1961 Contest Song Reviews: Denmark and Luxembourg

I think I’m becoming a bit jaded by these early Eurovision years. As I’ve stated a few times before, many of these songs are not the kind of music I’d normally listen to, and Denmark’s representative Dario Campeotto with his song “Angelique” is another one of those tracks I’d skip each time in a playlist. With overly sappy lyrics about being inadequately talented to woe the object of his affection, he stumbles along into a state of permanently unrequited love. I’m afraid that even at early this point, we’ve heard it all before.

In contrast, the winning song “Nous les amoureux” (We, the Lovers), performed by Jean-Claude Pascal for Luxembourg takes the basic theme of a love story and gives it an unusual twist. The core issue here is that his character’s relationship is frowned upon by those around him, and he longs for a day when he and his lover can love openly. The lyrics are ambiguous, but years later Pascal revealed that it was about a homosexual relationship; hence the genders of the couple were never detailed in the song. This ground-breaking moment aside, the strength of this song is in the music giving Pascal the space to showcase his voice — in particular his rolling ‘r’s — while still having its own character. It makes for an engaging song that lingers after its closing bars.