ESC 1956: Overview and Song Rankings

Given we only have a tiny amount of footage from the 1956 contest (Lys Assia’s encore performance of “Refrain”), it’s going to be hard to judge this by the same standards as successive contests. When reviewing the songs, I tried to find a recorded version rather than the live performance on the night. I think I managed to achieve this.

First, I should apologise for my error in flipping Italy and Luxembourg in the running order: I’m not sure how I made this mistake, but I’ll leave the posts up in that order anyway.

I don’t have a lot to say about this contest. It’s history, and the beginning of something I love, so I’m not here to trash it. But I doubt I’ll be returning to this at all. I knew coming in that I wasn’t going to be keen on most of the songs, and listening to the radio version of the show only served to highlight the songs I didn’t like, and forced me to admit that even though I wasn’t a fan of certain elements of other tracks (i.e. the lyrics of the German entries), I still perked up when they appeared in the running order because the music was more engaging. It just goes to show the difference between a song in isolation and as part of a collective. As we all know, half of Eurovision is about the performance, and without that, there’s not a lot to go by.

My ranking:

1) Luxembourg – “Ne crois pas” by Michèle Arnaud

2) Germany – “So geht das jede Nacht” by Freddy Quinn

3) Luxembourg – “Les amants de minuit” by Michèle Arnaud

4) Italy – “Aprite le finestre” – by Franca Raimondi

5) Switzerland – “Refrain” by Lys Assia

6) Belgium – “Le plus beau jour de ma vie” by Mony Marc

7) Germany – “Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück” by Walter Andreas Schwarz

8) France – “Il est là” by Dany Dauberson

9) The Netherlands – “Voorgoed voorbij” by Corry Brokken

10) Switzerland – “Das alte Karussell” by Lys Assia

11) The Netherlands – “De Vogels van Holland” by Jetty Paer

12) Italy – “Amami se vuoi” by Tonina Torrielli

13) Belgium – “Messieurs les noyés de la Seine” by Fud Leclerc

14) France – “Le temps perdu ” by Mathé Altéry