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10th Jan 2023

Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten pulls at heartstrings with Irish Eurovision entry

Fiona Frawley

side by side images of a young johnny lydon and the eurovision stage

A curveball we didn’t see coming.

When we cast an eye back over the long list of worthy Irish Eurovision entries, the Johnnies, the Danas and the Lindas, there’s always been one thing missing.

An ageing rocker who earned his stripes belting out punk anthems about the Queen’s fascist regime throughout the 70s and 80s. It’s a tactic we haven’t tried before, in fairness.

Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten has entered the running to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision.

Lydon, whose parents hail from Cork and Galway respectively has thrown his hat in the ring with ballad Hawaii, a tribute to his wife Nora, who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Maybe not what you’d expect from one of the most famous figureheads of last century’s punk movement, but Lydon’s main priority seems to be surprising people however he can. Speaking about the entry, Ireland’s Eurovision head of delegation Michael Kealy said:

He has always been a disrupter. He likes to surprise people. He did I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, he did an ad for butter some years ago. He’s a bloke who likes to surprise and doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed.

Sharing his inspiration for the song, the Anarchy in the U.K singer said:

It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most… It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.

We’ve lived together for 47 years, Nora and I, so she must have some clues as to who I am and what I can get up to.

John married Nora (80) in 1979.

While the song may not be what you’d typically expect from Johnny Rotten, it’s already been met with a warm response – particularly from those who are themselves familiar with the heartbreak Alzheimer’s can cause.

In the comments under the YouTube clip of the song, one person wrote:

“Remember me, I remember you…” This is a song that will resonate with so many people going through something similar. Thank you John.

Another said:

I never, ever thought that lyrics by John Lydon would cause me to well up, but it’s happened. The lyrics and music with the strong themes and repeated patterns of Alzheimer’s that are such a part of his life now are incredible.

We have a full breakdown of the rest of the acts in the running to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision HERE.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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