esctoday.com have talked to Peter Fenner, the Brit who wrote the English lyrics for this year�s Icelandic entry. We wanted to know what a Brit is doing as songwriter for Iceland and ended up being able to reveal some interesting news regarding versions in other languages, but all in one we really got to know who this Peter Fenner is.
How come you ended up writing the lyrics for the Icelandic entry?
Well I have come to know a lot of great people in Iceland over the years and a lot of them work in the music business. For example I met Selma in Jerusalem in 1999 and we have become very good friends – I have written some lyrics for her and she has always encouraged me to write more, so here I am – she has been very supportive about ‘Valentine Lost’. For me it was perfectly natural to want to write something for Iceland, which is a country I adore and I visit at least a couple of times a year. I knew straight away when I heard that they wanted to perform this year’s song in English in Helsinki what I thought it should sound like, so I submitted a lyric to the composer. The key of the song is similar to ‘The Winner Takes It All’ by Abba and ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ by Bob Dylan so it was always going to be more of a ‘What’s Another Year’ sound than a ‘Boom Bang A Bang’! I am very proud to represent Iceland in this competition and I hope that we may even have some good results – we certainly have one of the best and most charismatic singers in Eiríkur. Getting through the semi-final would of course be a great victory and an honour in itself, but the main aim is to do our best and have fun!
What do you know about the Icelandic process in finding the right lyrics for their entry – was it an open competition?
I don’t think it is a formal thing, but I have heard that nine different lyrics were submitted from all over the world. I have not seen or heard any of them though. The composer of the Icelandic lyric did write an English version but I don’t think the team were entirely happy with it and so in the end it wasn’t used, but I haven’t seen that either so I can’t tell you what it’s like.