national final.[50]

For his performance, Salvador Sobral wore a black suit and performed alone on stage B, close to the audience. During the performance, the background LED screens displayed an enchanted forest.[51] Sobral's victory was hailed in Portugal by the Assembly of the Republic,[52] Prime Minister António Costa,[53] Minister of Culture Luís Filipe Castro Mendes,[54] and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who distinguished the Sobral siblings with the Order of Merit.[55]

Record-breaking victory[edit]

By earning 758 points overall in the grand final, "Amar pelos dois" became the highest-scoring entry in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, overtaking Ukraine's "1944", which had scored 534 points the year before. The former is the only entry to top both the televoting and jury voting in the second half of the 2010s.[56] In the grand final, "Amar pelos dois" received at least five televote points from every participating country.[57] It is the first winning song entirely performed in a country's native language since Serbia's "Molitva" (2007) and the first winning song written in triple metre since Ireland's "The Voice" (1996). With 382 points awarded by the national juries, "Amar pelos dois" broke the record of most jury points ever, beating Sweden's "Heroes", which had received 353 points from the juries in 2015.[57] Additionally, Portugal achieved the biggest winning margin of the decade and the second biggest of all time, scoring 143 more points than the runners-up.[58] Under the 1975-2015 voting system, "Amar pelos dois" would have scored 417 points, would have become the only entry to score 400 or more points and would surpass Norway's "Fairytale" which scored 387 points in 2009.[59] Also under the same voting system, the song would have received a record of 20 combined sets of 12 points, from televotes and jury votes, overcoming the 18 maximum scores collected by Sweden's "Euphoria" in 2012.[60]

Points awarded to Portugal[edit]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Portugal in the first semi-final and the grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the televoting and jury voting conducted during the two shows. The country finished in first place on both occasions. In the semi-final, Portugal was ranked first with 370 points overall, garnering 197 from the televote and 173 from the jury vote.[61][62] In the end, the country won the contest with 758 points overall; 376 from the televote and 382 from the jury vote. In the grand final, Portugal earned a total of 30 sets of 12 points.[57]

Legacy[edit]

European Union Songbook[edit]

"Amar pelos dois" was included in the European Union Songbook as the all-time top Portuguese love song. The song was the most voted by the public in a field of ten songs pre-selected by music professionals, thus representing Portugal in the category Love.[64]

Organisation Country Category Song Result
 European Union  Portugal Love "Amar pelos dois" 1st

Use in media[edit]

"Amar pelos dois" is the opening theme song for the Brazilian telenovela Tempo de Amar on Rede Globo.[65][66] The track generated a two-part television documentary titled Sem Fazer Planos do Que Virá Depois and aired by Portuguese broadcaster RTP. As the central theme, it is played and sung throughout the documentary.[67] The song is also featured on the soundtrack album for the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.[68] In the film, Sobral is seen performing "Amar pelos dois" as a street performer.[69]

Cover versions[edit]

Eurovision Song Contest winners Marie Myriam (left) and Alexander Rybak (right) covered "Amar pelos dois".

Track listings[edit]

  • Digital download[2]
  1. "Amar pelos dois" – 3:05
  1. "Amar pelos dois" – 3:05
  2. "Amar pelos dois" (Instrumental) – 2:56

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of "Amar pelos dois" promo single and from ESC Portugal.[106][107]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[32] 22
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[108] 30
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[109] 8
Belgium Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 6
Croatia (HRT)[110] 19
Denmark Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 4
Europe (Euro Digital Songs)[27] 13
Finland Download (Latauslista)[111] 1
France (SNEP)[33] 4
Germany (Official German Charts)[112] 43
Greece Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 5
Hungary (Single Top 40)[31] 8
Iceland (RÚV)[29] 1
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[113] 35
Netherlands Digital Songs (Billboard)[114] 1
Norway Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 3
Portugal (AFP)[115] 1
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard)[24] 1
Scotland (OCC)[116] 37
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[34] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[117] 33
Sweden Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 6
UK Singles (OCC)[118] 97
US World Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 7

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Portugal (AFP)[25] Gold 10,000*

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various 10 March 2017 Sons em Trânsito
Portugal 16 June 2017 CD single Sony

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In English translation: "My love / Listen to my pleas / I beg you to come back / To want me again".

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