Serbia’s viral Eurovision song featured Allegri’s Miserere, and you might have missed it...

16 May 2022, 16:14 | Updated: 17 May 2022, 09:35

Eurovision Konstrakta and Allegri Miserere
Eurovision Konstrakta and Allegri Miserere. Picture: Alamy

By Kyle Macdonald

From Meghan Markle’s hair to the Sistine Chapel, Eurovision’s enormously popular ‘In Corpore Sano’ by Konstrakta offers a number of surprises.

Eurovision is always full of surprises, delights and discoveries. And 2022’s outing was no exception – particularly when it came to one rather avant-garde outing.

The main story from the night was Ukraine’s rousing entry, which took top honours. It was a pop triumph that even included the country’s traditional woodwind instruments.

Read more: What is the Eurovision opening music and how long has ‘Te Deum’ featured in the song contest?

But ‘In Corpore Sano’ by Konstrakta has made its own waves. The rather surreal performance on the night featured the vocalist repeatedly washing her hands. The song offered a satirical look at the Serbian healthcare system, the influence of mass media, the COVID-19 pandemic, and modern beauty standards, beginning with a now-famous musing on the secret behind Meghan Markle’s healthy hair.

But bat-eared choral fans might have caught distant strains within Konstrakta’s riotous song.

Tune your ears to the end of stanza two, as the song gets deep into its satirical pleas, saying “God give me health”.

And there you can hear the unmistakable minor choral chord of ‘Miserere’, followed by a semi-tone-slipping melodic fragment from Allegri’s choral masterpiece Miserere. It switches the mood and cuts through the moment like a knife. Stunning.

Take a listen, can you hear it too? Tune those ears to around two minutes.

And continuing the church-y perspective on the song, it’s also interesting to note Konstrakta’s song features an outro, sung in ecclesiastical Latin: “Animus tristis in corpore sano”, words that sound as if they could be credibly found in Cathedral choir stalls.

There’s an incredible story in the history of Allegri’s Miserere, which was originally composed for the Sistine Chapel. Legend has it that the music was so highly regarded that it could never leave the Vatican, or be heard outside its walls. This was until 1770, when (so the story goes) a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrived for Easter. The 14-year-old heard the famous, forbidden music in a service, and promptly went home and transcribed it note-for-note.

Back to Eurovision, it has all hit the spot. Konstrakta’s song was one of the viral performances of 2022’s Eurovision.

After the judges and public votes, the song scored a total of 312 points and a Top 5 finish behind Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden. It meant Konstrakta’s highly engaging and entertaining song broke Serbia’s record for the most points received in a Eurovision final. With just a little help from Allegri, of course.