"Hallelujah" (Hebrew script: הללויה) performed in Hebrew by Gali Atari and Milk & Honey for Israel. The winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1979. The group was formed for the purpose of performing in the contest when the song's original performers, the band Hakol Over Habibi, declined the opportunity to sing it.
This was the fourth occasion on which the host country had won the Contest (Switzerland, Spain and Luxembourg had achieved the feat before this) and there would be two more such occasions to date (Ireland winning once in Millstreet and once more in Dublin). Israel could neither host nor compete in the next Contest, which was scheduled for the same day as Yom Hazikaron - Israel's Memorial Day. (The festivities of the event would clash with the somber tone of the day, which is marked in Israel with memorial services, two minutes of silence, and large numbers of visitors at military and civilian cemeteries.)
The song is regarded as a classic of the Contest due in no small part to the unique performance, in which Atari and her backing singers entered the stage one by one, rather than all together. It was also performed at the end of the Eurovision Song Contest 1999 by all the contestants as a tribute to the victims of the wars in the Balkans. It has also become something of a modern Jewish standard, recognized by many North Americans who might never even have heard of Eurovision.
It was performed tenth on the night, following Germany's Dschinghis Khan with "Dschinghis Khan" and preceding France's Anne-Marie David with "Je suis l'enfant soleil". At the close of voting, it had received 125 points, placing 1st in a field of 19. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, as Spain had been leading on the penultimate round of voting, this was the first time the winning song had come from behind to clinch victory on the final vote. Ironically, it was the Spanish jury that gifted the contest to Israel.
The song was succeeded as Contest winner in 1980 by Johnny Logan singing "What's Another Year" for Ireland.
As explained above, Israel did not enter the 1980 Contest, which would have been held in that country had they entered (it was in fact held in The Hague). Israel returned to the fold for the 1981 Contest, where this song was succeeded as Israeli representative by Hakol Over Habibi with "Halayla".
1978 - Israel
Izhar Cohen, "A-ba-ni-bi"
"A-Ba-Ni-Bi" (Hebrew script: א-ב-ני-בי) was the winning song in the 1978 ESC. The song was performed for Israel by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta. This was Israel's first Eurovision win, which meant under the rules of the contest that they would host the following year's contest, marking the first time that the Eurovision Song Contest would take place outside geographical Europe. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor, broadcasters in many of the non-participating Arab countries in North Africa and Asia, who had been transmitting the contest, had to cut the broadcast when it was clear Israel was going to win. Jordanian television cut the broadcast and showed pictures of flowers. Afterwards, the Jordanian news media refused to acknowledge the fact that Israel had won and announced that the winner was Belgium (which had actually come second).
The song (written by Ehud Manor and composed and conducted by Nurit Hirsh, a duo who had collaborated frequently in writing Israeli Eurovision entries, including the country's debut) is an up-tempo disco number, heralding a move towards this style of performance in later years. While sometimes derided as a weak entry — particularly given its title — the song is regarded by most fans as one of the better entries in Contest history, often being performed as part of a medley of favourites, as at the introduction to the 2006 semi-final in Athens.
The song deals with the way in which children relate to love. Cohen sings that, growing up, "we loved secretly/Who were we nice to? — Just uncles and aunts" and that love was conducted secretly and "We whispered only in the Bet language". He compares this to adulthood, where he realises that "Love is a beautiful word" and that humanity should "speak in a language of love", instead of the language of secrecy. For this reason, the song uses the Bet language - a children's language game where each syllable of the word is repeated with a bet replacing the consonant. Thus, the Hebrew "a-ni o-hev o-tach" (Hebrew: אני אוהב אותך - I love you) becomes "a-ba-ni-bi o-bo-he-be-v o-bo-ta-ba-ch". Musically, the song is somewhat unusual among Contest entries for ending almost immediately after the key change — most entries have either a bridge or a repetition of the chorus after this point.
At the Contest, Cohen and his five backing vocalists (two men — Reuven Erez and Itzhak Okev, and three women — Lisa Gold-Rubin, Nehama Shutan, and Esther Tzuberi) all wore white clothing and remained mostly stationary, swaying in time to the music.
The song was performed eighteenth on the night (following Luxembourg's Baccara with "Parlez-vous français?" and preceding Austria's Springtime with "Mrs. Caroline Robinson"). At the close of voting, it had received 157 points, placing 1st in a field of 20.
The song was succeeded in 1979 as Contest winner and as Israeli representative by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey performing "Hallelujah" for Israel. Israel thus became the third country, after Spain (1968,1969) and Luxembourg (1972, 1973) to win the Contest twice in successive years. Since then, only Ireland has achieved that distinction, winning three times in a row, beginning in 1992. Izhar Cohen returned to the Contest at Gothenburg, Sweden in 1985, then finishing 5th in a field of 19 with "Olé, Olé".
1977 - France
Marie Myriam, "L'oiseau Et L'enfant"
"L'oiseau et l'enfant" ("The Bird and the Child") was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977. Performed in French by the Portuguese singer Marie Myriam, who represented France. The song was composed by Jean-Paul Cara and written by Joe Gracy.
The song was the eighteenth and final song performed on the night (following Belgium’s Dream Express with "A Million in One, Two, Three"). At the close of voting, it had received 136 points, coming first in a field of eighteen. Myriam recorded the song in five languages; French, English (as "The Bird and the Child"), German ("Der Vogel und das Mädchen"), Spanish ("El zagal y el ave azul") and her mother tongue Portuguese ("A ave e a infância").
During Preview Week, Myriam's music video showed her performing the song in an open-air atmosphere, in a section of the Square René Viviani in Paris. This preview video is notable for the prominent presence of the gendarmes having to restrain the crowd, some of whom having climbed the noted "oldest tree in Paris" to catch a glimpse of the singer. On the Contest night, she performed in a floor-length orange gown while her five backup singers were clad in black.
1976 - United Kingdom
Brotherhood of Man, "Save Your Kisses for Me
"Save Your Kisses for Me" was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1976. Performed for the United Kingdom by Brotherhood of Man in The Hague, Netherlands. The lyrics and music were written by Tony Hiller, Lee Sheriden, and Martin Lee, the latter two being members of the band. This was the third consecutive occasion on which a group had won the contest.
"Save Your Kisses for Me" was originally written by member Lee Sheriden in August 1974. On bringing the song in to the next songwriting session, others thought that the title was clumsy and reworked it into "Oceans of Love". Sheriden was unhappy with the changes and the song was shelved. A year later when it came to coming up with songs for the next album, they discovered that they needed one more song and Sheriden again put forth "Save Your Kisses for Me". This time it was accepted, as he later recalled:
"I'd had a year to think about it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do on the arrangement, the glockenspiel on the beginning and the big 12-string acoustic guitar and the strings, and then came the day to record the song...It was about midnight and I sang it and it went well. I could see everyone behind the glass panel getting excited and I thought great, they all really like the song, and as I finished I was waiting for them to press the button so they could speak to me and say 'great, we've got a hit' or whatever, and the person pressing it said: 'Lee, we think Martin should sing this song'. But I didn't mind because Martin came in and sung it to perfection."
Soon after, manager Tony Hiller was keen for the group to try for Eurovision, now that the qualifying rounds had changed in the UK. Up till now, a singer was nominated to perform, but for 1976 it was opened up to different singers to enter their own songs. Brotherhood of Man put forward "Save Your Kisses for Me" and it was accepted as one of the 12 finalists. It won A Song for Europe on 25 February 1976, beating second-placed Co-Co by just two points. The song was released as a single and reached number one in the UK Charts two weeks before the Eurovision final, due to be held on 3 April.
The performance consisted of the two male singers wearing black and white suits, and the two females wearing white and red jumpsuits with matching berets, standing still and singing with minor arm and leg choreography. The bouncy jingle described the gently conflicted emotions of a young man leaving an adored loved-one in the morning as he leaves for work. The song's final line provided the twist: that he was leaving a three year old behind, ending with "Won't you save them for me...even though you're only three?".
It was awarded the maximum twelve points by seven countries, totalling 164 points compared to the second-placed French entry with 147 points. According to John Kennedy O'Connor's The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, the song is the biggest selling single for a winning entry in the history of the contest. It also still holds the record for the highest relative score under the voting system introduced in 1975 (which has been used in every contest since), with an average of 9.65 points per jury After winning the contest, the song reached No.1 in many countries across Europe and eventually sold more than six million copies. In the UK, it stayed at No. 1 for six weeks and was certified platinum by the BPI in May 1976, becoming the biggest selling single of the year. In the United States, the song was a moderate pop hit (No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100) but went all the way to No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart.
At the same time as the single was at No.1, the group released their latest album; Love and Kisses, which featured "Save Your Kisses for Me". The group followed this up with the similarly themed "My Sweet Rosalie", which was also a hit around Europe. The group continued to score hits in the UK, with two more chart toppers in the next two years; however, this was not the case in the United States, where "Save Your Kisses for Me" was the group's final chart entry.
"Save Your Kisses for Me" was succeeded at Eurovision in 1977 by Marie Myriam singing "L'oiseau et l'enfant" for France. In a reversal of the 1976 result, the UK were runners-up.
Among many cover versions, country singer Margo Smith had a number ten hit on the Country charts in 1976, while Bobby Vinton had a Billboard top 100 hit in the same year with his version. Brotherhood of Man themselves have re-recorded the song twice as well as releasing a Spanish version ("Tus Besos Son Para Mi") as a single in 1991.
The song was chosen in an internet poll conducted by the European Broadcasting Union in 2005 as one of the fourteen most popular songs in the history of the Eurovision, and was one of the entrants in the Congratulations fiftieth anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, held in October 2005. It was re-enacted by the group (who are still together) along with twelve dancers dressed in matching red, white, and black costumes with briefcases and a live orchestra as the original footage was shown in the background. It came fifth in the final voting.
"Save Your Kisses for Me" is still one of the best-selling singles of all time in the UK, with sales of over a million copies.
1975 - Netherlands
Ding-a-dong (original Dutch title: Ding dinge dong, as it was introduced in the titles when broadcast). The winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1975 was sung by Teach-In, representing the Netherlands, and was written by Dick Bakker, Will Luikinga, and Eddy Ouwens.
Ding-a-dong was notable for being one of the Eurovision winners that had quirky or entirely nonsensical titles or lyrics, following in the footsteps of Massiel's La La La in 1968 and Lulu's Boom Bang-a-Bang in 1969, later followed by the Herreys' Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley in 1984. Ding-a-dong was performed first on the performance night (preceding Ireland's The Swarbriggs with That's What Friends Are For). The song was the first winner under the now-familiar Eurovision voting system whereby each country awards scores of 1-8, 10 and 12. At the close of voting, it had received 152 points, placing first in a field of nineteen. As the first song performed during the evening, the victory ran contrary to the fact that success usually went songs performed later in the broadcast. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor's The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, this was the first of three occasions when the first song would win the contest, the second coming the following year in 1976.
The song, performed entirely in English, was an up-tempo ode to positive thought. The band (only the second to win the Contest in a non-native language after ABBA the year before) sings that one should "sing a song that goes ding ding-a-dong" when one is feeling unhappy. On the night of the Dutch National Song Contest, the song had already been selected to be performed at the ESC, but there were two other singers competing for the honor of performing the song: Albert West and Debbie.
Almost immediately, the song's lyrics became a source of ridicule, particularly in the UK, because the word "dong" is slang for penis. This did not stop the song from hitting number 13 in the UK singles chart. Besides the Dutch and English versions, Teach-In also recorded Ding-A-Dong in German as Ding ding-a-dong.
The song was succeeded in 1976 as contest winner by Brotherhood of Man, representing the United Kingdom, singing Save Your Kisses for Me. It was succeeded as the Dutch representative at the 1976 contest by Sandra Reemer with The Party's Over.
1974 - Sweden
"Waterloo" won ABBA the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and began their path to worldwide fame.
"Waterloo" was the first single from Swedish pop group ABBA's second album Waterloo, and their first for Epic and Atlantic. This was also the first single to be credited as "ABBA".
The Swedish version single was coupled with "Honey, Honey" (Swedish version), while the English version featured "Watch Out" as the B-side.
The single became their first #1 hit in several countries, reached the U.S. top 10 and went on to sell nearly six million copies making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.
"Waterloo" is the quintessential Eurovision song, according to Dr Harry Witchel, physiologist and music expert at the University of Bristol.
"Waterloo" was originally written as a song for the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, after the group finished third with Ring Ring the previous year in the Swedish pre-selection contest, Melodifestivalen 1973. Since it focused on lead vocalists Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson chose it in place of another of their songs, "Hasta Mañana". "Waterloo" is about a girl who is about to surrender to romance, as Napoleon had to surrender at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The song proved to be a good choice. It won Melodifestivalen 1974 (in Swedish) in February and won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 (ESC) final on 6 April by six points.
The original title was "Honey Pie", with lyrics to the same tune. "Waterloo" was originally written with simultaneous rock music and jazz beats (unusual for an ABBA song); this was later discarded in favour of more disco-esque rhythms. The song broke the "dramatic ballad" tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest by its flavour and rhythm, as well as by its performance: ABBA gave the audience something that had never been seen before in ESC: flashy costumes (including silver platform boots), plus a catchy uptempo song and even simple choreography. The group also broke from convention by singing the song in a language other than that of their home country; prior to "Waterloo" all Eurovision singers had been required to sing in their country's native tongue, a restriction that was lifted briefly in the 1970s (allowing "Waterloo" to be sung in English), then reinstated a few years later, then ultimately removed. Compared to later ABBA releases, the singers' Swedish accents are decidedly more pronounced in "Waterloo," as their understanding of the English language was limited.
Though it isn't well-known, Polar accidentally released a different version of "Waterloo" shortly after ABBA's Eurovision win before replacing it with the more famous version. The alternative version had a harder rock sound, omitting the saxophones, plus an additional "oh yeah" in the verses. The alternative version was commercially released in 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set. However, it was this version that ABBA performed in the 1979 Europe/North American tour.
1973 - Luxembourg
Anne Marie David, "Tu Te Reconnaitras"
French singer Anne-Marie David won the 1973 ESC for Luxembourg with "Tu te reconnaîtras" ("You'll Recognize Yourself")".
Sung in French, this was the winning song in 1973 – on one of the rare occasions when a country has won the contest two years in succession. Vicky Leandros had won the 1972 Contest for Luxembourg with "Après toi" and the 1973 edition was consequently held in the Luxembourgish capital. Performed eleventh on the night – after Italy's Massimo Ranieri with "Chi sarà con te" and before Sweden's Nova with "You're Summer" – it was awarded a total of 129 points, placing it first in a field of 17.
Spain's "Eres Tú" performed by Mocedades finished second and Cliff Richard's "Power to All Our Friends" third, both songs would go on to become major hit singles in 1973 - in the case of "Eres Tú" worldwide - and are today both widely considered Eurovision classics. The voting was also a very close one, Luxembourg won with 129 points, with Spain finishing only 4 points behind and Cliff Richard another 2 points after.
David recorded her winning entry in five languages; French, English ("Wonderful Dream"), German (as "Du bist da"), Spanish ("Te reconocerás") and - very unusually - in two entirely different Italian translations, entitled "Il letto del re" ("The King's Bed") and "Non si vive di paura" ("You Can't Live By Fear") respectively.
In 1974 Turkish pop singer Nilüfer Yumlu brought out a Turkish-language version of the song, entitled "Göreceksin Kendini".
It was succeeded as Luxembourg's entry in the 1974 Contest by "Bye Bye, I Love You", performed by Ireen Sheer.
Anne Marie David is one of the very few Eurovision winners to return to the Contest; in 1979 she represented her native France singing the song "Je suis l'enfant soleil" in Jerusalem and finished in third place after Israel's "Hallelujah" and Spain's "Su canción". David was also one of the artists participating in the Congratulations special in October 2005.
1972 - Luxembourg
Vicky Leandros, "Apres Toi"
The 1972 ESC winner was "Après toi" (French for "After you").
The song was performed in French by Greek singer Vicky Leandros, representing Luxembourg. The song was co-written by Leandros' father Leandros Papathanasiou, also known as Leo Leandros, under his pseudonym Mario Panas. This was Vicky Leandros' second entry in the Contest. In 1967 she had finished 4th with "L'amour est bleu" (better known under its English title "Love is Blue") which subsequently went on to become a worldwide hit when covered by French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat.
"Après toi" is a dramatic ballad, with the singer telling her lover what will happen to her once he has finally left her for someone else; "After you I will be nothing but the shadow of your shadow".
The song was performed seventeenth on the night (following Belgium's Serge & Christine Ghisoland with "À la folie ou pas du tout" and preceding the Netherlands' Sandra & Andres with "Als het om de liefde gaat"). By the close of voting, it had received 128 points, placing it first in a field of 18.
Vicky Leandros also recorded the song in an English language version, released in Britain and Ireland as "Come What May", which reached no. 2 in both the UK and Irish singles charts. Leandros also recorded the song in Italian ("Dopo Te"), German ("Dann kamst du"), Spanish ("Y Despues"), Greek ("Mono Esi") and Japanese ("Omoide Ni Ikiru ").
"Après toi" was succeeded as Contest winner in 1973 by Anne-Marie David singing "Tu te reconnaîtras", also for Luxembourg.
As with "L'amour est bleu", "Après toi" has been afforded a number of translated cover versions including "Jak Mám Spát" (Czech) recorded by Helena Vondrácková, "Ked Si Sám" (Slovak) recorded by Eva Kostolányiová, "Tulethan – rakastan" (Finnish) recorded by Carola Standertskjöld, "Posle Tebe" (Serbian) recorded by Lola Novakovic, "Si te vas" (Spanish) recorded by Paloma San Basilio, and "Vad än sker" (Swedish) recorded by Ann-Louise Hanson.
1971 - Monaco
Severine, "Un Banc Un Arbre Une Rue"
French singer Séverine won the Eurovision Song Contest 1971. "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" ("A Bench, a Tree, a Street") was the winning song and this was performed in French for Monaco.
The song is a classic French ballad, with the lyrics focusing on the loss of childhood innocence, and people following their dreams. The opening lines to the chorus translate as "We all have a bench, a tree, a street/Where we cherished our dreams/A childhood that has been too short".
Four teenage male backup singers provided accompaniment. During Preview Week, Séverine sang the song in the empty square of Monte Carlo, first walking to a bench, then sitting down while performing the middle verses, and then ending the song by walking away out of camera focus.
This song got 6 times "10 points" who was full marks at that times. To date we know that as "12 points". This song have the record of ten points in that times scoring system
"Un banc, un arbre, une rue" was performed third on the night, following Malta's Joe Grech with "Marija l-Maltija" and preceding Switzerland's Peter, Sue & Marc with "Les illusions de nos vingt ans". By the close of voting, it had received 128 points, placing it first in a field of 18.
Séverine recorded the song in four languages; French, English (as "Chance in Time"), German ("Mach' die Augen zu (und wünsch dir einen Traum)") and Italian ("Il posto").
The song was succeeded as contest winner in 1972 by Vicky Leandros singing "Après toi" for Luxembourg.
It was succeeded as the Monegasque representative at the 1972 Contest by Peter McLane and Anne-Marie Godart with "Comme on s'aime".
The melody was adapted and arranged in 1973 by Paul Mauriat as the theme tune for the Miss Hong Kong Pageant, hosted by Television Broadcasts Limited and has been highly familiar among generations of Hong Kong people since then. In that same year, Finnish singer Carola Standertskjöld recorded her version in Finnish, "Penkki, puu ja puistotie".
1970 - Ireland
Dana, "All Kinds of Everything"
"All Kinds of Everything" won Dana the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970. Written by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith, "All Kinds of Everything" represented a return to the ballad form from the more energetic performances which had dominated Eurovision the previous years. Dana sings about all the things which remind her of her sweetheart, with the admission at the end of every verse that "all kinds of everything remind me of you". The recording by Dana became an international hit.
Dana had competed in the 1969 Irish National Song Contest — she was a resident of Northern Ireland and citizen of the United Kingdom but it was decided that year to have the Irish entry in Eurovision represent the island of Ireland in its entirety rather than just the Republic of Ireland. Although in 1970 the Irish Eurovision entry reverted to representing the Republic of Ireland only, Dana had made such a favorable impression in the previous year's Irish National Song Contest - her performance of "Look Around" had come second - that the contest's producer Tom McGrath invited her to participate again singing "All Kinds of Everything," a composition by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith, two twenty-eight-year-old amateur songwriters who worked as compositors for a Dublin newspaper.
Dana's performance of "All Kinds of Everything" won the 1970 Irish National Song Contest and that 21 March - a Saturday - she performed the song at the Eurovision Song Contest held in Amsterdam. Dana was the twelfth and final performer on the night (following Germany's Katja Ebstein with "Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder"). Ireland chose not to send its own conductor to accompany Dana, so Dolf van der Linden, the renowned musical leader of the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, conducted his own orchestra for the Irish entry. Dana sang seated on a stool fashioned as a cylinder which left her feet suspended above the floor and caused her concern that she'd slide off. However Dana performed the song with the self-possession she had displayed at rehearsals, when the production team had her rise from her stool mid-performance to accommodate a set adjustment she continued singing regardless and earned a standing ovation from the orchestra.
"All Kinds of Everything" took first place in the contest with a total of 32 votes besting second place "Knock, Knock Who's There?" by Mary Hopkin by seven votes. 1970 had augured to be an off year for Eurovision with five nations boycotting the contest and an apparently predictable outcome with a victory by Hopkin or possibly Julio Iglesias (who in fact came in fourth with "Gwendolyne"). The surprise victory of "All Kinds of Everything" by the ingenuous Dana made 1970 one of the most memorable Eurovision contests.
"All Kinds of Everything" was the first Eurovision win for the Republic of Ireland; six subsequent victories have made that nation Eurovision's most successful entrant. "All Kinds of Everything" was also only the second song sung in English to win Eurovision outright (the first being Sandie Shaw's "Puppet on a String", with Lulu's "Boom Bang-a-Bang" sharing first place one year previously).
The entry was politically sensitive as Dana came from Derry in Northern Ireland, yet was representing Ireland, not the United Kingdom. At this time The Troubles in Northern Ireland were erupting, and some people found political symbolism of a Northern Irishwoman representing the Republic. On the other hand, the United Kingdom's entry the following year was sung by Clodagh Rodgers, who was also from Northern Ireland. Following her victory Dana returned to Derry and sang her victorious song to a crowd of cheering wellwishers from a balcony in the city.