1959 Contest Song Reviews: Monaco and The Netherlands

The tiny principality of Monaco debuted in 1959 with Jacques Pills performing “Mon ami Pierrot” (My Friend Pierrot), an ode to a failed musician, which is at least new lyrical ground. Unfortunately, the song is a hot mess — it tries to wed a pacy beat with the usual vocal styling of a ballad and comes out sounding incredibly claustrophobic, stumbling over itself as it races towards its conclusion.

One thing about the early contests is that you tend to see the same faces back again year after year. While this is fun at times, but after three years of Corry Brokken being the face of The Netherlands, a change was in order. Teddy Scholten is a breath of fresh air with “Een beetje” (A Little Bit). There’s something to be said for a song sung simply and without pretence — there are no big notes or dramatic flair-ups in this tune: the strength is in the wordplay of the lyrics. In Dutch, adding “tje” or “je” to a word turns it into its diminutive; the song is full of these which allow for internal rhymes in addition to the usual rhyming pattern. They also give the song a playful edge given the lyrics question the notion of purity in relationships.