Eurovision Song Contest Time Again Hurrah
Yes, the Eurovision Song Contest. It first entered my consciousness in 1967 when the tall and barefoot Sandie Shaw won it with the bouncy Puppet on a String, which I loved. Let's have another sing along to it, shall we? All together - - "I - - - - -- - -- - wonder if one day that, you'll say that, you care - - "
In those days the United Kingdom was a force to be reckoned with. Not any more, obviously. We last won it in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves singing Love Shine a Light. You can never go too far wrong with the word "love" in the title. On the other hand, the title Don't Play That Song Again which was our entry in 2000, does set the wrong tone rather and the whole of Europe seems to have obeyed the instruction.
Ahhh yes, Europe. Eurovision. Every year the European country that wins it one year gets to host it the next year. This year it's being held in Azerbaijan. It's not the country that would spring to my mind immediately if I were asked to list the countries of Europe, but I am making no further comment.
We've tried all sorts of tactics over the past few years to try to win Eurovision. We even got the mighty Andrew Lloyd Webber to write a song for it (a rubbish one that he wrote on a definite off-day) but we're never going to win, because all those countries which end in the letters ia - Latvia, Estonia - that kind of thing - all vote for each other, and nobody likes us. End of.
This year we're trying a different tack. We're wheeling in Engelbert Humperdinck , old crooner from the 1960s and he'll be 76 when he sings for us on Saturday.
I'm not sure if it's considered a fresh and different idea, or if we're making an ironic statement about our glorious past.. But I listened to it and thought hey, you know what - - it's not the greatest song in the whole world ever, but the old crooner can still croon, and - er - I'm forced to admit it - I like it.
We still won't win though. But hey, we'll have done our best. We'll be gallant losers. It will make us proud to be British.