1961 Contest Song Reviews: Finland, Yugoslavia and The Netherlands

The other two 1961 debuts are in today’s reviews, starting with Finland, which sent in Laila Kinnunen with “Valoa ikkunassa” (Light in the Window), a straightforward ballad with a fairly low-key musical backing. The character sings a sort of lullabye to the night sky in praise of her lover in a similar vein to Sweden’s debut a few years earlier. The song is even-paced and pleasant enough, but I can’t see it standing out of the field much unless Kinnunen delivers a stand-out performance.

Yugoslavia’s debut, “Neke davne zvezde” (Some Distant Stars) sung by Ljiljana Petrović, also is a ballad about longing and distance, but the the music crowds Petrović’s vocals at times, and doesn’t give the song an easily discernible direction: it is more about mood. As a result, I come out of this without much of a feel for the way the song is structured, which to my ears make it unremarkable.

The Netherlands sticks to its upbeat approach of recent years, with Greetje Kauffeld performing “Wat een dag” (What a Day). It swings about with alternating bursts of brass and strings, but Kauffeld’s character’s celebration of being in love (and loved in return) is more messy than anything else, crashing along until a fairly abrupt and unoriginal ending on a big note.