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Fairytale (Alexander Rybak song)

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Title: Fairytale (Alexander Rybak song)  
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Subject: Fairytales (Alexander Rybak album), Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest, Funny Little World, Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010
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Fairytale (Alexander Rybak song)

Single by Alexander Rybak
from the album Fairytales
Released 12 January 2009
(see release history)
Format Digital download, CD single
Recorded 2008
Genre Pop, Folk
Length 3.03
Label EMI
Writer(s) Alexander Rybak
Alexander Rybak singles chronology
"Funny Little World"
Eurovision Song Contest 2009 entry
Country Norway
Artist(s) Alexander Rybak
Language English
Composer(s) Alexander Rybak
Lyricist(s) Alexander Rybak
Finals performance
Semi-final result 1st
Semi-final points 201
Final result 1st
Final points 387
Appearance chronology
◄ "Hold On Be Strong" (2008)   
"My Heart Is Yours" (2010) ►

"Fairytale" is a song written and composed by Norwegian violinist/singer Alexander Rybak, and the first single from Rybak's debut album Fairytales. This song was the winner of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia.[1][2]

Writing and inspiration

In February 2009, Norwegian media reported that "Fairytale" is about Rybak's ex-girlfriend Ingrid Berg Mehus whom he got to know through the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.[3][4][5] Rybak has since confirmed this. At a press conference in May 2009 he revealed that the song's inspiration came from the Huldra, a beautiful female creature from Scandinavian folklore, who lures young men to her, and then may curse them for all time.[6] The Russian-language version of the song is entitled "Skazka" (Russian: "Сказка").

Eurovision 2009

The song was elected through the Norwegian festival Melodi Grand Prix 2009 on 21 February, winning in the biggest landslide of the contest's history,[7] and competed against eighteen other Eurovision entries in the second semi-final on 14 May 2009, where it qualified for the final. The final took place on 16 May and the song won with 387 points – a new ESC record. It was Norway's third Eurovision Song Contest win.

The backing dancers for the Eurovision performance, Sigbjørn Rua, Torkjell Lunde Børsheim and Hallgrim Hansegård, are from the Norwegian dance company Frikar,[8] performing the folk dance halling. The backing singers, Jorunn Hauge[9] and Karianne Kjærnes,[10] wore long pink dresses designed by Norwegian designer Leila Hafzi.[11]

Music video

The first official music video for the song, which was used to present the song before the Eurovision final, was Alexander Rybak's Performance at the Melodi Grand Prix 2009 in Norway. The most recent video was of Alexander Rybak playing the Violin and singing with his backing dancers behind him, where the background occasionally changes from white to black.

A video of Rybak's performance of the song at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest final in Moscow, was chosen by YouTube as one of its 31 most memorable videos of 2009.[12]


In the Norwegian preselection, Melodi Grand Prix 2009, Rybak's "Fairytale" won with a combined televote and jury score of 747,888, in the biggest victory of the contest's history. The song received over 600,000 votes more than the runner-up, which made it the clearest win in the history of Melodi Grand Prix.[7][13]

At the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Rybak won with the highest recorded score since the contest began, with 387 points (out of a maximum of 492), surpassing Lordi's 2006 record of 292. His average score of 9.4 points from every voting nation was the highest since the wide use of televoting began in 1998. Rybak received sixteen scores of 12 points, also a new record, surpassing the previous record of ten held by Katrina and the Waves (1997) and Helena Paparizou (2005); this record was surpassed in 2012, by Loreen, who received eighteen.


The song also debuted on the Norwegian Singles Chart on the week of 11 February 2009 at number 3,[14] before rising to number one on the following week, the week of the Melodi Grand Prix final.[15] This was the first time that the Melodi Grand Prix winner reached number 1 before winning the contest. The song remained at number 1 for 8 consecutive weeks.[16] The song has since entered the Swedish Sverigetopplistan, debuting at number 47, before rising to number 7 in its third week, the week of Eurovision - eventually reaching the top spot. After the song gaining the Top Spot on Eurovision, it entered the Top Ten of many Charts across Europe, and also the No. 1 position in many countries.[17] The song debuted on the UK charts at #10 on Downloads Alone and then dropped to #38 the next week, it also reached Number 3 on the Download Chart. "Fairytale" is the ninth non-UK Eurovision entry to reach the top ten in the UK charts since the contest began in 1956, most recently Johnny Logan reached #2 representing Ireland in 1987.[18] It sold over 8,000 copies in Finland which means it received a Gold certification,[19] 20,000 copies in Norway thus getting a Gold certification[20] and 200,000 copies in Russia[21] and therefore it was certified platinum.

Chart (2009) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[22] 67
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[23] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[24] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[25] 4
Czech Republic (IFPI)[26] 95
Denmark (Tracklisten)[27] 1
European Hot 100 Singles[28] 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[29] 1
French Digital Singles Chart[30] 29
Germany (Media Control Charts)[31] 4
Iceland (Tónlist)[32] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[33] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[34] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[35] 14
Norway (VG-lista)[36] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[37] 35
Slovakia (IFPI)[38] 34
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[40] 3
Turkey (Turkish Singles Chart)[41] 24
Ukrainian Airplay Chart[42] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[43] 10

Russian certification

The single went multi-platinum in different formats in Russia. It first went platinum as realtone/ full track and sold 100,000 copies.[44] Then it was certified 2x platinum as ring-back tone with another 400,000 copies sold.[45] Combined sales of the song are 500,000 copies without online downloads.

Year-end charts

End of year chart (2009) Position
German Singles Chart[46] 46
Swedish Singles Chart 1

Chart succession

Preceded by
"Poker Face" by Lady Gaga
"Lonesome Traveler" by Paperboys
Norwegian VG-lista number-one single
18 February 2009 – 15 April 2009
20 May 2009 – 27 May 2009
Succeeded by
"With or Without You" by Espen Lind, Kurt Nilsen, Alejandro Fuentes & Askil Holm
"Funny Little World" by Alexander Rybak
Preceded by
"Svennebanan" by Promoe
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
22 May 2009 – 26 June 2009
Succeeded by
"Ayo Technology" by Milow
Preceded by
"Hun vil ha' en rapper" by Jooks
Danish Singles Top 40 Chart number-one single
29 May 2009 – 3 June 2009
Succeeded by
"Back to the 80's" by Aqua
Preceded by
"Düm Tek Tek" by Hadise
Ultratop (Flanders) singles chart number-one single
30 May 2009
Succeeded by
"Fuck You" by Lily Allen
Preceded by
"Nälkämaan laulu, Urhous-Remix" by DJ Urho
Finnish Singles Chart number-one single
3 June 2009 – 10 June 2009
Succeeded by
"Karkuri" by Järjestyshäiriö

Release history

Region Date Format
Norway 12 January 2009 Digital download
Germany[47] 15 May 2009 Digital download
United Kingdom 17 May 2009 Digital download[48]


  1. ^ "Norway: Alexander Rybak to Eurovision". ESCToday. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Luke (21 February 2009). "Norway: Alexander Rybak wins Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix!". Oikotimes. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Her er hun! (Norwegian), Romerikes Blad, February 24, 2009
  5. ^ Dette er Alexanders eventyrdame (Norwegian), VG, February 24, 2009
  6. ^ Avslørte hvem «Fairytale» egentlig handler om (Norwegian), TV2 Norway, 28 May 2009
  7. ^ a b Henrikson, Arve (21 February 2009). "NRK: - Vi har ikke sett maken" (in Norwegian).  
  8. ^ Frikar til Moskva! (Norwegian),, 22 February 2009
  9. ^ Til MGP-finale for 4. gang (Norwegian), Agderposten, 22 February 2009
  10. ^ - Det gikk som forventet (Norwegian), Moss Avis, 22 February 2009
  11. ^ Alle vil ha Hafzis kjoler (Norwegian), Adresseavisen, 15 May 2009
  12. ^ Fairytale reprise one of YouTube's most memorable of 2009, The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, December 24, 2009
  13. ^ "". 
  14. ^ Staff (13 February 2009). "Topp 20 Single uke 7, 2009" (in Norwegian).  
  15. ^ Staff (20 February 2009). "Topp 20 Single uke 8, 2009" (in Norwegian).  
  16. ^ Staff. "Alexander Rybak: Fairytale" (in Norwegian).  
  17. ^ "ALEXANDER RYBAK  — FAIRYTALE". Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  18. ^ Archive of Eurovision Song Contest Winners and British entries from 1956 to the present day,
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Russian Top 25 Digital chart
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  24. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  25. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  26. ^ Czech IFPI Singles Chart
  27. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". Tracklisten.
  28. ^ Search result, Alexander Rybak,
  29. ^ "Alexander Rybak: Fairytale" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  30. ^ French Download Single Top 50 - 23 May 2009
  31. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche –" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  32. ^ "Netlistinn viku 22, 2009". Tó Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  33. ^ "Chart Track: Week 21, 2009". Irish Singles Chart.
  34. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  35. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Alexander Rybak search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  36. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". VG-lista.
  37. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale" Canciones Top 50.
  38. ^ Slovakian IFPI Singles Chart
  39. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". Singles Top 60.
  40. ^ " – Alexander Rybak – Fairytale". Swiss Singles Chart.
  41. ^ "Digital Singles Charts - Turkey". Number One Top 20. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  42. ^ Ukrainian Airplay Chart Retrieved on 2009
  43. ^ "Archive Chart: 2009-05-30" UK Singles Chart.
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ Fairytales: Alexander Rybak - Artist Home - EMI,
  48. ^ Eminem comeback crowns UK chart, BBC, 24 May 2009

External links

  • Alexander Rybak - "Fairytale" at the official Eurovision Song Contest channel on YouTube
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
"Believe" by Dima Bilan
Eurovision Song Contest winners
Succeeded by
"Satellite" by Lena Meyer-Landrut
Preceded by
"Hold On Be Strong" by Maria Haukaas Storeng
Melodi Grand Prix winners
Succeeded by
"My Heart Is Yours" by Didrik Solli-Tangen
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