Here are my choices for the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest; I’d only heard the entry from Sweden before watching the entire contest online.

My Rank Country Title, Artist Eurovision Final Ranking
1 Turkey “Halay”, Beş Yıl Önce, On Yıl Sonra 12
2 Ireland “Terminal 3”, Linda Martin 2
3 Portugal “Silêncio e Tanta Gente”, Maria Guinot 11
4 Netherlands “Ik Hou Van Jou”, Maribelle 13 (tied)
5 Norway “Lenge Leve Livet”, Dollie de Luxe 17
6 Italy “I Treni di Tozeur”, Alice & Franco Battiato 5 (tied)
7 Yugoslavia “Ciao, amore”, Vlado & Isolda 18
8 Belgium “Avanti La Vie”, Jacques Zegers 5 (tied)
9 France “Autant d’amoureux que d’étoiles”, Annick Thoumazeau 8
10 Spain “Lady, Lady”, Bravo 3

Ironically, while Sweden’s “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley” performed by Herreys (and the winner of the contest) was a catchy little tune, it just didn’t grab me enough to even make my top 10. It’s also interesting that Denmark’s entry (“Det’ lige det” performed by Hot Eyes, which finished 4th) sounds similar to their neighbor Norway’s entry in 1985 (“La det swinge” by Bobbisocks!, which won).

I had a really difficult time choosing the winner between Turkey and Ireland. Both songs had good lyrics; Ireland’s Linda Martin gave a dazzling performance and “Terminal 3” has an introduction that just demands your attention, whereas the Turkish entry “Halay” had some unusual harmonies and a Lydian scale melody in the stanzas with the jump of a fifth. It came down to this: which song could I listen to all day? I chose Turkey. Curiously, the version performed at Eurovision adds a chorus which the original version (performed during the national heat) lacks; I doubt I would’ve ranked the song so highly without that chorus!  I’ve said before that I sound like a Pollyanna, but the Turkish entry encapsulates for me what Eurovision is all about:  the song has an ethnic flavor to it (i.e., it doesn’t sound like a generic pop song that could’ve come from anywhere), is sung in a language besides English, and the lyrics are an invitation to experience other cultures (“We don’t look upon foreigners as strangers/Let’s sing old love songs to the whole world/Let’s weave a web of friendship”).

Alas, Turkey has stated it will no longer participate in Eurovision, and has begun its own version, The Türkvizyon Song Contest (Türkvizyon Dünyası Şarki Yarışması).

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