1956 Contest Song Reviews: Germany

When I heard the opening bars of “Im Wartesaal Zum Großen Gluck” (In the Waiting Room of Great Fortune), performed by Germany’s first entrant Walter Andreas Schwarz, I had high hopes for this song: it begins sounding like a thief sneaking about a palace and seemed to indicate a fun few minutes were ahead. Regrettably, the song heads in a different direction almost immediately, with Schwarz switching between almost spoken-word verses and a few bursts of song in the chorus as he sings of the plight of people who have missed the boat (both figuratively and in the song, literally). It has its moments, but they are fleeting — the tone is somewhat patronising when he sings “ach, die arme, arme Leute”(oh, those, poor poor people). And at almost five minutes in length, it certainly meanders around more than necessary.

The second German entry, “So Geht Das Jede Nacht” (That’s How It Goes Each Evening), sung by Freddy Quinn, is a very welcome departure from the rest of the contest on the music front, with upbeat stylings reminiscent of early rock ‘n’ roll. Unfortunately, the lyrics let the song down badly, as Quinn’s character slut-shames a woman he is interested in for dating a different man each evening (“I wouldn’t have expected that of you”), before revealing right at the end of the song that he has been dating a different woman each evening — as some kind of “revenge”, maybe? In the context of the 1950s this might be some kind of clever joke, but it has not aged well and I’m not convinced I’ll be able to hear something in the live performance which will reveal that this was all tongue-in-cheek. However, the theme reminded me of the wonderful song “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” by The Magnetic Fields which has a more positive take on this kind of scenario, so at least that’s something.