(E)United in solidarity: Celebrating Europe Day through music

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Europe Day, on May 9, commemorates the anniversary of the ‘Schuman declaration,” which is considered the cornerstone of today’s European Union. It is a special day which reminds us all of the power of “togetherness” – this year’s Europe Day theme – to overcome common challenges.

It is also the chance to reflect on what being European means and what values EU citizens want the EU to represent and stand up for. Among these, one above all seems to top ONE’s Youth Ambassadors’ lists from all across the EU: solidarity – both within and beyond Europe’s borders.

Celebrating Europe Day through music

After more than a year living in a pandemic, with all the individual and collective challenges associated with it, coming together is now more important than ever, and there’s no better way to do so than through music!

Music is known to have the power to unite people despite their differences and this is exactly what Europe is about. To celebrate Europe Day and the power of music, our ONE Youth Ambassadors across Europe have created the “Dance with (E)U” Spotify playlist, which is a compilation of more than 50 songs that, regardless of the genre or the language, represent to them the idea of Europe, togetherness, and solidarity. The added songs include lyrics in English, French, and Italian, and range from pop and rock to folk music.

Keep reading to find out why Manuel, Jonas, Juliette, Celine, and Laura, youth ambassadors from all over Europe, decided to add a particular song to the playlist.

Track #13: Underdog by Alicia Keys

“At first sight, underdog might have a negative meaning: the one who is unlikely to win. However, Alicia turns this song around and makes it about exceeding expectations and defying stereotypes. Not only through finding your own voice, but also through advocating for others whose voices are not heard. In this way, the word underdog is actually empowering: take the opportunity to stand up for your neighbour (near and far) and make sure that everyone gets a seat at the table!”

Celine, ONE Youth Ambassador from the Netherlands

Track #33: Goliath by Smith & Thell

“In my opinion, Europe goes together with the concept of togetherness and solidarity, because we are a Union of different cultures, people, and languages, but we still live under one common European roof focusing on what unites rather than divides us. I chose the song ‘Goliath’ by Smith & Thell, because it symbolizes the principle of equality for me. It does represent what we as Youth Ambassadors can achieve with the concepts of togetherness and solidarity, when the lyrics say, ‘And I won’t be silent until you hear me.’ Another line that really does represent the idea is,‘About when you’re feeling way too small to make a difference.’ It demonstrates the ability that we have as a group to speak with ONE loud voice where differences are a chance to learn from each other.”

Jonas ONE Youth Ambassador from Belgium

Track #34: You’ll never walk alone by Gerry & the Pacemakers

“For me, Europe has no borders. We don’t just live in a single country; we live on the whole continent. That’s why our generation has so many possibilities. My song on the list is ‘You’ll never walk alone’ by Gerry & the Pacemakers. The song became the ultimate football anthem, not only in Liverpool but all over the world. And even if you’re not a football fan you might get a strong feeling of solidarity and companionship out of this song. The message is clear: Whether you’re having a good time or going through rough times, you’ll never walk alone; this is Europe’s message!”

Manuel, ONE Youth Ambassador from Germany

Tracks #17 and #18: Effets secondaires by Grand Corps Malade and Et demain ? by Et demain ? Le collectif

“I decided to choose two songs that talk about the current health crisis and its consequences on interpersonal relationships. The first is ‘Effets secondaires’ (Side Effets) by Grand Corps Malade. In the lyrics, Grand Corps Malade questions the roots and consequences of the coronavirus crisis and pays tribute to all those who are on the front line in the fight against the pandemic. I also chose the title ‘Et Demain ?’ (And Tomorrow?), which brought together 350 artists and talents, united in a video clip and a song to express their gratitude to the medical staff who work tirelessly to give us a better future. Another point worth mentioning is that profits from these two songs are going to a Foundation for French Hospitals. This is proof that songs can be powerful expressions of solidarity and lead to great things in their wake.”

– Juliette, ONE Youth Ambassador from France

Track #12: Futura by Lucio Dalla

“This year, Europe Day should not only be the time to remember 71 years since the Schuman Declaration, but also a chance to celebrate everyone who is making history now, acting with great spirit of solidarity and unity. As the whole world is facing a severe crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this togetherness is more important than ever. My song for Europe Day is ‘Futura’ by Lucio Dalla. It is a song of hope that talks about the story of two lovers, one from East Berlin and one from the Western part, that defies divisions in challenging and uncertain times. From their love ‘Futura’ was born. ‘Futura’ is Europe, our project for a better future standing together united in diversity.”

– Laura, ONE Youth Ambassador from Italy

Happy Europe Day! Whether you are at home or out on public transport, in the street, or at work, take a moment to turn on and enjoy the Dance with E(U) playlist, together with all our ONE Youth Ambassadors in Europe.

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