John Lydon's Public Image Ltd. Make Another Bid to Represent Ireland at Eurovision

The Former Sex Pistols bandleader's post-punk project have a new song for the nation, having previously entered the contest in 2018

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jan 9, 2023

Public Image Ltd. are hoping to win the luck (and backing) of the Irish: the post-punk outfit helmed by former Sex Pistols bandleader John Lydon (a.k.a Johnny Rotten) have once again thrown their hats in the ring to represent Ireland in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

Born in London to Irish parents, Lydon holds an Irish passport in addition to American citizenship. He has previously said that he views himself as "British first and foremost." "When my parents came over from Ireland they became intrinsically working-class English," Lydon told Vice [via The Guardian]. "[I'm] proper London working-class."

The submission, "Hawaii," is a love letter to the time-honoured snarler's wife, Nora, who has been living with Alzheimer's disease since 2018. Lydon revealed in 2020 that he had shelved a PiL album to become her full-time carer and later appeared on The Masked Singer in her honour.

"It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most," Lydon said of the track in a statement. "It's also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all."

Peppered with breathy chants of "Aloha," the unexpectedly vulnerable and pensive tune marks the band's first new music in the eight years since their last album, 2015's What the World Needs Now....

PiL will compete in a televised contest next month, which will determine who will represent Ireland at the annual competition, set to be hosted in Liverpool on May 13.

Listen to "Hawaii" below.

Lydon was surprisingly moved by the loss of Queen Elizabeth II last fall, posting a tribute and later condemning his old band for trying to cash in on her death with their hit "God Save the Queen." A representative for guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook responded to the accusation, saying, "We cannot understand what [Lydon] would be referring to."

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