1962 Contest Song Reviews: Luxembourg, Italy and Monaco

Last year’s winners Luxembourg send in an entry with more grandeur than subtlety for their host performance. On the face of it, “Petit bonhomme” (Little Boy) could have been a fairly low-key song. However, in Camillo Felgen there is a singer whose delivery is a bit overcooked, and the big, long note he had to hit in the end only made matters worse. I understand this is meant to be a celebration of the character’s son as well as a lament for the passing of time, but I don’t think they have the balance right.

“Addio, addio” (Goodbye, Goodbye) by Italy’s Claudio Villa reminds me a bit of Domenico Modugno’s two entries (understandable given he was the composer), only not as compelling. The song deals with lovers who are parting ways even though they still have feelings for each other, and Villa certainly takes on a rollercoaster with both soaring and soft vocals. I find this to be competent, but little more than that. This time the big note at the end of the song at least feels relevant — one final “addio” to end it all.

Having badly underestimated François Deguelt’s stage presence last time he sang for Monaco, I’m determined to be more prepared this time. While “Dis rien” (Say Nothing) doesn’t feel any better or worse than his last offering, I’m more aware of how his delivery has the potential to elevate the song dramatically. The music has nice way of building up to a crescendo and sliding back to a calmer mode in sync with Deguelt’s voice while still ensuring he remains front-and-centre. The lyrics are nothing special, just another love song, but I’m looking forward to the performance.