The Eurovision Song Contest in 1969 was the first time that the contest resulted in a tie for first place, with four countries each gaining 18 votes. Since there was at the time no rule to cover such an eventuality, all four countries were declared joint winners. Had the later tie-break rule been in place (i.e. the song receiving votes from the most countries, then the song receiving the most high votes in case of another tie), France would have been the overall winner.
France - Frida Boccara, "Un Jour, Un Enfant"
"Un jour, un enfant" ("A Day, a Child") was one of four winning songs in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969, this one being sung in French by Frida Boccara representing France. The other three winners were Salomé representing Spain with "Vivo cantando", Lulu representing the United Kingdom with "Boom Bang-a-Bang" and Lenny Kuhr representing the Netherlands with "De troubadour".
The song was performed fourteenth on the night, following Germany's Siw Malmkvist with "Primaballerina" and preceding Portugal's Simone de Oliveira with "Desfolhada portuguesa". At the close of voting, it had received 18 points, placing equal first in a field of 16.
The song is a classical ballad, describing the wonders of the world as seen by a child. Boccara recorded the song in five languages, French, English (as "Through the Eyes of a Child"), German ("Es schlägt ein Herz für dich", translated: "A Heart Beats for You"), Spanish ("Un día, un niño", translated: "A Day, a Child") and Italian ("Canzone di un amore perduto", translated: "Song of a Lost Love").
Netherlands - Lennie Kuhr, "De Troubadour"
"De troubadour" ("The troubadour"), sung in Dutch by Lenny Kuhr representing the Netherlands, was – together with "Boom Bang-a-Bang", "Un jour, un enfant", and "Vivo cantando" from, respectively, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain – one of the four winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 1969.
In a ballad inspired both musically and lyrically by folk-song traditions, Kuhr sings about a troubadour of the Middle Ages, describing the impact the music has on his audiences. Kuhr also recorded the song in English (as "The troubadour"), French ("Le troubadour"), German ("Der troubadour"), Italian ("Un canta storie") and Spanish ("El trovador"). The 1969 Contest was controversially held in Madrid, Spain during Francisco Franco's dictatorship; 5 years after the Contest, Kuhr also recorded the song with revised Dutch lyrics, then retitled "De generaal" ("The general"), which was a homage to the Dutch national socker coach Rinus Michaels, who was called "De Generaal" by the players of the Dutch team.
The song was performed eighth on the night, following the United Kingdom's Lulu with "Boom Bang-a-Bang" and preceding Sweden's Tommy Körberg with "Judy, min vän". By the close of voting, it had received 18 points, placing it equal first in a field of 16. The Netherlands thus achieved the rare feat of going from (equal) last to (equal) first in the space of one year.
Spain - Salome, "Vivo Cantando"
"Vivo cantando" (Spanish pronunciation: ['bißo kan'tando], "I Live Singing") was one of four songs which tied for first place in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969. Performed in Spanish by Salomé for Spain, the song was joint winner with the United Kingdom's "Boom Bang-a-Bang" performed by Lulu, "De troubadour" by Lenny Kuhr representing the Netherlands, and "Un jour, un enfant" sung for France by Frida Boccara. It was Spain's second winning entry in the contest and the last to date.
The song is a very up-tempo number, sung from the perspective of a woman telling her lover about the positive changes he has had on her, specifically that she now lives her life singing. Two memorable aspects of the performance were Salomé's costume – a pantsuit covered in long strands of porcelain resembling beads – and the fact that the singer chose to dance on the spot during certain parts of the song. Dancing was against Eurovision Song Contest regulations at the time; Salomé was not penalized, however, as the performers from Ireland and the United Kingdom had done the same that year as well.
UK - Lulu, "Boom Bang A Bang"
"Boom Bang-a-Bang" was the United Kingdom entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 1969. It was sung by Lulu, and was co-written by Alan Moorhouse and Peter Warne (the latter also known as Michael Julien). It was the joint winner with three other entries. These entries were Salomé singing "Vivo cantando" for Spain, Lenny Kuhr singing "De troubadour" for the Netherlands and Frida Boccara singing "Un jour, un enfant" for France.
The song was the second consecutive entry with a nonsense title to win the contest (after Massiel's triumph in 1968 with "La La La"), and became infamous in the comedy world - most notably inspiring Monty Python's Flying Circus to parody it with "Bing Tiddle-Tiddle Bong" (Python precursor I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again had previously had Bill Oddie do something similar with a song for which the title was rendered entirely in sound effects).
Lyrically, the song is a plea from the singer to her lover to "cuddle me tight". She then goes on to explain that "my heart goes boom bang-a-bang boom bang-a-bang when you are near", complete with appropriate musical accompaniment. The single made No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart and was a major hit throughout Europe.
The song was succeeded as the winner in 1970 by Dana singing "All Kinds of Everything" for Ireland.
Over two decades after its first release, the song was included on a blacklist of banned songs issued by the BBC during the 1991 Gulf War.
"Boom Bang-A-Bang" was also the name of a BBC One 1 hour programme made to celebrate 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. Broadcast in Eurovision week, the special was hosted by Sir Terry Wogan and featured archive footage and highlights of past contests, along with a performance of that year's UK entry by Daz Sampson.
The song is the theme tune to the 2010 BBC Three sitcom Him & Her.
1968 - Spain
Massiel, "La, La, La"
"La, la, la" is a song which was performed by the Spanish singer Massiel at the Eurovision Song Contest 1968, winning the contest for Spain in that year. It was the first of Spain's two Eurovision wins to date. The song was composed by Ramón Arcusa and Manuel de la Calva, otherwise known as the singing duo Dúo Dinámico. Massiel's backing singers, who wore short teal coloured dresses, were (from back to front, tallest to shortest) María Jesús Aguirre, María Dolores Arenas, and Mercedes Valimaña Macaria.
Massiel recorded the song in four languages; Spanish, Italian, German, all as "La, la, la", and in English, as "La, la, la (He Gives Me Love)". It was later covered by the Italian singer Mina in Radiotelevisione Italiana's 1968 variety series Canzonissima and by Finnish singer Carola. The band Saint Etienne recorded another cover version, featured on the album A Song for Eurotrash (1998) with English lyrics that differ from the original, referring to the man she is dating instead of the things she is thankful for. The biggest-selling recording of the song, however, was the cover-version, performed in Spanish, by Portuguese fado star Amália Rodrigues. It was also sung by Alpay, a famous Turkish singer, in Turkish that same year in "Sen Gidince & La La La" 45 rpm.
1967 - United Kingdom
Sandy Shaw, "Puppet On A String"
"Puppet on a String" is the name of the Eurovision Song Contest-winning song in 1967 by British singer Sandie Shaw. It was her thirteenth UK single release. The song was a UK Singles Chart number one hit on 27 April 1967, staying at the top for a total of three weeks.
Shaw had originally performed the song as one of five prospective numbers to represent the United Kingdom in the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest on The Rolf Harris Show. She had never been taken with the idea of taking part in the contest but her discoverer, Adam Faith, had talked her into it, saying it would keep her manager Eve Taylor happy. Taylor wanted to give Shaw a more cabaret appeal and felt that this was the right move - and also felt that it would get Shaw back in the public's good books as she had recently been involved in a divorce scandal.
Of the five songs performed, "Puppet on a String" was Shaw's least favourite. In her own words "I hated it from the very first oompah to the final bang on the big bass drum. I was instinctively repelled by its sexist drivel and cuckoo-clock tune." She was disappointed when it was selected as the song she would use to represent the country, but it won the contest hands down, though it has always been felt that this was partly due to her existing popularity on the continent (she had recorded most of her hit singles in French, Italian, German and Spanish). As a result "Puppet on a String" became her third Number One hit in the UK (a record for a female at the time) and was a big worldwide smash (the biggest selling single of the year in Germany). Shaw also recorded "Puppet on a String" in French ("Un tout petit pantin"), Italian ("La danza delle note"), Spanish ("Marionetas en la cuerda"), and German ("Wiedehopf im Mai").
1966 - Austria
Udo Juergens, "Merci Cherie"
"Merci, Chérie" ("Thank you, darling") was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1966. Performed for Austria by Udo Jürgens with lyrics in German -- despite the French words of the title -- it is Austria's only winning song in the contest to date.
The song was performed ninth on the night, following Portugal's Madalena Iglésias with "Ele e ela" and preceding Sweden's Lill Lindfors and Svante Thuresson with "Nygammal vals". The final points tally for "Mercie, Chérie" was 31, securing it first place at the head of an 18-entry field.
The song was succeeded as contest winner in 1967 by Sandie Shaw singing "Puppet on a String" for the United Kingdom, and as Austrian entry in that year by "Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt", performed by Peter Horten.
Al Sundström has written the Swedish lyrics. The Swedish title is "Merci Cherie". Gunnar Wiklund with Nisse Hansén's orchestra recorded it in Stockholm in 1966. The song was released on the EP Sjunger Eurovisionsschlager 1966 (His Master's Voice 7-EGS 726). In 1967, Bent Fabric released an instrumental version of the song on his album Operation Lovebirds.
1965 - Luxembourg
France Gall, "Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son"
"Poupée de cire, poupée de son" (English: Doll of wax, doll of sawdust) was the winning entry in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1965. It was performed in French by French singer France Gall, representing Luxembourg.
Composed by Serge Gainsbourg, it was the first song to win Eurovision that was not a ballad. It was nominated as one of the fourteen best Eurovision songs of all time at the Congratulations special held in October 2005.
As is common with Gainsbourg's lyrics, the words are filled with double meanings, wordplay, and puns. The title can be translated as "Wax doll, Sawdust doll" (a floppy doll stuffed with sawdust) or as "Doll of wax, Doll of sound" (with implications that Gall is a "singing doll" controlled by Gainsbourg).
Sylvie Simmons wrote that the song is about "the ironies and incongruities inherent in baby pop"—that "the songs young people turn to for help in their first attempts at discovering what life and love are about are sung by people too young and inexperienced themselves to be of much assistance, and condemned by their celebrity to be unlikely to soon find out."
This sense of being a "singing doll" for Gainsbourg reached a peak when he wrote "Les Sucettes" ("Lollipops") for Gall.
The day after her Eurovision victory the single had sold 16,000 copies in France, four months later it had sold more than 500,000 copies..
1964 - Italy
Gigliola Cinquetti, "Non Ho L'eta"
"Non ho l'età" ("I'm not old enough") won the Eurovision Song Contest 1964, held in Copenhagen. It was performed in Italian by Gigliola Cinquetti representing Italy. Like all previous Italian Eurovision entries, the song had also won that year's San Remo Music Festival. Cinquetti was sixteen years old at the time, making her the second youngest Eurovision winner in history after Belgium's Sandra Kim who claimed she was fifteen when she won the contest with "J'aime la vie" in Bergen in 1986 - although it was later revealed that Kim, in fact, was only thirteen.
The song was performed twelfth on the night, following Portugal's António Calvário with "Oração" and preceding Yugoslavia's Sabahudin Kurt with "Život je sklopio krug". By the close of voting, it had received 49 points, placing it first in a field of 16.
"Non ho l'età" became a considerable commercial success for Cinquetti, both in Italy, the rest of Continental Europe, Scandinavia and throughout the world; she also recorded the song in English ("This is My Prayer"), Spanish ("No Tengo Edad"), French ("Je suis à toi"), German ("Luna nel blu") and Japanese ("Yumemiru Omoi") and the song has since also been covered by a wide range of artists in other languages.
Cinquetti returned to Eurovision in 1974, when she finished second with "Sì" after ABBA's "Waterloo" and in 1991 she co-hosted the contest with Toto Cutugno when it was held in Rome.
1963 - Denmark
Grethe and Joergen Ingmann, "Dansevise"
"Dansevise" ("Dance ballad") was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1963 performed in Danish by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann representing Denmark. This was the first entry performed by a duo to win the Contest and also the first Scandinavian winner. The song was performed eighth on the night, following Finland's Laila Halme with "Muistojeni laulu" and preceding Yugoslavia's Vice Vukov with "Brodovi". At the close of voting, it had received 42 points, thus winning from a field of 16.
The song is a moderately up-tempo tune in which the singer hymns the praises of dancing, specifically with her "beloved friend".
The song was succeeded as Contest winner in 1964 by Gigliola Cinquetti performing "Non ho l'età" for Italy.
It was succeeded as Danish representative at the 1964 Contest by Bjørn Tidmand with "Sangen om dig".
The Danish band Outlandish has made a cover of the song called "Kom igen" which is featured in the game FIFA 07.
1962 - France
Isabelle Aubret, "Un Premier Amour"
"Un premier amour" ("A First Love") was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1962, sung in French by Isabelle Aubret representing France.
The song was performed ninth on the night, following the Netherlands' De Spelbrekers with "Katinka" and preceding Norway's Inger Jacobsen with "Kom sol, kom regn". By the close of voting, it had received 26 points, placing it first in a field of 16.
The song is a typically dramatic ballad, with Aubret singing about the power that a first love has over people.
1961 - Luxembourg
Jean-Claude Pascal, "Nous Les Amoureux"
"Nous les amoureux" ("We, the Lovers" or "Us Lovers") was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1961, performed in French for Luxembourg by French singer Jean-Claude Pascal.
The song was performed fourteenth on the night (following Denmark's Dario Campeotto with "Angelique" and preceding the United Kingdom's The Allisons with "Are You Sure?"). By the close of voting, it had received 31 points, placing it first in a field of 16 and thus helping Luxembourg to achieve the rare feat of moving from last to first in successive years.
Due to the contest overrunning in time, the reprise of this song was not shown in the UK. The UK's coverage ended shortly after the voting had finished and the winning song was declared.
1960 - France
Jaqueline Boyer, "Tom Pilibi"
"Tom Pillibi" was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1960, sung in French by Jacqueline Boyer. This was France's second victory in the first five years of the Contest.
The song was performed thirteenth on the night (following Italy's Renato Rascel with "Romantica"). At the close of voting, it had received 32 points, placing 1st in a field of 13.
The song is a moderately up-tempo number, with the singer talking about her lover - the title character. She describes his material wealth (two castles, ships, other women wanting to be with him) before admitting that he has "only one fault", that being that he is "such a liar" and that none of what she had previously said about him was true. Nonetheless, she sings, she still loves him.
In what would become increasingly the norm over Contest history, the English version of the song, while still about the same man, conveyed quite a different impression. In this version, Tom is a compulsive womaniser and not to be trusted at all. Perhaps as a result of this, Des Mangan's book on Contest history confuses the issue further by describing the song as being about "A man with two castles and two boats and who's generally a right bastard, but she still loves him anyway." Boyer also recorded a German language version of the song, under the same title.