After the first episode of my new category Songs of My Life was about Ultravox, 1980’s pop and a story around Indian tennis and Olympic Games happening many years later, my second Song of My Life is very different: it is hard rock, it is about Finland – and in contrast to Hymn, to which I have a very personal story about, the song in this episode changed a whole country literally in three minutes. This second episode is about Finland and one of the most remarkable Eurovision Song Contest victories ever – Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi in 2006.
Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah: The Story of The Song
The story of the band Lordi is beginning in 1992 in Rovaniemi, where Mr. Lordi grew up and learned a couple of instruments. His civil alter ego also head of the Finnish KISS fan club. He is also the designer of the opulent costumes of the band – for that reason, Mr. Lordi taught himself make-up artisting. In the first years, Mr.Lordi was a solo project, before Amen (guitar) and G-Stealer (bass) joined him in 1996 – two years later, the line-up has been completed by Kita (drums) and Enary (keyboards). Lordi, Amen, Kalma (bass), Kita and Awa (keyboards) were the line-up of the band for the The Arockalypse album, which also contained Hard Rock Hallelujah and Bringing Back the Balls to Rock (2006).
During the Finnish qualification for the European Song Contest, the Finnish spectators could initially chose between those two songs, the vote for Hard Rock Hallelujah had a comparably small majority. The final round of the qualification, however, was dominated by Lordi, who won the Finnish preliminaries with 42% of the votes.
Lordi thus represented Finland in Athens in May 2006. Due to their unconventional genre (regarding the Eurovision Song Contest) and the monster costumes, the had quite a lot of PR. They had no problems to pass the semifinal and were the seventeenth act to compete in the ESC final at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall. In the finals, they won the Eurovision Song contest with 292 points (second placed was Russian Dima Bilan with 248 points). Only Albannia, Monaco and Armenia (apart from Finland itself, of course) did not assign points to Finland. The 12 point vote from Greece sealed the Finnish victory. If you know the Finnish mentality, the best way to feel what that meant to the country in my point is to watch the original commentary in Finnish of the deciding votes (or all three sections), which are luckily still available on YouTube (see above).
Market Square Massacre
After the band came back to Helsinki, the Market Square was crowded with some 90,000 people. This concert is referred to as Market Square Massacre and was sold as such as DVD merchandise after the free open air show.
Lordi is still regularly releasing music and performing. The key fan bases are Germany and Finland. The 2020 album Killection was Top 10 in Finland and #13 in Germany. Mr. Lordi and Amen are still in the band line-up, which is constantly acting with five musicians, now Mana (drums), Hiisi (bass) and Hella (keyboards). The saddest moment of band history is the death of drummer Otus, who has only been touring with the band from 2010 to 2012, when he died suddenly and surprisingly.
Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah: My Story of The Song
There are these days in your life, about which you just remember every bit even after many, many years. 20th May 2006 is one of these days in my life. I sat with a friend in my flat in Cologne, we were watching the Eurovision Song Contest in TV. Since 1998 latest, when I was at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, when Guildo Horn represented Germany our country, I was a huge fan of that contest. On top, I have been a Lordi fan for more than three years at this time. On 11th January 2003, when Lordi supported Nightwish in Oberhausen, I fell in love with the hard rocking monsters and finally even enjoyed them more than the headlining Tarja Turunen and her band at that evening.
But back to this television day. I am sure that Cologne-Merheim, the borough in which I lived at that day, got every high point vote for Lordi, as I just could not stop partying. With the Greek vote, the evening has been just perfect. The song really changed the nation – and I felt it the next times I visited Finland (where I, still today, have quite a bunch of really close friends). A Lordi Square in Rovaniemi or the Lordi Coke – the band was present everywhere.
I am still following Lordi as one of my favorite bands and regularly visit concerts of them. Unfortunately, I haven’t been gifted that to take concert pictures of them yet. Their music accompanied me my whole life, though – not just Hard Rock Hallelujah, which is always remembering me of that musical wonder in Athens in 2006. Kiitos, guys!
Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah: Spotify & Lyrics
Here is the Spotify link to Hard Rock Hallelujah:
You may, for example, find the lyrics of the track here.
Songs Of My Life Playlist
I created a playlist with all the Songs Of My Life songs so far. It will be updated with very new episode:
Finland at Flyctory.com
Here are all postings on Flyctory.com about Finland:
Flyctory.com on Hard Rock and Metal
Here are all postings about Hard Rock and Metal:
Title Picture: The Arockalypse album cover