DJ BoBo invites Eurovision Song Contest viewers to “enjoy the ride” “from Heaven to Hell” in his light-hearted Vampire dance. However a group of grassroots evangelical Christians don't believe the lyrics are harmless; they've sent a letter to the director of Swiss Television asking for the song to be withdrawn or at least changed. The group feels that the lyrics, if taken seriously, are dangerous and may encourage people to attempt suicide or become involved with the occult.
The Schweizerische Evangelische Allianz (Swiss Evangelical Alliance, or SEA) sent a letter on Wednesday to the director of Swiss Television Ingrid Deltenre asking that the broadcaster reconsidertheir decision to send the song Vampires are alive to Helsinki or at least to change the song's text. They also sent a copy of the letter to DJ BoBo and Pascal Couchepin the Swiss Minister of Culture and Health. The SEA asks, "Victory at any cost? What about the danger that unstable people may take BoBo's message seriously and try to end their life? Or what about the calculated risk of people turning to occult practices to find their (mis-)fortune?"
The major complaints seem to be over the line "you're here to surrender with your life"; critics also hear "sell your soul" run together with "from Heaven to Hell enjoy the ride". Additionally, one Swiss newspaper added fuel to the fire when it mistakenly rendered another lyric as "Hell is my grave" in German. The actual lyric is "I sleep through the daylight, HENCE my grave".
Swiss Television will not be recommending that DJ BoBo change the song. The Swiss broadcaster's spokesman Marco Meroni released a statement assuring, "Young people will not misunderstand this song text." DJ BoBo could not be reached to comment on the controversy himself because he is traveling in Ethiopia all week to witness first hand the effects of plague and hunger as an ambassador for the World Food Program (WFP) sponsored by the United Nations Organization (UNO). He will return in time to present "Vampires …" on the popular Swiss lottery show Benissimo Saturday.
Evangelical Christian groups do maintain a small but active place in Swiss life and politics, but the views of the SEA in this matter don't seem to reflect mainstream Swiss attitudes. Though one major Zurich pop radio station is reportedly not playing the song because it may be inappropriate for children under the age of 8.