1956 Contest Song Reviews: France

I’m noticing a bit of a pattern: whomever programmed the running order of songs in the 1956 contest tended to put the more downbeat songs up in the front half. “Le Temps Perdu” (Lost Time), performed by Mathé Altéry, has a familiar theme of mourning something in the past — in this case, the passing of time itself. The song never really kicks into gear, and doesn’t leave me any particularly memorable moments: the vocal gymnastics Altéry performs at times serve only as distractions, and the instrumental side of the track is thin and unremarkable.

Dany Dauberson’s “Il est là” (He’s There) offers a faster-paced, frantic tale of being haunted by the memories of her former lover. The orchestral arrangment is intertwined with Dauberson’s voice in an engaging way similar to Lys Assia’s “Refrain”. The ending falls a bit flat though, as Dauberson is left to finish the song in a strange, abrupt way which doesn’t offer closure to the lyrics’ theme. Will she be trapped in this purgatory forever? Has she taken a stand, determined to move on with her life?