Wizovision 2021: France’s “Do You Hear the House-Elves Sing?”

 

Marijke van der Meer here with the French Wizovision finalists, Enchanté, to talk about their contentious song, “Do You Hear the House-Elves Sing?” This rousing, revolutionary tune does not hold back in tackling serious subject matter. The French entry has caused some controversy this year for being perceived as too political and in violation of the Wizovision rules. However, the group insists that their message is social rather than political. Band member Françoise Beauchamp explained:

Our song makes a statement, yes, but it does not comment on laws or governments. It is a call for witches and wizards to change their way of thinking and take action – whether that is through freeing slaves in their own family, talking to people they know who keep enslaved elves, or advocating for legal changes themselves, if that is what they feel inspired to do. Music should evoke emotion in the listener, and that is what we set out to accomplish – to bring awareness to the troubling enslavement of our fellow magical beings and make people feel like they should do something about it. We have a revolutionary spirit in France that cannot be repressed. If anyone feels personally targeted by this song, perhaps they should examine their biases.

Strong words from the French delegation. They have made clear that they are not speaking on behalf of the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (SPEW), which they reference in the song, but are strong supporters of its mission and do hold membership in the organization. Although Enchanté does not officially represent SPEW, a spokesperson for the organization expressed their support for the number and appreciation for the musicians bringing this issue to the forefront. The juries and public are sure to have strong feelings about the song, whether positive or negative. Still, the group made it this far, so they clearly have supporters. It’s hard to deny that this is the kind of song that gets people up on their feet, marching in time.

Once again, Gilderoy Lockhart barged in while I was speaking to Enchanté. “Oh, you must be the French! Bonjour! I heard your song is about elves. I’ve met elves! I think. Or perhaps it was gnomes. Oh, no, it was pixies! All funny little creatures.” A member of Enchanté had to be calmed by her fellow bandmates when she began to swear in French at Lockhart in response. Lockhart was escorted away by security mumbling, “Pourquoi?”

France is sure to cause quite a stir. We’ll have to wait until the Grand Final to see which way the wind blows for them.

 

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Laurie Beckoff

My Harry Potter journey began in 2000 when I was six and continued through a bachelor's thesis and master's dissertation on medievalism in the series. I'm a Gryffindor from New York City with a passion for theatre, fantasy, Arthurian legend, and science fiction.

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