Saturday, 14 May 2011

Probably the most depressing song ever to win the Eurovision Song Contest…

Well it’s that time of year again, tonight is the Eurovision Song Contest!

It was compulsive family viewing throughout my childhood.  A real event in the calendar as we got to stay up late and watch the results coming in, knowing full well which countries would award points on the basis of geography rather than the merits of the song.  In some ways it was an education in european politics!

Then there were my teenage years when I wrote down songs and counties on a chart and gave my own marks out of ten.  I vividly remember staying with friends one year and watching, laughing and judging together!

Andrew was never a big fan so I never really introduced the boys to the contest until last year.  We happened to be staying with my parents that weekend and Andrew wasn’t with us.

There were so many weekends and holidays we didn’t share together because of him working away.  It tears my heart to look at photos of us as a family and know he wasn’t there for some family events and never will be with us now.  I feel utterly cheated and bitter and angry!

Anyway,  last year we sat as a family and watched Eurovision.  I’m not sure if we made a note of which songs we liked but after the recap at the end we decided the songs we would all like to vote for and we did on my parent’s phone – and yes I did ask permission before I dialled!  Then we avidly watched as the results came in.

Of course most songs that enter are happy tunes, Cliff with the classic “Congratulations”.  He never won the contest but was the UK entry in 1968.

Maybe there is a bit of a gimmick to the winning entry, Bucks Fizz ripping those skirts off (“Making Your Mind Up” winners in 1981) or Sandie Shaw singing barefooted (“Puppet on a String” winner in 1967). 

Some songs have meaningful lyrics.  Nicole from Germany won in 1982 with a worthy song called “A Little Peace”.  Then there is the heart melting final line of “Save all Your Kisses For Me” which goes “even though you’re only three” ahhhhh!  Brotherhood of Man winners in 1976. 
Others are completely nonsensical “Diggy Loo Diggy Ley”, Norway’s winning entry in 1984 by Herreys and long before that in 1969 Lulu sang “Boom Bang a Bang”.  She actually tied for first place with the same number of points as France, Spain and Netherlands because there were no tie break rules before the 1970s to cover such eventualities.

And of course who could forget the one that has stood the test of time – Abba with “Waterloo”, winners in 1974?

The Eurovision has seen it all but by far and away the saddest song to ever win has to be Jonny Logan with “What’s Another Year” Ireland’s entry in 1980.

Now I must confess to owning several Eurovision winners and entrants on vinyl and this one is among them.

A ballad with the obligatory eighties saxophone beginning and melancholy instrumental solo in the middle.  Powerful stuff, stirring the emotions before the lyrics even start!

What's Another Year?
I've been waiting, such a long time
Looking out for you
But you're not here
What's another year

I've been waking such a long time
Reaching out for you
But you aren't near
What's another year

What's another year
For someone who's lost everything that he owns
What's another year
For someone who's getting used to being alone

I've been praying, such a long time
It's the only way to hide the fear
What's another year

(Saxaphone bit!)

What's another year
For someone who's lost everything that he owns
What's another year
For someone who's getting used to being alone

I've been crying such a long time
With such a lot of pain in every tear
What's another year
(For someone who's getting used to being alone)
What's another year
(For someone who's getting used to being alone)
What's another year
(For someone who's getting used to being alone)

I loved that song then, it appealed to my teenage sense of melodrama that another year had gone by without that someone special in my life – I was 12!

Now it resonates even more.
It was written by Shay Healy and if memory serves me right, but I haven’t been able to verify it, he wrote it while sitting on a bus.  In my mind it’s the back seat on the top of a double decker on a rainy day although I’m sure that’s pure imagination.  However I am certain the bus bit was some extra information given out by Terry Wogan as he introduced the song.

Or perhaps Jonny Logan sat on a bus in a video clip before he sang?

What is definitely true is that it was written about Shay Healy’s dad coming to terms with his wife’s death – no wonder it resonates with me now.

I wrote the other day about rainbows and searching for some hope.  Then I hear my blog is still making people cry.  If this is ever published as a book for a marketing ploy I’m giving away a free packet of tissues with every copy!

Some days it is so hard to even put one foot in front of the other.  It’s only been six months (exactly, yesterday) but with each month that goes by I’m not sure it’s getting any better.  In a lot of ways I feel worse.

I know I’m not really on my own like the lyrics in the song but I’m certain the gentleman in the song wasn’t completely alone.  It's just that when you lose a spouse you lose half of yourself and there is a gaping wound that seems to constantly bleed, sometimes the makeshift bandages can’t hold it all in.

Yes I’ve got the boys, family and friends but it’s like I said about finding old photos and Andrew not being on them.  He missed so much even when he was alive.  And now the boys are missing out not only from their dad not being here but because I can’t function properly without him, I don’t feel I can always give them all they need.

This is grief with no end in sight.  However many rainbows I search for and however much of a positive spin I try to put on things when I’m writing this blog, it hurts.  There are some dark times when I feel I am clinging on by a very fine unravelling thread that’s almost ready to snap. 
Never mind “what’s another year ?”, what’s another day?  What’s the point of another minute?

Then there are times to laugh and create a new future.  Watching Eurovision was sometime I always did in my past, before Andrew and maybe something now to share with the boys and give us something to fondly look back on.  Sometimes I think part of the answer is to find the person I was before I married.

Let’s just hope tonight’s winning song is a joyful one and not one about heartbreak and loss.  Chances are it will be.  I anticipate there will also be some silly costumes and a few songs that are so bad they are laughable. 

Maybe those are the things that will see me through today?

1 comment:

  1. I 'LOVED' Johhny Logan and bought that single when I was on an exchange trip in Germany in 1980, infact it was probably in the box of singles that Andrew bought off my dad. I played it till there must have been a deep groove in it where the needle had gone around so many times lol! I played that and 'Tell Laura I love her' (sang by Ricky Valance I think?) over and over again!
    Unfortunately you will always have this dark time in your lives but as you all get older you will look back and realise that you have created some good memories too for you all to look back on.
    Your blog serves as a reminder to us all that we must do our utmost to make sure we spend time with those that we love and that above all they are more important than any work or other committment, other than God. We never know when it will not be possible to have those sorts of times again, and memories are so important when you lose someone that you love.
    You are now creating memories for you and the boys to cherish in the future and things like watching Eurovision together will be the ones that they love. Times together!