Will “Europapa” win the Eurovision Song Contest 2024?

By Niels Falch

Why is Dutch Joost Klein and his song “Europapa” likely to win the Eurovision Song Contest? Will the countries massively appreciate “Europapa” by saying “Douce points, twelve points for the Netherlands?” What can we learn from the music, the lyrics, the act, and who the hell is Joost Klein?

Joost Klein

Singer and composer Joost Klein was born in Leeuwarden on November 10, 1997. The city is the capital of the province of Friesland which has its language Frisian and lies in the northern part of the Netherlands. Remarkably, Frisian is closer to English than to Dutch. Frisians are down-to-earth people, known for their pride and for being stubborn. Joost Klein lost both parents at a young age, and he promised on his father’s deathbed to become a writer. From 2016 on, he started as a composer creating music, lyrics, and videos on YouTube. Klein will be in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Thursday, May 9, 2024.


“Europapa” is written in the key of B Minor, four-four time, and has a tempo of 160 BPM. In my doctoral dissertation, I coined the term “happy minor” for a minor-key song with an up-tempo beat without references to sadness. Harmonically, the song employs simple chord progressions. The song follows a traditional verse-chorus-verse format. After an intro, “Europapa” starts immediately with the chorus, which is always a good strategy for imprinting this part in the brain. In this catchy chorus (“Welkom in Europa”), Klein uses the following chord progressions: | Bm | A | F#m – G | F#m – G | 2X | followed by the verse (“Bezoek m’n friends in France”): | Bm | A | F#m | G |. Subsequently, after the second chorus comes a new sing-along part (“Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa”): | Em | A | F#m | Bm | 2X |.

The simple melody of the chorus meanders from e to f# to d: e-f#-e-d-e-d in the chorus. The sing-along part (“Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa”) begins with four quarter notes: | a-b-a-b |

The song is arranged in the Eurodance style, known from many nineties hits such as “No Limit” (1993) by 2 Unlimited, “Dreams (Will Come Alive)” (1994) by 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor, and “What is Love” (1993) by Haddaway.

The Eurodance beat makes room for a Happy Hardcore part at three-quarters of the song. This music style was popular in the second half of the nineties and became known, among other things, for a distorted bass drum beat and people dancing in old-school Australian tracksuits. DJ Paul Elstak was one of the founders, he co-wrote “Europapa” and is also in the music video (in the car). Popular Happy Hardcore tracks at the time were:  “Aquarius” by the Party Animals, “Wonderful Days” by Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo, “Gabbertje” by Hakkûhbar, and “Luv U More” by DJ Paul Elstak.

“Europapa” is characterized by many repetitions, so it sticks in your head faster and longer.

Joost Klein


“Europapa” is the hook of the song, the word that catches the ear of the listener. Klein uses vowels with the compound word “Europapa,” next to the song title the word that keeps repeating. The sound vowel of “eu” from “Europapa,” represents a diphthong, starting with the “e” sound and transitioning to the “u” sound. In addition, the vowels “o” and two times “a” in combination with the hard “p” give a kind of oompah feeling which will certainly attract the German and Austrian countries. “Papa” means dad in Dutch, and anyone who has ever recorded with a microphone knows that the “p” produces a pop sound that comes in loudly in the recording. That is why most microphones have a pop shield or pop filter.

“Welkom in Europa (Welcome in Europe)
Blijf hier tot ik doodga (Stay here until I die)
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa”

Joost Klein cleverly uses recognizable words for the European audience such as “Friends in France,” “Ich bin in Deutschland,” “Io sono in Italia,” “es-car-gots,” “fish ‘n chips,” and “paella.” It is always good to hear a word in your native language. In the text of “Europapa,” Joost Klein also refers to Stromae’s “Papaoutai,” which was released in 2013. If you listen to “Papaoutai,” it becomes clear that Joost Klein based “Europapa” on this song and accompanying video clip. Belgian singer Stromae keeps asking “Où t’es, papaoutai?” (“Daddy, where are you?”), and the lyrics are about the loss of a deceased father, strikingly, just like “Europapa.”

Klein finishes the song with an ode to his dad in an easy and emotional outro without drum beats, and the lyrics become in my English translation:

“At the end of the day
We are all human
My father once told me
It is a world without borders”

“I miss you every day
Is what I secretly whisper
See, dad
I listened to you”


Dressed in a royal blue European Union outfit with gigantic shoulder pads, Joost Klein clearly states he’s happy living on this continent, which he considers a world without borders. His blond hair perfectly matches his blue outfit as one star of the European flag. If we go by the video, Joost will provide a completely over-the-top performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. History shows that a striking act always guarantees a high final score.


Europe currently faces many challenges and threats. This cheerful and happy-go-lucky song is a breath of fresh air in these difficult and uncertain times. After only listening once, the song “Europapa” becomes an earworm very fast, and combined with an over-the-top stage act, it has all the ingredients to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2024. In my opinion, it is a sure winner.

About Niels Falch

Niels Falch

Dr. Niels Falch is an affiliate scholar in songwriting and popular music at the Arts, Culture, and Media department part of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In his youth, Niels played guitar and keyboards in symphonic rock and jazz-rock bands. After studying at the conservatories in Amsterdam and Enschede, Falch then worked as a sound engineer, music producer, music compiler, songwriter, and music teacher. In 2020, he defended his doctoral thesis about Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe and their descendants, who collectively developed a musical style that would alter American popular music.

  • Hans

    Mooie analyse Niels
    Daar kunnen ze mee aan de slag in het voortgezet onderwijs! Leerzaam materiaal!
    We maken in groep 8 voor abcmuziek.nl al een begin met popmuziek analyses!

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