L’amour doesn’t have to be bleu (OR How Eurovision Can Stop You Having a Blue Monday)

Scientists (yes, scientists) have spent long hours totting up figures on the back of a fag packet to deduce that today – Monday, January 15 – is Blue Monday.

If their sums are right, you woke up today feeling more miserable than the cumulative disappointment measured across all members of Pheno Men when they failed to secure a single point on Saturday’s Destination Eurovision. But surely nobody could be that glum?

Still, it pays to organise a preemptive strike. They can be game-changers.

Just in case Blue Monday has turned your soul a maudlin shade of lapis lazuli, Whoops Dragovic is here to help. They say it takes a village to raise a child, so access to lots of Eurovision pals on your Facebook feed and a wee bit of pre-planning could possibly be enough to raise a grin on this most non-Friday of days.

Basically, Whoops asked a broad church of fans, be they well known bloggers or chums of mine who have been known to whistle a Contesty tune from time to time to tell us the Eurovision song which never fails to lift their spirits. As you’ll expect from such a diverse congregation, the styles and the explanations differ but they all share the same joyful resolution.

Hope they do the job for you too. Start twitching your smirking muscles around… about…

Now.

Dance With Me performed by Zoli Adok
Hungary 2009
Nominated by: Glyn Ellis Hughes

This may not have qualified but it’s a winner in my eyes.

An unapologetic attempt at Disco – rhyming the words floor, Singapore, sore and core without a shred of shame. I defy anyone to get on a treadmill or run round a park listening to this and not start throwing your arms about.

It’s a wonderful song to exercise to. I’ve had plenty of strange looks in hotel gyms to prove it. Don’t care, it’s a pure joy.

Glyn Ellis Hughes is a pint-sized Welsh heartthrob, bon viveur and cat lover. Follow him on Twitter @glynellishughes

Chce Znac Swoj Grzech performed by Kasia Kowalska
Poland 1996

Nominated by: Paul Marks-Jones

Yes I know it doesn’t smack of cheer, but bear with me. Its actually an ideal song for three reasons.

1. It’s in Polish so you can sing along and pretend you know all the words – this makes you feel pleased with yourself.

2. It has lots of waily bits so you can really belt it out with hairbrush in hand and emote infront of the bedroom mirror – surely that makes anyone feel good.

3. When you’ve finished in a heap of dramatic emotion you realise nothing can be as bad as whatever ‘that polish bird’ is going through and so you feel instantly elated.

Paul Marks-Jones is a former president of OGAE UK and remains excellent at organising things.

Meiecundimees Üks Korsakov Läks Eile Lätti performed by Winny Puhh
Estonian national final 2013
Nominated by: Roy Delaney

I fell in love with this sprinty little tune the moment a trusted pal sent me a sound file with a note stating simply: “I think you need to hear this”.

Little did I know the unhinged visual splendour that would develop with each new performance, until our hairy heroes missed out on a place at Eurovision proper by mere fumes at Estonia’s excellent Eesti Laul back in 2013.

From that day on they’ve been my favourite band on the planet, in all their bonkers majesty. This video still remains the absolute peak of all human activity. Be warned, you might cry.

Roy Delaney is saving the universe one Eurovision gem at a time via the site ESC Apocalypse. You can also follow him on @ESCApocalypse

Chanteur de charme performed by Gérard Lenorman
France 1988
Nominated by Martin Faulkner

A guaranteed misery-buster, you say? Perhaps not the most conventional choice, but Gérard Lenorman’s wistful ode to old-school crooners and their soppy but sincere sentiments always hits the spot for me.

The melody swoops and sways, each hopeful leap to the high notes – as strained as Gérard’s delivery may be, especially live, you know he absolutely means it – transporting you to a safe place miles from the slog of the everyday and reminding you that it’s OK to wish away your troubles, to believe in fairytales, to be a romantic old fool, to dream.

Martin writes about the contest at www.escgo.com and can be found on Twitter at @faulknmd

Amazing performed by Tanja
Estonia 2014
Nominated by Philip Hammond

Shortly after my partner died, the lyric “you know there’s nothing I wouldnt do, I’d break the curse of time to be with you”.

Very true – and the idea that I can do that (through the medium of music) makes me smile and deliriously happy.

Philip Hammond is the brains behind Eurovision Is My Boyfriend and there’s a good chance you’ll have spotted one of his t-shirt designs among the crowd at big Contest-related events.

Born in Bielorussia performed by Anastasiya Vinnikova
Early version of Belarus 2011
Nominated by: Ewan Spence

Lots of songs can be fun, but what you need is a song that invades you. What you need is a song that takes control of your limbs and heart, that makes you throw shapes, that makes you sing (badly) along, and is an utter earworm you would never play on Desert Island Discs.

Step forward ‘Born In Bielorussia,” the failed first entry from Anastasiya Vinnikova. Belarus’s Eurovision team never banned it because of the similarities to the seventies, or the pre-deadline performance. No it was banned because the power to infect broke the Geneva Convention.

All together now, “round and round we go…”

Ewan Spence runs ESC Insight, the most analytical of all Eurovision sites which features a regular and popular series of podcasts. You can follow him @ESCinsight

Enséñame a cantar performed by Micky
Spain 1977
Nominated by: Andrew Brook

If you thought that Micky’s performance of Enséñame a cantar at Wembley in 1977 was the campest thing on earth, wait until you see the preview video.

I can’t work out whether this is an intentional send-up or if it is just pure, innocent fun, but it works on both levels. If Franco hadn’t died two years previously, Micky’s performance would surely have finished him off!

You can listen to some of Andrew’s own compositions on his Facebook page

La Det Swinge performed by Bobbysocks
Norway 1985
Nominated by Martin Palmer

“Let the music live, never let the rhythm stop

Can you feel that you’re alive right here and now?

Do you feel how much you want to dance?

Oh… and do you hear your heart beating on and on?

Let it swing, let it rock ‘n’ roll

Let it swing until you lose all control

Oh hi ho…

Let it swing, let it rock ‘n’ roll”

Just the mention of the winning Norwegian title La Det Swinge makes me smile instantly and I rehear the song in my head from initial sax to joyous adulation.

How could anyone not be happy hearing Bobbysocks sing? Punch the air!

Martin Palmer runs the LMBTO Eurovision documenting both his travels and his opinions. You can follow it here.

Conquistador performed by Da Vinci
Portugal 1989
Nominated by: Mark Shone

Not the strongest Eurovision song ever, nor my absolute favourite entry, but my go-to for a vintage song contest uplift.

The surging intro, anthemic chorus, key change and shameless listing of overseas territories in lieu of meaningful lyrics is pure joy. And I love the singer’s big hat and the backing dancers’ innovative routine.

On a personal note, it also reminds me of good times with like-minded chums at fan meet ups.

Mark Shone is a UK-based fan of many years standing. Follow him on Twitter @sparkle150578

Hallelujah performed by Milk & Honey feat. Gali Atari
Israel 1979
Nominated by: Jon Jacob

Israel’s winning song from 1979 is a thigh-slapping hand-clapping crowd-pleaser tugs at the heart strings.

Its simple melody is memorable meaning its an uplifting thing to belt out in amongst a crowd of tired drunk middle-age Eurovision fans. For me, it’s the shameless key changes, the cheeky brass counter-melodies in the third chorus and the joyous descant in the final reprise that bring tears to the eye.

It’s not that Hallelujah makes the world a better place. What the song achieves is to remind us of our own often latent individual ability to make it a better place.

Jon Jacob is @ThoroughlyGood on Twitter. He writes a Thoroughly Good Blog about classical music and, for a few weeks of the year, Eurovision too.

Era Stupendo performed by Paolo Meneguzzi
Switzerland 2008
Nominated by: Andrew Dineley

How does one pick? I looked at which Eurovision song had been played the most in my iTunes library. It turned out to be a song that tragically failed to qualify.

Era Stupendo is one of those songs that would easily pass the casual listener by and this included me on the night.

It was only later that my love for the track grew – in quite a similar way to the song itself. It starts off rather subdued and uneventful and builds to the most beautiful crescendo that never fails to uplift and make me smile.

Andrew Dineley is a graphic designer and long-time contributor to Classic Pop magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @disheedee

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this most cheery of lists (I am aware there are no women on the list – I did approach as many as I could but didn’t get any response) but it doesn’t have to stop here. Please tell us the Eurovision song that never fails to cheer you up in the comments below. We want to have enough ammo to smash Blue Monday out the park and make most of Tuesday rather cheerful too.

 

 

One thought on “L’amour doesn’t have to be bleu (OR How Eurovision Can Stop You Having a Blue Monday)”

  1. Happy to provide the token female choice!
    So many uplifting songs over the years, to narrow them down seems unnecessarily cruel but narrow it I must. I
    decided to choose a performance that gave us easily identifiable lyrics, stunning outfits and a dance routine that can be faithfully re-created with the help of a couple of chums. 1977, you are sorely missed

    Like

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