As of the 1999 contest, a song performed for the contest can be in any language. As a result, many of the songs are performed partially or completely in English.
The language issue
Because many European states were founded on ideas of linguistic unity, and because of the sometimes-unwelcome dominance of the English language in modern pop music, the language of a country's Eurovision Song Contest entry can be a contentious issue. Some entries are performed in English to reach broader audiences, though this is sometimes looked upon as unpatriotic.
In some cases, the lyrics are written and recorded in two different versions (usually English and a national language) or a single multi-language version. Examples include:
Denmark, where the national selection procedure requires song writers to use Danish, but after the song is selected it is rewritten in English for the competition.
FYR Macedonia, who held a vote to decide whether their 2005 song should be in English or Macedonian.
France, whose entry in 2001 was performed partially in French and partially in English.
From the first contest until 1965, and again from 1973 until 1976 there was no restriction on language either. From 1966 until 1972 and again from 1978 until 1998 songs were required to be performed in a national language. The national language rule was actually instituted shortly before the 1977 contest, but some countries had already selected non-national language entries, and they were allowed to enter without any changes.
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