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off again, on again

On Again...Off Again

"On Again...Off Again" was the Maltese entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, performed in English by Julie & Ludwig.

Composed by Philip Vella and with lyrics by Gerard James Borg, the song is a combination of dance music and opera, the only time that such a combination has been featured at the Contest. Julie begins by describing herself as "a girl of serious intention" and telling Ludwig that "I need some attention" over a dance beat. Ludwig's response, in which he describes her as "everything and nothing in one" (eliciting Julie's question "What do you mean?") is delivered in an operatic tenor style. He goes on to wonder what the pair have in common anymore.

The second verse takes much the same form, with Julie pledging her love for Ludwig, who describes her as "the air, you're the love that I breathe" and "the magic that flows from within".

The duo sings the chorus in unison, describing their love as being "Like the rhythm of rain" and needing to "find an end to this game" of their mutual attraction. They describe the "wonderful times/Many natural highs" which they have experienced.

At the climax of the song, Ludwig sings (in operatic style) a bridge begging Julie to "come across" the "river between us" in the name of love. The chorus is sung again, this time slower and in an operatic style by Ludwig with Julie performing vocal embellishments to the lyric. The duo then join in unison for the final chorus, which returns to the dance beat and varies the opening line to "Off again, on again", implying that they have resolved their differences.

The song was autobiographical, as Julie and Ludwig were a couple in real life, who's relationship had been on and off. For their Eurovision appearance, Ludwig appeared dressed in a white shirt and black trousers, whilst Julie wore a striking pale pink gown.

As Malta had not ended the 2003 Contest in the top 11 (Spain as a "Big Four" member having placed in the top 10), the song was performed in the semi-final. Here, it was performed eighth (following Portugal's Sofia Vitória with "Foi Magia" and preceding Monaco's Märyon with "Notre Planète"). At the close of voting, it had received 74 points, placing 8th in a field of 22 and qualifying Malta for the final.

In the final, it was performed sixth (following Serbia and Montenegro's Željko Joksimović & Ad Hoc Orchestra with "Lane Moje" and preceding the Netherlands' Re-Union with "Without You"). At the close of voting, it had received 50 points, placing 12th in a field of 24. Ordinarily, this would not have been enough to qualify for the next final, however both Spain and Germany (as "Big Four" members) placed in the top 10, thus allowing the 11th and 12th-place finishers to qualify automatically.

It was succeeded as Maltese representative at the 2005 Contest by Chiara with "Angel".

References

  • Diggiloo Thrush 2004 Malta. Retrieved on 2006-11-16..

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