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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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Runner-up: United Kingdom 1959

This is more than just an entry - this is a big clue as to why BBC were so late at embracing the pop culture that made London the capital of cool and England the home of universal zeitgeist during the 1960's.

The first UK entry had been a failure - dated and unremarkable, not even recorded by its original performer - and BBC sat ut a year in 1958 trying to get their act together.

Their 1959 entry is the first ever UK entry to end in second place - until now no fewer than 15 of their entries did just that - and one that fully displays their ambitions for this contest.

Television was an important tool to celebrate family values and in post-war Britain, the family was considered very important indeed. This idea is still very strong within the BBC and made them protest vividly when Aqua used the f-word during the 2001 interval as well as when Poland showed the world a generous amount of cleavage in 2014.

"Sing Little Birdie" is so wholesome it is almost parodic: a married couple singing about falling in love and starting a family and having children that in turn can fall in love, marry and have children of their own. At the moment the performers bring out the tiny toy bird to whistle along with them, you reach some peak at what you could possibly get away with before the audience would start throwing things at you.

What totally saves the song and turns it into a loveable classic is the conviction of Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr who are totally fearless and totally convincing. Rational thinking tells me I should hate this and yet I love it.

A deserved 2nd place?
Yes. Happy and sweet and very professional. Somebody should erect a statue of Teddy and Pearl (and that annoying little bird could very well be part of it too).

Teddy Johnson & Pearl Carr - Sing Little Birdie (United Kingdom 1959)

1 comment:

  1. Even Mao Zedong was impressed: http://youtu.be/9jj-95n6DQc?t=1m24s