1959 Contest Song Reviews: United Kingdom and Belgium

The United Kingdom’s offering, a duet between Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson, sounds like it came straight from the soundtrack of a movie about two young lovers in a leafy village. “Sing, Little Birdie” is a fairly straightforward, well-executed song which doesn’t meander or dwell. The lyrics trace the arc of a long relationship with various singing birds and it features one of the more obvious key changes in early Eurovision. It would be the first of many second-place finishes for the UK.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s habit of alternating between its French-language and Dutch-language broadcasters (which I hadn’t realise started from day one of the contest) returns to the Flemish end of the country with Bob Benny’s “Hou toch van mij” (Please Love Me). Benny’s character pleads with his lover to return the intensity of his affections, a pretty tall order given that these are compared to how much flowers love the sun and how much flames love wood. Musically, it’s in line with the trend of songs becoming a bit more upbeat and fuller while retaining enough traditional elements not to stray too far. It is a great improvement on the last Belgian effort sung in Dutch.