1961 Contest Song Reviews: Sweden, Germany and France

Oh dear. If the recording I’ve found is any indication, Sweden’s entry — “April, april”, sung by Lill-Babs — contains a fair amount of whistling. I think I’ve made it clear so far in these reviews that this is not the best way to gain my approval. It doesn’t help that the song is overly cloying, depicting the onset of spring in April with silly descriptions including being infected by the bacteria/virus of love. This is one of those songs I could well imagine being associated with a children’s program — and that’s not a good thing.

Germany’s entry, Lale Andersen with “Einmal sehen wir uns wieder” (One Day We’ll See Each Other Again) feels the closest to a schlager song I’ve heard at the contest so far. It has a slower, deliberate tempo, accompanied by an accordion in between swelling string arrangements. The lyrics are easy to follow, with the theme of the temporary parting of lovers being a fairly familiar one. Competent without being particularly striking.

In addition to a dislike for whistling in songs, I’m also not impressed by singers attempting to imitate inanimate objects, as France’s Jean-Paul Mauric does throughout “Printemps, avril carillonne” (Springtime, April Rings). His “bing et bong” bell impression detracts from the first half of the song, after which he mercifully lets it go and instead focuses on his lyrics which celebrate the coming of spring in a similar way to the Swedish entry, but with a bit more zest and fewer strange comparisons. The song probably outstays its welcome though, which is an odd point to make give that is pretty much on 3 minutes long, but there isn’t much variation in the last minute or so.