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
Very welcome - I hope you'll like it here!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Siw in Germany: Harlekin vs Prima Ballerina

During the 60's and 70's, the ever expanding showbiz of Germany made use for more stars than they were able to produce themselves, and singer from many countries went there to carve successful careers for themselves.

Among the most popular ones were the Scandinavian girl singers, some of them even went on to sing for the Federal Republic at Eurovision. In 1969, Swedish Siw Malmkvist was sent off to Madrid to represent the German record industry after winning the national final.

Siw Malmkvist - Prima Ballerina (Germany 1969)

In the German final, she had defeated American Peggy March and German Rex Guildo, each of them presenting three songs to a jury consisting of eleven mature men.

Siw scored a hit with "Prima Ballerina", recorded it in several languages and ended in a shared ninth place with her native Sweden (and without recieving a single point from Sweden either).

I must say that her entry feels very similar to another German hit of hers - a matter of months earlier had she won the Deutsche Schlagerwettbewerb 1968 with the track "Harlekin" which was - just like "Prima Ballerina" - written by Hans Blum.

I'm very tempted to believe that Hans Blum, when invited to contribute material for the 1969 contest and knowing that Siw was one of the selected performers, decided to do a little re-write of his own song rather than create something from scratch.

Siw Malmkvist - Harlekin (Deutsche Schlagerwettbewerb 1968)

Siw herself has admitted not to be wildly impressed with either one of the songs, neither was Hans Blum particularly fond of the way Siw performed them (nor the outfits she chose for each occasion).

At this time Siw started retiring more and more from Germany, focusing more on her Swedish career, where neither Harlekin nor Prima Ballerina were greater hits for her. From the Deutsche Schlagerwettbewerb, Siw had much more success with a Swedish version of the runner-up (originally performed by Dorthe Kollo).

Personally, I think Harlekin is the better of these two Blum/Malmkvist collaborations. It would have been most interesting to see what the slightly more raw and untamed qualities of Harlekin could have resulted in, had it been Germany's entry in Madrid.


  1. Hi, Tobson. It's a pity you're not updating your blog anymore, I really enjoyed reading your articles. Think you will ever start writing again? I hope so.

    Bye from Italy.

    1. Hey Simone,

      thanks for your comment. It is true I have not kept the blogging up, for various reasons, but I feel in my bones that I can't help but reviewing this year's entries once we have a running order.

      So watch this space... :)