Israel to change October Rain lyrics to remain in Eurovision Song Contest 2024

The song was at risk of contravening political neutrality rules due to October 7 references

Eden Golan, Israel's representative for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: Koko Kilk
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Israel's potential entry into Eurovision Song Contest will undergo some changes to gain acceptance into the competition in May.

October Rain by singer Eden Golan was at risk of being disqualified from the event due to lyrics contravening political neutrality rules.

The wordplay in question relates to indirect references to the October 7 attacks and subsequent war in Gaza.

“Who told you boys don’t cry/ Hours and hours/ And flowers/ Life is not a game for the cowards,” reads the lyrics.

According to Israeli media, the flowers are meant to represent those who died in the Israel-Gaza war.

Israeli television broadcaster Kan, which is in charge of choosing the country's song entry, went back on its position to not alter the lyrics after Israeli President Isaac Herzog intervened, calling for amendments.

The move comes on the back of a chorus of artists from competing countries, including Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and host nation Sweden, calling for Israel's suspension due to the war.

Russia was similarly disqualified from Eurovision in 2022 after its invasion of Ukraine, while in 2009, Georgia withdrew from the event afters its entry, We Don't Wanna Put In, was barred due to its reference of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmo, Sweden, from May 7 to 11.

Updated: March 04, 2024, 8:11 AM