A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tobson takes on Melodifestivalen 1981

The 1981 Melodifestival is really the odd one out in many ways. There was no sort of open competition where people could send in entries and had only five songs in the running, written by the five composers achieving most success in the Svensktoppen chart during the last year.

The show didn't even have its own slot but was organised as an appendix to another popular entertainment show. Björn Skifs took his second victory in four attempts and got to show himself in a tight, body-hugging outfit on the stage in Dublin.

Björn Skifs with host Janne Carlsson. Picture borrowed from oppetarkiv.se

Ranking the songs really is a real walk in the park. Very easy to know what is good and what is not. Had I been the jury, the evening would have ended this way:

5. Anders Glenmark / Det är mitt liv, det är jag
Anders Glenmark is a great composer, arranger, producer and occasionally a nifty hitmaker in his own right. However, I never got my head around this particular song which fails to trigger any major emotion in me apart from stress.
Grade: 1/5

4. Janne Lucas / Rocky Mountain
Following up his silly but charming song from 1980 with this even sillier but weaker ditty about musical Indians singing scales together every day at eleven sharp. Not unpleasant but pretty pointless. And nowhere near as charming as Växeln hallå.
Grade: 2/5

3. Björn Skifs / Fångad i en dröm
Björn Skifs and his songwriting partner Bengt Palmers were about to turn the opportunity down as they were busy writing their musical Spök and had no time throwing anything else together. Instead they decided to enter one of the musical's tunes and get a bit of free promotion. The song won and the show went on to be a smash hit, running for a long time on stage in Stockholm.
Grade: 3/5

2. Kicki Moberg / Men natten är vår
Abba were about to start recording "The Visitors" but Agnetha Fältskog took precious time off and composed an entry, complete with the first lyrics Ingela "Pling" Forsman ever competed with in MF. Today an event like this would have blown all competition out of the water but for some reason the juries largely overlooked this one. Maybe because newcomer Kicki Moberg was nervous and sounded slightly sharp and shrill when singing live, but this entry clearly deserved better than a last place.
Grade: 4/5

1. Sweets 'n' Chips / God morgon
Chips temporarily had to change their name due to another band claiming the right to that band name, and sported a new and better line-up compared to the year before. Lasse Holm and Kikki Danielsson were still there, now accompanied by Tania who had been performing solo in 1980 and a brand new talent named Elisabeth Andreasson who was about to make quite a mark on ESC history. This was slick, elegant and catchy but it seems the juries were reluctant to vote for any song entered by the Mariann label. At least for the time being.
Grade: 4/5

It remains puzzling as why SVT decided to downgrade Melodifestivalen this year as well as why it was so hard for the juries to reward anything coming from the countryside hit factory in Skara. "God morgon" would have been a fresh and energetic ending to the ESC lineup in Dublin and my guess is it would have improved the Swedish showing a bit. An eighth place, perhaps?


  1. I must very much agree what you say about Men natten är vår. Agnetha Fältskog really had (and as the new album suggests still has) great melodic gift, which unfortunately got run over by the Abba train. Kicki does her job well, but I would have loved for Agnetha to sing this song herself.

  2. Though I love Fångad i en dröm, one of my favourites in Dublin, I still adore God Morgon, for me Chips' best attempt in all MFs!