Fairytale (Alexander Rybak song)

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Alexander fairytale.jpg
Single by Alexander Rybak
from the album Fairytales
Released12 January 2009
FormatDigital download, CD single
Songwriter(s)Alexander Rybak, Kim Bergseth
Alexander Rybak singles chronology
"Funny Little World"
Eurovision Song Contest 2009 entry
Alexander Rybak
Finals performance
Semi-final result
Semi-final points
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
◄ "Hold On Be Strong" (2008)   
"My Heart Is Yours" (2010) ►

"Fairytale" is a song written and composed by Belarusian-Norwegian violinist/singer Alexander Rybak, and the first single from Rybak's debut album Fairytales. This song was the winner of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia.[1][2]

Writing and inspiration[edit]

In February 2009, Norwegian media reported that "Fairytale" is about Rybak's ex-girlfriend Ingrid Berg Mehus whom he got to know through the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.[3][4][5] Rybak has since confirmed this. At a press conference in May 2009 he revealed that the song's inspiration came from the Huldra, a beautiful female creature from Scandinavian folklore, who lures young men to her, and then may curse them for all time.[6] The Russian-language version of the song is entitled "Skazka" (Russian: "Сказка").

Eurovision 2009[edit]

The song was elected through the Norwegian festival Melodi Grand Prix 2009 on 21 February, winning in the biggest landslide of the contest's history,[7] and competed against eighteen other Eurovision entries in the second semi-final on 14 May 2009, where it qualified for the final. The final took place on 16 May and the song won with 387 points – a new ESC record. It was Norway's third Eurovision Song Contest win.

The backing dancers for the Eurovision performance, Sigbjørn Rua, Torkjell Lunde Børsheim and Hallgrim Hansegård, are from the Norwegian dance company Frikar,[8] performing the folk dance halling. The backing singers, Jorunn Hauge[9] and Karianne Kjærnes,[10] wore long pink dresses designed by Norwegian designer Leila Hafzi.[11]

Music video[edit]

The first official music video for the song, which was used to present the song before the Eurovision final, was Alexander Rybak's Performance at the Melodi Grand Prix 2009 in Norway. The most recent video was of Alexander Rybak playing the Violin and singing with his backing dancers behind him, where the background occasionally changes from white to black.

A video of Rybak's performance of the song at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest final in Moscow, was chosen by YouTube as one of its 31 most memorable videos of 2009.[12]


In the Norwegian preselection, Melodi Grand Prix 2009, Rybak's "Fairytale" won with a combined televote and jury score of 747,888, in the biggest victory of the contest's history. The song received over 600,000 votes more than the runner-up, which made it the clearest win in the history of Melodi Grand Prix.[1][7]

At the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Rybak won with the highest recorded score since the contest began, with 387 points (out of a maximum of 492), surpassing Lordi's 2006 record of 292. He held this record until 2016 when Jamala from Ukraine, the first self written winner after Rybak, won with a record 534 points (but because of the new scoring system with separate sets of televotes and jury votes, the results are not comparable with each other). His average score of 9.4 points from every voting nation was the highest since the wide use of televoting began in 1998. Rybak received sixteen scores of 12 points, also a new record, surpassing the previous record of ten held by Katrina and the Waves (1997) and Helena Paparizou (2005); this record was surpassed in 2012, by Loreen, who received eighteen.


The song also debuted on the Norwegian Singles Chart on the week of 11 February 2009 at number 3,[13] before rising to number one on the following week, the week of the Melodi Grand Prix final.[14] This was the first time that the Melodi Grand Prix winner reached number 1 before winning the contest. The song remained at number 1 for 8 consecutive weeks.[15] The song has since entered the Swedish Sverigetopplistan, debuting at number 47, before rising to number 7 in its third week, the week of Eurovision - eventually reaching the top spot. After the song gaining the Top Spot on Eurovision, it entered the Top Ten of many Charts across Europe, and also the No. 1 position in many countries.[16] The song debuted on the UK charts at #10 on Downloads Alone and then dropped to #38 the next week, it also reached Number 3 on the Download Chart. "Fairytale" is the ninth non-UK Eurovision entry to reach the top ten in the UK charts since the contest began in 1956, most recently Johnny Logan reached #2 representing Ireland in 1987.[17] It sold over 8,000 copies in Finland which means it received a Gold certification,[18] 20,000 copies in Norway thus getting a Gold certification[19] and 200,000 copies in Russia[20] and therefore it was certified platinum.

Chart (2009/2016) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[21] 67
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[22] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[23] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[24] 4
Czech Republic (IFPI)[25] 95
Denmark (Tracklisten)[26] 1
European Hot 100 Singles[27] 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[28] 1
French Digital Singles Chart[29] 29
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 4
Greece (IFPI)[31] 3
Hungary (Single Top 40)[32] 14
Iceland (RÚV)[33] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[34] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[35] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[36] 14
Norway (VG-lista)[37] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[38] 35
Slovakia (IFPI)[39] 34
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[40] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[41] 3
Turkey (Turkish Singles Chart)[42] 24
Ukrainian Airplay Chart[43] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[44] 10

Russian certification[edit]

The single went multi-platinum in different formats in Russia. It first went platinum as realtone/ full track and sold 100,000 copies.[45] Then it was certified 2x platinum as ring-back tone with another 400,000 copies sold.[46] Combined sales of the song are 500,000 copies without online downloads.

Year-end charts[edit]

End of year chart (2009) Position
German Singles Chart[47] 46
Swedish Singles Chart 1

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Version
Norway 12 January 2009 Digital download Original
Germany[48] 15 May 2009 Digital download Original
United Kingdom 17 May 2009 Digital download[49] Original
Germany[50] 20 October 2017 CD-Maxi Duet with Franziska Wiese


  1. ^ a b "Norway: Alexander Rybak to Eurovision". ESCToday. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ Fisher, Luke (21 February 2009). "Norway: Alexander Rybak wins Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix!". Oikotimes. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  3. ^ http://starlounge.msn.se/index.cfm?objectid=53702
  4. ^ Her er hun! (Norwegian), Romerikes Blad, February 24, 2009
  5. ^ Dette er Alexanders eventyrdame (Norwegian), VG, February 24, 2009
  6. ^ Avslørte hvem «Fairytale» egentlig handler om (Norwegian), TV2 Norway, 28 May 2009
  7. ^ a b Henrikson, Arve (21 February 2009). "NRK: - Vi har ikke sett maken". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  8. ^ Frikar til Moskva! Archived March 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (Norwegian), Folkemusikk.no, 22 February 2009
  9. ^ Til MGP-finale for 4. gang (Norwegian), Agderposten, 22 February 2009
  10. ^ - Det gikk som forventet Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine (Norwegian), Moss Avis, 22 February 2009
  11. ^ Alle vil ha Hafzis kjoler (Norwegian), Adresseavisen, 15 May 2009
  12. ^ Fairytale reprise one of YouTube's most memorable of 2009, The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, December 24, 2009
  13. ^ Staff (13 February 2009). "Topp 20 Single uke 7, 2009" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  14. ^ Staff (20 February 2009). "Topp 20 Single uke 8, 2009" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  15. ^ Staff. "Alexander Rybak: Fairytale" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  16. ^ "ALEXANDER RYBAK  — FAIRYTALE". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  17. ^ Archive of Eurovision Song Contest Winners and British entries from 1956 to the present day, everyHit.com
  18. ^ http://www.ifpi.fi/tilastot/myydyimmat/2009/ulkomaiset/singlet
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2011-02-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Russian Top 25 Digital chart[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2010-11-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  25. ^ Czech IFPI Singles Chart
  26. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". Tracklisten.
  27. ^ Search result, Alexander Rybak, billboard.com
  28. ^ "Alexander Rybak: Fairytale" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  29. ^ French Download Single Top 50 - 23 May 2009 Archived 25 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ "Musicline.de – Alexander Rybak Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ IFPI Greek Singles Chart
  32. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  33. ^ "RÚV - Vinsældalisti Rásar 2". RÚV. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  34. ^ "Chart Track: Week 21, 2009". Irish Singles Chart.
  35. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  36. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Alexander Rybak" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  37. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". VG-lista.
  38. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" Canciones Top 50.
  39. ^ Slovakian IFPI Singles Chart
  40. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". Singles Top 100.
  41. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". Swiss Singles Chart.
  42. ^ "Digital Singles Charts - Turkey". Number One Top 20. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  43. ^ Ukrainian Airplay Chart Archived 2010-02-01 at WebCite Retrieved on [[2009|]]
  44. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  45. ^ http://2m-online.ru/news/detail.php?ID=5653
  46. ^ http://2m-online.ru/news/detail.php?ID=5658
  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2010-09-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  48. ^ Fairytales: Alexander Rybak - Artist Home - EMI Archived 2009-05-23 at the Wayback Machine, emimusic.de
  49. ^ Eminem comeback crowns UK chart, BBC, 24 May 2009
  50. ^ hitparade.ch, Franziska Wiese & Alexander Rybak – Fairytale, retrieved 12 August 2018

External links[edit]