A strange little tune wanted to be a Song. It took just one little girl, 12 invented words, 100 Europeans and 25 years to get there. This is the story of what happens next.
Perform, record or remix your own version of The Europe Song with attribution (#TheEuropeSong), I’ll share it with the Soonfeed community and send it back to you on a cassette tape (you’ll need to find a cassette player lol). Here’s the original mix on Soundcloud.
Day 7: 2,562 views
The number “12”
There are 12 stars in the video.
There are 12 kids singing in this version.
There are 12 stars in the European Union flag.
There are 12 words in the song and they’re all made up.
The original plan was to launch the video on 12.12 last year.
The song tempo starts at 104 bpm and ends at 116 bpm (almost House).
The last 12 notes of the song are from Ode to Joy (you’ll hear it now you know it’s there).
Some answers to questions I’ve been asked so far.
What’s The Europe Song?
It’s a tune I started writing in a Melbourne bedroom in 1992 and had forgotten about until last year (I moved to Europe in 2001). We thought this EU campaign needed a soundtrack so I finished writing the song, recorded it and produced a music video for it. Over 100 Europeans (and a couple of Australians) made it happen. It became something more than a piece of music for a campaign. Robert Schuman said “the European spirit signifies being conscious of belonging to a cultural family”. The Europe Song makes me — and, I hope, you — feel like family.
What language are they singing in?
It’s what my Brussels-born daughter was speaking last year when she was two. A hybrid of half-formed words in French, Polish, English and Gibberish. I’ve been told the words sound “eastern” but that’s because of the Mostar accents in this first version of the song. Phonetically the words reflect the east, west, north and south of Europe. It should feel natural singing The Europe Song no matter where you’re from or which language/s you speak.
What was your motivation for recording the song?
I feel European and I’m going through a midlife crisis.
What does your midlife crisis have to do with anything?
I always imagined that releasing my music to the public would feel something like putting my balls on a chopping block levered by strangers. I stopped writing songs two decades ago (apart from this little ditty for my daughter’s first birthday) because what’s the point if no one else can hear it? My midlife crisis started a year ago, when my daughter found a cassette tape in an old cardboard box. On it was the forgotten tune I’d named, for no particular reason, “Catch of the Day”.
— Richard Medic (@happeningo) April 10, 2017
How did you turn that strange little recording into The Europe Song?
I finished writing the song in a town called Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and recorded it at Studio Baraka run by Atilla from Zoster (Mario is one of our singers, Goran built the beats). The town is also home to Mostar Sevdah Reunion, the Pavarotti Centre and the Mostar Rock School. So I had the privilege of working with some of the finest musicians and singers in SE Europe (including 12 kids), most of them based within a two minute walk from the recording studio. The song was mixed and mastered in Cologne by Klaas, who’s best known for his EDM mixes. I asked him for a sound that feels like it was recorded in 2022 by a time traveller from 1992.
Who owns the publication rights to the song?*
The composition was a gift to the European Union since they kindly agreed to set it free upon publication. I designed the song in three parts: Side A (42 secs) and Side B&C (3 mins) so that each could take on a life of its own. You can perform, record or remix the music as long as it’s not to sell stuff (with hashtag attribution #TheEuropeSong, CC BY-NC). Send me a message for access to the (60 I think) audio stems.