A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

A song about the Big Bomb

"You should never mix politics with Eurovision!" That is what many people say. Fine. But politics is an odd mixer, it works its way in anyhow. Big things will not go unnoticed even in the ESC.

The cold war was an ever-present influence on life in Europe during the 60's. It is more surprising than anything that not more songs bore some kind of influence from the international tension.

In 1967, however, former winner Serge Gainsbourg (writer of "Poupée de cire, poupée de son") decided to enter a protest song: noisy, shouty, relevant and bang-up-to-date at the time.

Minouche Barelli - Boum badaboum (Monaco 1967)

The lyrics were extremely straightforward: "before you decide to blow everything up, leave me some time to love, let me live a little bit before you decide to kill me." The translated lyrics can be read in full here .

Heavy stuff, indeed. No wonder the international juries preferred a happy, cheerful song about a certain puppet on a certain string instead.

At least it made an impression on some people. Ten jurors gave their vote to it, leaving it in an honourable fifth place.

Also, the Swedish delegation seems to have listened carefully. The same songwriting team entered Melodifestivalen the year after with "Låt mig få va' ifred" (sadly unavailable on YouTube) by Cecilia Stam - a raunchy, modern pop song with a certain amount of attitude, not unlike "Boum badaboum" at all.

But with a lot less menacing lyrics, dealing with love rather than the apocalypse. But then again, it didn't win either.

I found this lovely clip with "Boum badaboum" in its studio version. Even more aggressive and very provocative indeed.

Minouche Barelli - Boum badaboum (Monaco 1967 studio version)


  1. Quite possibly one of the ballsiest numbers in Eurovision to date. And, surprisingly satisfying despite its odd orchestrations. The brass line is punchy and those strings in the chorus are suitably eery too. Nice stuff.

  2. I fully agree. But it is even better in its studio version, where it sounds even more aggressive and in-your-face.

  3. The french Readers Digest unique 3-cd compilation of french eurovision classics includes this song, but it misses the "cinq, quatre, trois, deux, un, zero" count in from the beginning. I guess a too smart mastering engineer thought it was not part of the song, but to me the song is not the same without it.

    Do you know if this song is available anywhere to download WITH the count in?


  4. I have no idea if it has ever had another CD release ever. Could there be a sampler of Minouche Barelli? Could there be a sampler of songs Gainsbourg wrote for others?

    I agree - the song is not the same without the countdown.