A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
There is always some matter to discuss or just a song I want to share
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Melodifestivalen gem: Idag är det vår

I don't know about you but many of my personal favourites are songs that clearly should not have won. They are not distinct enough or they are simply not the kind of entry that would attract any substantial amount of points from anywhere.

This very entry is the complete definition of what I mean.

Pastellerna were a local dance orchestra that had scored a number of hits on the Svensktoppen chart and who were pretty much in demand in their own genre. Dance orchestras have always been a popular part of Swedish popular culture, but they peaked in the 70's when even pretty mediocre bands could sell quite a lot of records.

Pastellerna were not mediocre, they were talented and likeable and explained in their own sleeve notes that they didn't consider themselves a typical "dansband" at all. Given the reluctance Swedish television had against this kind of music, it was a small miracle they were selected at all to compete at Melodifestivalen 1978.

They bravely entered the stage as the first of ten candidates, dressed in what could kindly be described as a minor styling disaster, and sang their little song with gusto. Perhaps not all harmonies were exactly in their right places, but it was still a good opener.

Had this won, it would surely have bombed in Paris. Who would have understood this kind of entertainment outside of Scandinavia? Most provincial, not at all international. The Swedes would have been ashamed. The final 6th place seems quite generous in retrospect.

But the provincial interpretation of glamour and showmanship is just what appeals to me here. The group comes across as very sincere, the lyrics are sweet and the song is memorable in its own right.

Three of the members - Peter Wanngren, Kerstin Andeby and Bertil Engh - would team up with the outstanding lyricist Monica Forsberg and appear twice in Melodifestivalen using the group name Ritz.

They would also produce two albums with stories and songs about the Monchhichi dolls that I absolutely adored as a child.

Pastellerna - Idag är det vår (Sweden NF 1978)

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