1944

Album: Yet to be titled (2016)
  • songfacts ®
  • Susana Jamaladinova is a Ukrainian singer-songwriter of Crimean origin who performs under her stage name of Jamala. She successfully represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 winning the competition with this haunting ballad.
  • Jamalia wrote the lyrics herself in 2014. They are about Joseph Stalin's mass deportation in 1944 of the entire ethnic Tatar population from Crimea. Jamala was particularly inspired by the story of her great-grandmother Nazylkhan, who lost one of her daughters while being deported to Central Asia.
  • The song's chorus, sung in the Crimean Tatar language, is made up of words from a Crimean Tatar folk song called "Ey, güzel Qirim" that Jamala had heard from her great-grandmother. They translate as "I couldn't spend my youth there because you took away my peace."
  • Jamala's politically charged song caused tensions with neighboring Russia, who were the bookmakers favorite to win the 2016 Eurovision. The lyrics were understood to parallel Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
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