Dying together to seal the love? If you were to ask Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord, big romantic gestures are far from dead. In her entry for Greece, Die together, she sings about a love that’s about to die. But who is Amanda? And what’s with the dying?
On the surface, Greece’s choice for Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord seems like a special one. When she was three years old, the half-Greek singer moved to Norway with her parents, where she grew up and built her music career. She changed her artist name to Amanda Tenfjord (after her former residence Tennfjord): her Greek surname was too difficult to pronounce for many Norwegians.
Back to Greece
And yet she hasn’t given up on her Greek roots. She was raised bilingually, is fluent in Greek, and every year as a child she returned to Greece to visit her grandma. Furthermore, she grew up with Greek music, and especially the vibe of that music has left its mark. Talking about this in 2018, she said: ‘What I love so much about Greek music is the combination of strong lyrics and melodies that don’t need a lot of noise. It’s about the feelings you want to get across, and for my music goes the same.’
Variation to an old story
This Greek feeling can clearly be heared and felt in her entry for the Song Contest, Die together. The song is a melancholic ballad about a tragic love, and its lyrics seem to reference to the classic Greek story of Pýramos and Thísbê: the story of two young lovers who are not allowed to marry each other and eventually both end up committing suicide over an unfortunate miscommunication.
However, there’s one big difference between that story and Amanda’s song. In her ballad the love is no longer mutual. The narrator is the only one still holding on to the love, while she knows it cannot be saved anymore, not even by dying together.
Early in the song Amanda alludes to this. She sings: Are you having a good time? / Doesn’t seem like you’re all fine, only to continue with We don‘t laugh anymore, and when we cry we do it on our own.
These words are made more powerful by the austere atmosphere. Amanda sings the first lines unaccompanied by music, but supported by a slightly distorted backing vocal. Its distortion gives off a cold, robotic, non-human feeling, and this creates a type of iceberg effect: while the feelings on the surface seem cold, the listener knows that there is a torrent of emotions hidden underneath the lyrics.
The last resort
These emotions don’t get to the surface before the chorus kick in. There we hear how desperate she’s holding on to love, grasping for a last resort. She sings: If we die together now, we will always have each other / if we die together, I will hold you till forever.
She sings about this solution, and yet she doesn’t seem to believe in it anymore either. Amanda describes the last year of their relationship as a hell of a year, in which she’s been close to giving up. And yet she doesn’t want to give up the love: she wants to hold on till forever and not lose it for another.
This feeling of desperately holding on fits the story Amanda tells about her entry. In an interview she stated that she wrote the song after her first serious relationship stranded. Some the lyrics might be a bit gruesome (take the lines from the bridge for example: Take my heart and rip it out / Bring it to the other side), but if we are to believe Amanda, it’s nothing to worry about. She’s now happy with a new lover, and has nearly finished her medicine study, which she’s combining with her musical career.
So let’s not worry. Greece’s entry is not a call to young lovers to find death together in order to stay in love. If there’s one thing the song is trying to tell us, it’s that even such drastic measures can’t protect a love that turned out to have an expiration date.