Greenhaven denies its “1944!” was influenced by 2016 Eurovision winner

greenhaven tray

Jamala_-_1944Surely you have heard that  song called “1944”  by Ukrainian singer Jamala that garnered the greatest number of votes at 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, a grand total of 534 points, officially surpassing the previous record set by Alexander Rybak with his song “Fairytale” in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, which won with 387 points.

What? No?  Of course not! This is America, baby, What care we about a song contest where we’re not even allowed to enter? The hell with them! We’ll have our own best song contest. Just like we have our own World Series and ignore that 3/4 of the world that thinks a middle reliever is  someone who takes the center urinal.

And anyhow, Greenhaven has had this song waiting patiently like Prince Albert in the proverbial can for three years, back when Jamala was still singing about “1941′.  “And ours has an exclamation point,” says Greenhaven lead singer and lyricist Matt Strangwayes, who actually forced a recall of the digital single when early copies were pressed sans punctuation.  Here he gives us the real inspiration behind “1944,” Onus Records’ latest Single of the Weekend:

“Here we have a guy who finds himself in the midst of human civilization’s greatest conflict. Entrenched in the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific theatre, his letters to a lover contain snippets of war in all it’s glory and horror. Bravado and fear clash to create an anxious mix. The drums evoke the barrage on Dresden and the guitar pierces like bullets. The bass rumbles across weary fields of death and a yearning for home is whistled in the post-clash delirium. Along the way we experience bravery, despair, jingoism, and perhaps even a mercy killing.

The original version of the song was a lot more cynical. It included dialogue in German, Japanese, Italian and other WW II appropriate languages. Real dark stuff that contrasted with the hopeful tone of the English lyrics that represented letters to home. It got a little dark for even my own tastes (though pretty funny too) and I had to rethink it a little. It was hard to give up all the foreign stuff, but it made for a better song. 

Russell Walton from Jack of All Pipes Productions provided the voiceover at the beginning. He was great and worked with our budget, asking only for ” a pack of fags and a packet of crisps.” I think we just gave him $100 instead as we weren’t sure what he meant and he’s kind of a big guy.

Also note the appearance of Serene Dominic as he leads us to the conclusion,  whistling away Vera Lynn’s World War II  anthem “We’ll Meet Again” the final din of combat. I did a fair amount of research on “war rock” when writing this one – there’s  more out there than you think.”

“1944!” is available for streaming and name your price at



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