Almost a year after its launch the Eurovision Song Contest was back. Despite the lack of popularity of any of the participating songs in that first edition the EBU was determined to make a success of the contest. With the participation of three new countries everyone was allowed only one participating song with a maximum length of 3.5 minutes, which was more a guideline than a rule. But real relevance for the outside world or any connection with the developments in the music industry in those years were sadly not even remotely close.
Rock’n roll and rockabilly might have rocked the charts back in those days but on ESC stage the scene was dominated by singers and songwriters who were still stuck in the 40’s. Much like the first edition this second run was rather uneventful, something even the powerful UK could not change. Still there were the early developments of drama (the Danish couple underlined their sad love song with a very long kiss, causing a bit of an uproar) and the using of props (the German Margot used an actual phone for her rendition of her song about…a telephone.). Cute!
This time the Dutch Corry Brokken took revenge by winning with a huge margin over the French participant while previous winner Lys Assia sulked in a corner somewhere over her second to last place. Justice, hah! The Austrians get the award for worst debut ever to which they would hold on until 1994 while the Danes signed for the best one which would only be surpassed in … 1994, quelle surprise!
Our own Belgian entry was quite a simple one, with a lot of whistling (something I absolutely cannot stand) and a few lalala’s which were unwillingly trendsetting. Bobbejaan Schoepen would go on to be a respected artist with even his own amusement park – now who in ESC can say thàt?!
So here’s my top ten for this year I’ll never see again out of free will:
1 point: Austria
2 points: France
3 points: Germany
4 points: Switzerland
5 points: Belgium
6 points: United Kingdom
7 points: Italy
8 points: Luxembourg – Amours mortes
An absolute bore of course, but not as much as its competition.
10 points: Netherlands – Net als toen
Melancholic in an old fashioned way. Certainly not the last winner not to be the deserved one in my book.
12 points: Denmark – Skibet skal sejle i nat
Debutant Denmark should have walked with this one, a tragic love story that’s set to a haunting (though old fashioned) melody. Enjoy it while it lasts Denmark, I’ll rarely defend you like this.
Which means the global top ten looks like this…
1 Luxembourg 23
2 Netherlands 20
3 Italy 17
4 Denmark 12
5 Belgium 12
6 France 9
7 UK 6
8 Germany 5
9 Switzerland 4
10 Austria 1
Now can someone stir up this contest please?