Israel made its eurovision debut in Luxembourg 1973, seemingly because singer Ilanit really wanted to take part and represent her won country.
She surely must have felt the need to impress as many people as possible, and commissioned a specially crafted song from well renowned composer Nurit Hirsh. She listened to several successful ESC entries in order to find a structure that would appeal to an international contest before writing "Ey Sham".
And what a piece of art that song is. It starts gently with a plain piano introduction before Ilanits warm voice blends into the mix, singing a few lines before the whole thing erupts into a long, dynamic chorus, where the lyrics by Ehud Manor makes Hebrew sound soft, poetic and appealing.
Cleverly, the song never repeats the exact structures - short verse followed by long chorus, then a long verse followed by a short chorus, then an instrumental break before another short chorus wraps the whole thing up.
IBA could not afford sending any backing singers along to Luxembourg, but the clever arrangement almost makes up for that. The orchestra is conducted by Nurit Hirsh herself, being the second female conductor ever at the ESC (out of a grand total of three).
Ilanit - Ey Sham (Israel 1973)
In my book, Israel is yet to send any song as powerful and convincing as this one. Even if it sounds even a tiny bit better in its studio version, thanks to a certain atmosphere the Luxembourgois orchestra could not create (as well as the lack of backing vocals).
Ilanit - Ey Sham (Israel 1973 preview)