1957 Contest Song Reviews: Denmark and Switzerland

The third country to debut at the 1957 contest made the biggest splash: Denmark took advantage of a change in the rules allowing for a duet to be sung, entering Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler with “Skibet skal sejle i nat” (The Ship Sails Tonight). If Germany’s entry had the atmosphere of a bar in the evening, Denmark’s conjures up the image of the docks at midnight. The lyrics tells of a sailor parting from his (new) girlfriend to return to sea, with all the uncertainty of how the relationship will progress from there. Musically it is easy to follow along, and the refrain of “skibet skal sejle i nat” is catchy and easy to pronounce even if you don’t speak Danish.

For Switzerland, Lys Assia returned to defend her crown, with a French song “L’enfant que j’étais” (The Child I Used To Be) reminiscing on younger years with the usual dose of nostalgia. The song lacks the musical excitement of “Refrain”, leaving Assia to carry the whole thing with her voice. She manages that admirably, but overall this doesn’t have the appeal of her winning entry, and slots in along with France’s entry of a song which meanders about for a few minutes without reaching a satisfying destination.