Eden Golan sings ‘October Rain,’ her disqualified Eurovision song, at hostage rally

Singer tells crowd that in her first performance onstage since contest, she wanted to use original version rejected by song contest producers, seen as referencing October 7

Israeli singer Eden Golan at a rally calling for the release of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, at Hostages Square in Tel Aviv on May 18, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Israeli singer Eden Golan at a rally calling for the release of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, at Hostages Square in Tel Aviv on May 18, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Eden Golan, who represented Israel at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, sang her song “October Rain” on Saturday night at a Tel Aviv rally held weekly in support of a deal to release the hostages held in Gaza by terror groups.

“October Rain” was written to be performed at the contest in Switzerland earlier this month, but the European Broadcasting Union disqualified the song for having political messaging.

The song includes lyrics such as “writers of the history/stand with me”; “I’m still wet from the October rain/October rain”; and a final section in Hebrew translated to: “There is no air left to breathe/No place, no me from day to day/They were all good kids, every one of them” — believed to be a reference to those killed by Hamas on October 7.

“This is the first time I am singing onstage after returning from Eurovision,” Golan told the crowd gathered at what has been named Hostages Square. “I wanted to do it on this stage, in this square.”

“I wanted to sing ‘October Rain’ tonight and it is my prayer to bring everyone home. I will not stop making our voice heard in Israel and in the world, until everyone returns home,” she said.

Golan finished in fifth place in the international contest with a reworded version, titled “Hurricane.”

Israel’s Eurovision entry was clouded by animosity from other contestants, booing from some members of the audience, and pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel rallies outside the venue in Malmo, Sweden, over the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. Golan remained defiant throughout, vowing she would not allow the protests to hold her back.

Saturday night’s event in Hostages Square in Tel Aviv was billed as an “international rally,” a step up from the weekly demonstrations held at the location. Put together by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, it was designed to garner the attention of the global community and rally other countries to put pressure on Hamas to release the 128 hostages still held in the Gaza Strip.

Interspersed between speeches from hostage families and foreign diplomats at the rally were musical performances by musicians including Noga Erez and Lola Marsh.

American social content producer Montana Tucker was also there, closing the event by leading a rendition of the national anthem, Hatikva. Tucker, who has over 3 million followers on Instagram and 18 million on video sharing platform TikTok, has been outspoken in supporting Israel ever since the war started.

On October 7 the Palestinian terror group Hamas led a massive cross-border attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The 3,000 attackers who burst through the border with the Gaza Strip and then rampaged murderously through southern Israel areas also abducted 252 people as hostages to Gaza.

Israel responded to the attack with a military offensive to destroy Hamas, topple its Gaza regime, and free the hostages.

Some hostages were released during a November temporary truce, others were rescued, and the bodies of others were found by the IDF in Gaza. There are 128 hostages still in captivity, some believed no longer alive. The IDF announced over the week that it had recovered the bodies of four more hostages.

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