News from the Arts Council of the death of lyricist Sunny Aquilina has sadly reached us all. Known for his Eurovision hits, Aquilina has provided so many moments of joy for the whole of our nation and beyond.
As the island mourns his loss, we’re counting down some of the gems he provided us with over the years. He definitely brought some sunshine into our lives:
Sung by Kevin Borg
A Malta Song love song to end all Malta Song love songs. A simple yet crowd-pleasing song that would make anyone who has ever been in love sigh in agreement.
2. My Dream
Sung by Thea Garrett
A song all about hope and self-belief. Aquilina really tugged at the aspirational strings here.
3. Ismagħni Ftit Habib
Sung by Chiara
This song is all about a friend giving advice to another friend – advising them not to go down a road of vice. Aquilina’s lyrics are frank, refusing to skirt around the message he’s looking to deliver:
“Bid-droga tinqeridx, ftit, ftit
U ħajtek tħarbatiex, hekk zgħir
4. L-Isbah Zmien
Sung by Debbie Scerri
Another 90s gem from Aquilina. The lyrics are loaded with nostalgia and sentiment – wistful feelings really were his forte.
5. The One That I Love
Sung by Chiara
This song is tied to every Maltese person’s heart. Back in 1998, when Chiara belted out this beautifully melodic ballad even the most cynical of Eurovision haters was overcome with national pride. It’s a song that transcends taste and opinion and moves us indiscriminately. Chiara placed third in the Eurovision that year – but this song will always be first in the eyes of the Maltese people.
FUN FACT: He kept it in the family
Aquilina’s composer Jason Cassar is his son-in-law. He worked with him on all of his hits, helping to create some of Malta’s most memorable songs.