Boys Don’t Hold Me Closer

Knock, knock. No joke. It’s Eurovision 2022!

I will sext text my vote for Italy’s Mahmood & Blanco this year (possibly while naked & shivering as per the chorus). However, another song caught me by surprise and took me on an emotional journey I welcomed with broken open heart. Hold Me Closer by Cornelia Jakobs for Sweden. A deep dive later… it qualified for its own edition of my Boy’s Don’t… Series. I admit, when I first heard it, I moved on… Robyn meets Gaga meets Pride circuit… Ok, ok.

And then, this happened…

Georgina Hill-Brown (Honest Vocal Coach) did a cover and I was surprised, because she herself is a big deal and of all the songs in all the Eurovision lands… why this?! She brought Broadway musical sensibility and clear pronunciation and articulation and it’s like, I finally heard the song for the first time. Wow. I went back to the original and listened to it with a different mindset and set of ears. It began to grow on me.

And then, this happened…

I heard it in Spanish. Eurovision tradition encourages artists to record versions of their songs in other European languages. YouTuber Edu Rodriguez did a cover in Spanish and I could relate to the story and the emotion in yet another way. Nothing was lost in translation for this song! It only grew closer on me.

And then, this happened…

Sheldon Riley, himself a Eurovision 2022 contestant representing Australia, chose to cover the song for his acoustic performance during promo rounds. A cool bold move … and the song won me over yet again. I found myself putting Cornelia’s original on repeat during my afternoon runs.

And then, this happened…

Clearly obsessed now, I came across pianist Frank Tedesco who rocks his keys on Twitch (!) of all places. He did a live chords breakdown and an improvisation and it was fascinating and wow-able and you can skip to the 13:55 marker for his final performance. I could hear Cornelia’s voice inside my head the whole time.

And then, this happened…

My deep-dive turned into a free fall and I came across Danny McEvoy transforming Hold Me Closer into a dive bar open mic night anthem. Somehow, the song only got richer for me in its shapeshifting emotional layers. I loved how it “worked” even when he sang it as a chords tutorial at the end. Sweden 2022 delivers

And finally, this happened…

Antonio Romero Cañete aligned my Spanish reality with my age-group and delivered a bathroom karaoke version that tugged at all the strings only a more mature voice can. If you’ve lived and loved and let go and la-vida-loca-ed, you get the appeal of this song. So much so, the bookies have it in third place. Let’s see how Cornelia Jakobs and Sweden do on the night of the final on Saturday, May 15. Who are you sexting voting for?

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Check out Boys Don’t Summertime Sadness and Boys Don’t Unbreak My Heart

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