Ten of the Best: Eurovision Winners
I admit I enjoy watching the Eurovision Song Contest each year. The competition has been staged for the past 60 years and is still going strong, so I thought that I would pick just ten of the winning songs that I consider to be the best.
Thus, here is my list of the Top 10 best Eurovision Song Contest winners; some of which you may agree with me, perhaps some not.
For me, the golden era of the Eurovision Song Contest was the 1970s and several of my choices come from this period. However, there have been more recent winning songs that I have enjoyed and many songs that I felt should have won the Contest but were left lagging on the scoreboard once the points were tallied.
So, do you agree with my Top 10 selection or do you have a favourite Eurovision winning song that you think should be included here?
1. Apres toi: Vicky Leandros - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1972
Greek singer Vicky Leandros won the Contest for Luxembourg in 1972 with the song Apres toi (After You), which was translated into several languages and became a major hit across Europe.
The title was changed to Come What May for the English-speaking market. In the UK, it occupied the Number 2 spot in the charts of Spring 1972.
2. Waterloo: ABBA - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1974
The song that turned ABBA into the super group of the 1970s was the Eurovision Song Contest winner of 1974 when the event was held in Brighton, England.
Waterloo was the group's first international hit, even finding popularity in the American market.
ABBA had tried its hand at entering Eurovision the previous year with the song Ring, Ring, but failed to win the Swedish qualifying event on that occasion.
3. Non ho l'eta : Gigliola Cinquetti - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1964
This was the first win in the Eurovision Song Contest for Italy when Gigliola Cinquetti sang the moody Non ho l'eta (I'm Not Old Enough) in 1964. This would not be the young Italian's only foray into the world of Eurovision, though.
In 1974, she returned to represent her country once more with the beautiful Si, which was translated into English as Go (Before You Break My Heart). This time she placed second behind ABBA, but in any other year her song could easily have won.
4. Love Shine A Light: Katrina & the Waves - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1997
For the first time in sixteen years, the UK won the Contest with a landslide victory for Katrina and the Waves and the anthemic song Love Shine A Light.
The group had been out in the wilderness since its international hit Walking on Sunshine, but was brought back to the public's attention when it swept aside all-comers in 1997.
The UK continues to wait for another victory.
5. Nocturne: Secret Garden - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1995
Secret Garden, a joint Irish/Norwegian combo, represented Norway in 1995 with the song Nocturne. The entry broke the winning streak of Ireland, which had won the Contest the three previous years.
However, once you hear the song, it could quite easily have been another Irish entry. A mystic melody full of Celtic colours and few lyrics entranced the voters that year and brought Norway its second win in the competition.
6. What's Another Year: Johnny Logan - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1980
It had been ten years since Ireland had won the Contest when Dana brought home the victory with the song All Kinds of Everything. In 1980, Johnny Logan's win with What's Another Year? secured the trophy for the country ahead of Germany and the UK.
Seven years later, Logan would return to the Eurovision Song Contest, becoming the first artist to win it on two separate occasions. The second time around he sang Hold Me Now.
7. Molitva: Marija Serifovic - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 2007
In 2007, Serbia entered the Eurovision Song Contest as an independent nation for the first time and won it with the song Molitva (Prayer). Several different remixes of the track were later released, along with an English translation, Destiny.
- It was the first winner in nine years to feature no English lyrics.
8. Tu te reconnaitras: Anne-Marie David - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1973
For the second consecutive year, Luxembourg walked away with the Eurovision title in 1973.
Following the victory by Vicky Leandros, Anne-Marie David put in a powerful vocal performance for the tiny European country. The winning song was Tu te reconnaitras (You'll Recognize Yourself) later translated into an English version as Wonderful Dream.
This was Luxembourg's fourth win out of five, but the country has not participated since 1993 due to bad results.
9. Un banc, un arbre, une rue: Severine - Eurovision Song Song Contest Winner: 1971
Monaco was the winner in 1971 with yet another powerful French language performance - this time by chanteuse Severine. Un banc, un arbre, une rue (A Bench, A Tree, A Street) was the principality's only win thus far, having participated since 1959.
Unfortunately, Monaco is one of a handful of countries that no longer sends a representative to the Contest, having last appeared in 2006, when it could not secure a place in the Final.
10. Boom Bang-A-Bang: Lulu - Eurovision Song Contest Winner: 1969
My final selection in this Eurovision Top 10 is probably a classic of the Eurovision genre, or at least considered by many people to be so.
1969 was an unusual year for the Contest, due to a four way tie for the title, the only time that this has happened. Among those that won was the UK's ever popular Lulu, best known in the States for her song To Sir With Love. However, the UK's contribution for 1969 was a very different affair. Realizing that you have to get into a voter's head very quickly and have a tune memorable enough to stay there, the UK came up with Boom Bang-A-Bang.
In one fell swoop, this song gave the Contest the reputation it has today, particularly in the UK.
Here's your chance to let me know your thoughts about my choices for the ten best Eurovision Song Contest winning songs. To protect the innocent, comments are moderated :)
© 2012 Richard
Do You Agree With My Top 10? : Your Comments Are Welcomed!
Elwyn Richards on February 22, 2015:
For me the ESC will always be synonymous with Severine and Un banc un abre une rue. I consider this song to be the benchmark by which all other winners are judged, and found wanting.
Ali Nella Houd on October 27, 2014:
A very good list, hard to fault.
L'enfant et l'oiseau is another 70s classic.
From the 60s, I too find Un jour un enfant very poignant. For mine, De Troubadour has one of the most rollicking, sing-along-able choruses of any ESC winner.
In terms of simple, catchy melodies, Hallelujah is also right up there (1979, not the 2006 'variation').
Some other special mentions: Net als toen ('57), Dansevise ('63), and Fly on the wings of love ('00).
But one can't fit everything into a top ten.
DuaneJ on March 28, 2013:
ABBA is easily my favorite!
Malu Couttolenc on January 18, 2013:
As always you made an excellent selection of the Eurovision contest. I added un Jour un enfant by Frida Boccara, I was a little irl but love that song. it is my favorite Eurovision song :)
siobhanryan on May 09, 2012:
Apres Toi and Waterloo would be my favorites as I am a child of the 70's. Great lens
Missmerfaery444 on May 02, 2012:
Always love your Eurovision lenses! Has to be Katrina and the Waves for me, I used to watch the contest religiously every year as a kid right into my teens and was so happy to finally see us win!
pkmcr from Cheshire UK on April 29, 2012:
Excellent selection and brilliantly presented - of course Engelbert Humperdinck is going to need to be added soon :-)