Why Serbia is singing about Meghan Markle and hand-washing at Eurovision
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has received an unlikely shout-out at the Eurovision Song Contest.
No, you aren’t hallucinating – the track “In corpore sano” from singer Konstrakta directly alludes to the Duchess in its opening lines, and it’s very intentional.
But those looking up a translation of the Serbian and Latin lyrics aren’t likely to be much more enlightened immediately.
Beneath the song’s dark and ominous beat, the lyrics in question translate as: “What could be the secret of Meghan Markle’s healthy hair? What could it be? I think it’s all about deep hydration. They say our skin and hair show it all.”
So, why does Serbia mention Meghan Markle?
There is plenty of hidden meaning in the track that may not be immediately obvious to those hearing it for the first time.
Reading the lyrics in full (below), it becomes clear that the opening lines are intended to parody the media’s fixation on celebrity, junk science and “wellness” tips – while other parts of the track allude to dog-walking, hand-washing, and the importance of universal healthcare.
Confused? Good. Speaking at a press conference in Turin, Konstrakta explained the song is intended in part to reflect the “disorientation” people can feel about health.
She said: “We’re all a little bit disoriented because of this great field of information offering us many, many opposite ways to be healthy. Behind all of that, there is a great field of consumption, you spend a lot of money to be healthy nowadays.
“This is really a multi-layered song, you need to read the lyrics to dive into the meanings, and you can read it in many ways.”
The Latin title of the song is a saying that translates as “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Konstrakta explains: “It has a dual meaning. We are so much focused on a healthy body, and in a way, maybe mind is suffering. On the other hand, this field of mental health is another field of consumption opening.”
She added: “In a way, everybody nowadays has an obsession with a healthy life, because we are living in such an atmosphere.”
The song has been interpreted as a much sharper critique within Serbia, where the lack of health insurance remains a difficult issue.
Konstrakta has had personal experience of this too: her late bandmate Miroslav Ničić was uninsured and died from leukaemia, though she stresses the song is not directly based on that experience.
She said: “As for health insurance in our country, it’s a particular subject, we have some issues, and with this song, we started some discussion – that’s OK. But these are only metaphors, this theme of the song is universal, health is universal. I am speaking globally.”
What could be the secret of Meghan Markle’s healthy hair? What could be the secret of Meghan Markle’s healthy hair? What could it be? (What could it be?) I think it’s all about deep hydration They say our skin and hair show it all For example, deep undereye circles could signal liver trouble The pesky spots around the lips point to an enlarged spleen That’s not a good spleen, not a very pretty spleen And the artist must be healthy To be healthy, to be healthy To be healthy, to be healthy must be, must be, must be How lucky the existence of the autonomic nervous system No need to control my heartbeats The heart beats, the heart beats, alone A summer’s day, the colours bright, skirts of mine, on my body just the two of us, counting steps The skirt goes around my leg We are walking and that’s all! And it does not have to get better! The heart beats by itself! I surrender my trust, let it beat by itself! I surrender my trust, let it beat! Let me breathe! God grant us health, grant us health, grant us health! Since there’s no medical insurance for me Now how will they follow me?
(All in the name of health) How will they care for me?
(All in the name of health) The artist is invisible
(All in the name of health) You can’t see me, it’s magical
(All in the name of health) The artist could be healthy To be healthy, to be healthy must be, must be, must be