So by now you’ll have heard the devastating news.
Tonight is the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, and multiple winners Ireland will not be represented.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but think of that episode of “Father Ted”, where Ted and Dougal against all odds are selected to represent Ireland, for the country has won it so many times it can’t afford to do so again.
The song in question was composed (and shhh…! performed) by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy – as was the theme tune (Pulp were asked, but turned it down), which was performed on one of William Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain’s guitars (factoid!) – and saw the light of day as an extra track on the “Gin Soaked Boy” CD single.
Oh, and here:
I guess you may as well have the “video” for it too:
The UK have qualified though, with former X-Factor contestant Lucie Jones (she was beaten by Jedward, so you can insert your own joke here if you like) flying the flag where such luminaries as Blue and Scooch have failed before. And, without wanting to go all political on you, this will be the first Eurovision since the Brexit referendum; we’ve done really badly for the last few years, so just imagine how badly we’ll do now we’ve told all those we want to vote for us to fuck off. Maybe if the Remain campaign had written “We Will Never Win Eurovision Again!” on the side of a bus this time last year…
Perhaps it’s time we took stock of our involvement in this competition, and instead of using unknowns, wannabes, hopefuls, and failed TV singing contestants, we wheeled out the old guard.
I read an interview with Paul Weller the other day where he said he’d be interested in writing the song at the very least, and a few years ago Morrissey said he’d happily represent the UK. In fact, his announcement, by sheer coincidence, came at much the same time as he released this as a single:
…a song which featured a video which was pretty much a dry-run for an appearance at the finals:
I dunno. Personally, I’d prefer it if we didn’t enter a ballad every year. Maybe cranked up the kitsch a little.
I’ve written before how I was obsessed with Bucks Fizz’s “Making Your Mind Up” when I was a young ‘un, but, as I’ve said before (and yes, I am going to post this next song every year) my favourite UK Eurovision entry isn’t by them.
It’s from the year after The Fizz only went and won the bloody thing back in 1981 with their skirt-ripping and hand-jive combo: a tough act to follow, indeed.
This song came seventh on the night, but it did recently crop up, to my absolute delight, in the first episode of the second (and not as good as the first, in my opinion) series of “Peter Kay’s Car Share”. A song which Hel and I on many occasions attempted to recreate the dance moves to, but only when we were far too pissed to be able to stand, let along shimmy up and down each others backs.
Just in case the dance routine reference goes above your head, here:
Seriously, if I ever had to list my favourite fifty singles – and, since I’m rapidly approaching the age of fifty (two and a bit years to go), and making such lists seems to be what bloggers do when reaching a landmark age, it seems entirely likely that I will – I guarantee that song would not only be in it, but in the upper reaches of it.
Anyway, if you’re watching Eurovision tonight, enjoy it and, much as Graham Norton will make a fine fist of the commentary, raise a glass to Sir Terry with me, won’t you?