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Published on May 14th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie


The Best Eurovision Songs: Hits That Are Still Popular


The Best Eurovison Songs – Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest is  now in its 55th year and this year the contest will be held in Oslo.  For the past five decades the show has provided enormous entertainment, excitement and rivalry between the various countries taking part. Here is Yellow Magpie’s take on the best Eurovision songs.

The very first Eurovision Song Contest was held on May 24, 1956 in the town of Lugano in Switzerland with seven countries taking part. The host country of Switzerland won the contest.

Since that time the Eurovision Song Contest has gone from strength to strength with some of the best Eurovision songs making their mark on people’s consciousness.

This year 39 countries will compete in the competition with 25 making it to the final in the Telenor Arena in Oslo on Saturday May 29. Each competing country will be able to vote with every country hoping they will get the highest mark of 12 points.

Franco Migliacci Performs ‘Nel Blu Dipinto Dibleu’ For Italy 1978

Down through the years there has been some wonderful songs, but not always the best or most popular songs win the contest. In 1958 Italy’s entry was Nel blu dipinto dibleu, sung by Domenico Modugno and co-written by Franco Migliacci.

The song came third but later became a massive hit, winning  Grammys for best song and record of the year in 1958. It was later recorded by Dean Martin. The song is still popular today and is better known as Volare. We start off our list of the best Eurovision songs with Nel Blu Dipinto Dibleu.

Gigliola Cinquetti Sings ‘Non Ho L’Eta’ Italy 1964

1964 saw a 16 year old girl win the Eurovision song contest for Italy with a song called Non Ho L’Eta which was sung by Gigliola Cinquetti. The music was composed by Nicola Salermo and the lyrics were by Mario Panzeri. The song became a huge hit and entered the UK charts.

France Gall Sings ‘Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son’ Luxembourg 1965

In 1965 Luxembourg won the Eurovision Song Contest with French singer, France Gall singing Poupee de cire, poupee de son. Written by Serge Gainsbourg the song is a firm favourite with Eurovision Song Contest fans and tops many of the best Eurovision song lists.

Severine Performs ‘Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue’ Monaco 1971

In 1971 Monaco won with Séverine performing Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue. The song was written by Yves Dessca and Jean-Pierre Bourtayre. The song was a ballad and told of the loss of childhood and following your dreams. An all-time classic hit Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue easily makes our list of the best Eurovision songs.

Vicky Leandros Performs ‘Apres Toi’ Luxembourg 1972

Another popular win was Apres Toi in 1972 which was Luxembourg’s entry. Greek German singer Vicky Leandros sang the winning song which was co-written by her composer father Leandros Papathanasiou under the pseudonym Mario Panas.

One Of The Best Eurovision Songs ABBA’s ‘Waterloo’ Sweden 1983

In 1983 ABBA burst onto the stage with the lively and hugely popular Waterloo for Sweden. The contest had never seen anything like them. Bright, colourful and full of fun, ABBA ran away with the competition and became the huge phenomenon we know today.

ABBA will be forever linked with the Eurovisions and Waterloo is easily one of the best Eurovision songs of all time.

Niamh Kavanagh Performs ‘In Your Eyes’ Ireland 1993

Ireland has won the Eurovision song contest more times than any other country with seven wins to date. In 1993, Niamh Kavanagh won with In Your Eyes, written by Jimmy Walsh. Niamh will represent Ireland this year again in Oslo singing It’s For You. Here she is singing the winning ‘In Your Eyes’ one of the best Eurovision songs of all time.

Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan Perform ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids’ Ireland 1994

In 1994 Ireland won the Eurovision once again with Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids, sung by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan. The song was written by Brendan Graham and was the first time a male duo had won the contest. The only music used was the piano played by Paul Harrington while Charlie McGettigan played the guitar. It’s a welcome addition to list of the best Eurovision songs.

Secret Garden Perform ‘Nocturne’ Norway 1995

Norway won in 1995 with Nocturne by Secret Garden, the song was more an instrumental than anything else,and had only 24 words which were sung beautifully by Gunnhild Tvinnereim. The haunting violin was played by Irish Guest musician Fionnuala Sherry. The song was written by Rolph Lovan who had won the contest in 1985 with La det Swinge.

Olsen Brothers Perform ‘Fly On The Wings Of Love’ Denmark 2000

A male duo once again won in 2000 for Denmark with Fly On The Wings Of Love, which was written and sung by the Olsen Brothers in English. They were the oldest performers to ever take part in the contest. But the song led the way right through the voting. Later the Russians complained as the song  used vocoding on the final verse.

Rounding up our list of the best Eurovision songs is Fly On The Wings Of Love.

Recommended Reading

For those who wish to delve further into the history and traditions of the Eurovision Song Contest – The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History by John Kennedy O’Connor is ideal.
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you can access The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History
For those who live in Canada, you can obtain The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History.
For Germany: The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History.
For France:  The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History.

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