Can Edgar Allan Poe win the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest?

EBU/Chloe Hashemi

Teya & Salena rehearsing Who The Hell Is Edgar? for Austria at the first rehearsal of the second semi-final at Liverpool Arena

Nearly two centures after his death, the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe is in the running to win the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Austrian singers Teya and Salena will be representing their country in the second semi-final on May 11 with Who The Hell Is Edgar?, a song in which the 19th century writer plays a key role, as the lyrics to the first verse reveal:

There's a ghost in my body and he is a lyricist. It is Edgar Allan Poe, and I think he can't resist. Yeah, his brain is in my hand, and it's moving really fast.
Don't know how he possessed me, but I'm happy that he did.

It is in fact about sexism in the music industry, as Teya explains: "We wanted to put our personal experiences as female songwriters into the song. It often feels like you have to prove yourself over and over again to be taken seriously. By presenting Edgar Allan Poe as the actual writer of the song, we want to draw attention to this frustrating part of the music business. It's satire."

Salena added: "This song is a snapshot of the fun we had on the day we wrote it. It started with wanting to convey what it feels like when a good song is made. Sometimes creativity rushes through you as if you‘re getting possessed by a ghost."

The first draft of the lyrics featured a much stronger expletive than 'hell'.

It is not the first time that Poe's influence appears to have extended beyond the grave. In 1863, psychic medium Lizzie Doten published her book Poems from the Inner Life which featured poems which she claimed had been dictated to her by the ghost of the writer.

Should the duo and their false moustaches succeed, they will perform in the final on May 13 which will be televised live. All together now, "Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Edgar Allan, Edgar Allan."