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9 March 2023

Mae Muller’s Eurovision entry is a TikTok-friendly bop with a light feminist gloss

“I Wrote a Song” is no pop masterpiece, but is saved by its charming glimmers of Britishness.

By Ellen Peirson-Hagger

The UK is a country of vengeful women who channel their anger into songwriting. Wow, do we have our emotions under control!

This is the overriding message of Mae Muller’s “I Wrote a Song”, the official British entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Liverpool in May. Muller, who has supported Little Mix on tour, was born in 1997 – the year the UK last won Eurovision, with Katrina and the Waves’ “Love Shine a Light”.

What are the chances for us this year? “I Wrote a Song” is a catchy bop that tells an effortlessly empowering story: boy cheats on girl, girl is angry but finds strength in creativity, goes out on the lash with her girls and soon forgets about him. “Instead I wrote a song/I feel much better now/Me and my girls are out/And we all sing along,” Muller chants, in a placid melody line that does not even attempt to show off any range. The message is feminism-lite, an attitude that will appeal to Spice Girls fans and Generation Z alike.

The song is no pop masterpiece. Listen to it more than once and its unimaginative electronic beat becomes nauseating. Muller and her co-writer, Lewis Thompson (who has also written for Kylie Minogue and David Guetta), have clearly taken note of the characteristics of recent pop hits: there are glimmers of Spanish guitar, a nonsensical vocal riff – “duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-ay!” – and, in the accompanying video, TikTok-friendly dance moves.

In a Eurovision context, what saves it are the little, charming glimmers of Britishness. It’s fun to wonder what a European audience will make of Muller’s posh-but-pretending-not-to-be singing voice, which will be familiar to anyone who has listened to Lily Allen, Mabel or Charli XCX. Most of all, I hope Eurovision fans from across the continent listen closely to the lyrics. “Cuss” is a crucial part of the English vocabulary. Thank god Muller is here to teach it to everyone.

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