In a throwback to the pre-colour TV days, it looks like England and France are both taking the Eurovision song contest seriously this year, although their approaches are slightly different.As we all know (even if we have stayed clear of the TV shows we couldn’t avoid the constant plugs) England has got the person who is arguably our best-known composer to write the song and a total unknown to sing it.Â France, meanwhile, have a song written by a couple of people I have never heard of but are getting one of Europe’s biggest stars to sing it.
Which will be the better tactics?Â I think most juries are swayed by the performance and not the song – although tribal loyalties famously outweigh both by a long way.
Now my command of the French language is patchy at best, but it looks to me as if they are saying more or less the same things as us over the channel.Â “aprÃ¨s des annÃ©es de rÃ©sultats quasi humiliants…”Â Â Sounds like our media talking about years of humiliating results doesn’t it?
Even my rough translations reveal that the French are taking it all very seriously this time round.Â They have picked a singer who not only has a long and illustrious career, but has sold shedloads of records across Europe ((Even I have got one of her albums))Â and toured extensively, including shows in Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Germany in support of her new album.Â They are gung-ho for it: just look at the link to another story at the bottom of the page – La chanteuse Patricia Kaas va Ã l’Eurovision “pour gagner” Even I can work out what that means!
Clearly the competition is going to be won by an East European country or one of the Baltic states, but it will be interesting to see how things go between France and England in the fight for 20th place.Â Â Will the famous composer beat the famous singer?
Here are the two entries for comparison.Â The French one sounds OK, but I’m not sure it is Eurovision material: a bit too serieux.Â She would have done better with something jazzier like Tropic Blues Bar from her ScÃ¨ne de vie album.Â Maybe she is just giving us a chance?Â I think it is better than ours though.Â What do you think?
One thought though.Â If we really were serious about winning why didn’t we just get one of our national treasure singer-songwriters to do a song for us and forget about all the phone-in competitions?Â Robyn Hitchcock, or Elton John, or Damon Albarn, or Jarvis Cocker… any of them.Â And didn’t Morrisey express an interest a few years ago?