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Catholic Teacher Blog: Sneaky Jesus Song - Eurovision 2017

Brendan Nicholls  |  18 May 2017

'Amar Pelos Dois' was performed at Eurovision 2017 and to much surprise won the competition for Portugal; their first ever win! The song was written by Salvador’s sister Luisa who is one of Portugal’s contemporary and greatly acclaimed ‘new generation’ of artists/composers. Salvador offers his all in his performances and when asked about his style he stated, 'I sing with all of my heart'. This is certainly apparent when listening to 'Amar Pelos Dois' (which means 'Love for the two of us'). The critics however did not rate this number and Salvador and Portugal were shock winners in most circles.

This song is a strangely beautiful number (to the non-native ear) and is performed to perfection by an artist of prodigious talent. Although sung in Portuguese, the stings, piano and vintage style of Salvador carry the listener through a winsome melodic piece of great appeal. The lyrics, when translated, are as lovely as the song as a whole. Speaking of deep love that has been lost and yearns for reconciliation.

Salvador not only offered a brilliant performance at Eurovision, he also showed his passion for social justice when arriving at a press conference after his semi-final win wearing a ‘SOS Refugees’ t-shirt. Stating 'If I'm here and I have European exposure, the least thing I can do is a humanitarian message', Sobral said. 'People come to Europe in plastic boats and are being asked to show their birth certificates in order to enter a country. These people are not immigrants, they're refugees running from death. Make no mistake. There is so much bureaucratic stuff happening in the refugee camps in Greece, Turkey and Italy and we should help create legal and safe pathways from these countries to their destiny countries'. These sentiments are certainly not foreign to Catholic Social Teaching and statements of Pope Francis in recent times.

Although a shock win, the Catholic community may not be as surprised as others in hindsight. 

Over the weekend Pope Francis canonized (made saints) two shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco, at Fatima in Portugal. These children along with their cousins Lucia saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary on a number of occasions in 1917. The apparition, along with subsequent apparitions, requests for global peace through Mary, and further mystical experiences, witnessed by thousands of others, healed and offered hope to many people. Sadly Jacinta and Francisco died only two years later during the global influenza epidemic. Their cousin Lucia became a nun and spent her whole life in prayer and working for those in need - she died recently aged 97 and has been beatified as her cause for sainthood progresses.

Maybe at Eurovision the Spirit was made visible in the world in a very clear manner. Portugal wins Eurovision as an outlier, by a song about love. On the same weekend Pope Francis canonizes two children who offer us an insight into the Virgin Mary and her desire for peace in the world – all revealed in Fatima, Portugal. All of the signs were there, if only we can see.

We pray for all artists who help us find God in the wonder of their art. We pray especially for Salvador Sobrai, who we pray is blessed with good health, success and happiness as he continues to give so much to so many through his talent. May we all find love and peace our life and world as so beautifully offered this song.


If one day someone asks about me

Say that I lived just to love you

Before you, I only existed

Tired and without a thing to offer


My dear, listen to my prayers

I ask you to come back, that you come back to love me

I know we can't love alone

Maybe little by little you can learn again


My dear, listen to my prayers

I ask you to come back, that you come back to love me

I know we can't love alone

Maybe little by little you can learn again


If your heart don't wish to do so

To feel the passion, If it don't want to suffer

Without making plans about what will happen

My Heart can love for the both of us


Artist: Salvador Sobrai (b. 28 December 1989). 

Song: Amar Pelos Dios [Love for Both] (performed at Eurovision 2017:  May 2017).


You can watch the full performance here



Topic tags: saints, catholicsocialteaching, socialjustice–global

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