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John Lydon performing at Electric Picnic. Photo: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
eurovision song contenst

John Lydon speaks on 'heart-wrenching' Eurovision bid song about wife Nora, who has Alzheimer's

The former Sex Pistols front man said that he cried his eyes out when he wrote the song.

FORMER SEX PISTOLS frontman Johnny Lydon has said that the song he wrote in a bid to represent Ireland with his band Public Image Ltd in the Eurovision Song Contest is as “heart-wrenching” as he can be. 

The song is about his wife Nora, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and who he is now caring for full time. 

The lyrics see the songwriter look back on a trip the pair shared as he implores: “Hawaii, remember me, I remember you”. ”

“I cried my eyes out writing it and recording it and for them to have appreciated it and put it forward, my wife is just going to melt,” the singer said on RTÉ Radio 1 Drivetime. 

Lydon, who was born to parents from Galway and Cork, is now one of the six final acts who will perform on a special Late Late Show on Friday, 3 February , where the winner who will go on to compete in Eurovision in Liverpool will be chosen. 

Lydon has said that caring for his wife Nora can be incredibly stressful, as it is a “tragedy” that he faces everyday: 

“She is alright. I don’t notice the changes because I am there 24/7, but people will visit and notice that she is losing weight, but that is going to happen. She has bits of her memory, she can remember 20 years ago almost perfectly but can’t remember two minutes ago. 

“It’s up and down, the physical aspects can be incredibly stressful… but I love her so much so it is absolutely alright. It’s wonderful to be able to write a song about that, remembering a really wonderful part of our lives, which was a holiday in Hawaii”, he said. 

The singer said that that he is not one to look at a situation and “be morbid about it”. 

“My mum and dad instilled it in me when I was young: ‘No self pity, just accept the hand you have been dealt and get on with it, that’s how you win the game of life,” he said. 

He also admitted that he does not typically watch the Eurovision Song Contest as he thinks that it is “absolutely awful”, and he isn’t a fan of the songs that are usually featured.

However, he reflected that “life throws up unexpected things”, adding that he believes that the “irony of it all” is “incredibly punk”. 

When asked about how it feels to be potentially representing Ireland Lydon said: “Well let’s face it, the English would never give me the opportunity, ungrateful sods that lot are, they are stuck with Prince Harry, you lot have Johnny”. 

On a more serious note Lydon said that he was grateful to be given such a “wonderful opportunity”. 

He also spoke about the benefits of music and comedy for people who have Alzheimer’s: 

“It’s funny, we stayed up late last night because I found all these videos of different bands and [Nora] just loved it, she was tapping her foot away. I recommend music and comedy films,” Lydon said. 

 The punk rock star will battle it out with five other talented acts including ADGY with their song ‘Too Good for Your Love’, CONNOLLY with the song ‘Mid Summer Night’, K Muni & ND with ‘Down in The Rain’, and Wild Youth with their song ‘We Are One’. 

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