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Bring On The Eurovision Song Contest! May 24th 2008

Feb 5, 2008
The Eurovision Song Contest imposes itself upon us again in May and, sadly, I have to report to fans of online betting, that it will be no less than the kitschfest that we have become used to. The extension of Europe into territory only relatively recently released from the vast embrace of the Soviet Union has done nothing to curb the banality of musical contribution from countries that seem to have never heard the songs, coming from the US/UK axis of popular music, from the fifties to the present time, that took this great musical form to a peak of brilliance capable of providing a resonant and wonderful soundtrack to our lives.

The UK has contributed a song for each contest since the second in 1957 and has amassed more points over the history of the contest than any other country - as well as winning five times (second only to Ireland's amazing seven) and coming second fifteen times. Sports betting enthusiasts should note, however, that while many European countries take the contest very seriously, the UK regards it as a peculiarity of an arcane European consciousness and places it - when being polite - in the 'light entertainment' category. No UK singer or band of any merit would consider competing because they would not want to be grouped together with the kind of musicians competing in the contest. 'Kiss of Death' would be a phrase springing to the minds of our musical elite.

Still, the less reputable members of our musical community insist on contributing songs they think are pitched just right to merit the approval of our judges. UK popular music was only just beginning to blossom when the Eurovision Song Contest began and early contributions were less than stellar.

However, you only have to look at the exception of our 1961 contribution to see where things were going to go. The Allisons (a sort of English Everley Brothers) sang 'Are You Sure', a quintessential and enduring pop song of great character, while the French put forward 'Nous Les Amoureux' by Jean Claude Pascal. Disciples of online betting would be hard pressed to find a song with a greater absence of vocal presence, captivating melody, gratifying hooks, mesmerising rhythm or lyrical relevance than 'Nous Les Amoureux', but it beat
our effort by a healthy margin.

The absence of any creditable capacity, by our European friends, to judge quality in popular music is further revealed by their acknowledgement of the musical virtues of Cliff Richard. Our esteemed public has seen fit to put him forward twice, first in 1968 with 'Congratulations' and then again in 1973 with something called 'Power to our Friends'. Although he didn't win he came second and third respectively.

The UK's first win came in 1967 with 'Puppet on a String' by the shoeless Sandie Shaw. This was a good song which reached number one in the UK charts. Next win came from Lulu in 1969 with 'Boom Bang-a-Bang, a song deeply suited to the European tradition and a dead cert to win, hands down. 'Save Your Kisses For Me' by Brotherhood of Man took the 1976 top prize and 'Making Your Mind Up', by Bucks Fizz followed that in 1981. The last time the UK won was in 1997 with the excellent 'Love Shine a Light' by the equally fabulous Katrina and the Waves. It's been downhill all the way since then although those with an interest in online betting can still exercise their critical talents and take up a variety of free bets on offer in an effort to spot the 2008 winner.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert on online betting. He is particularly excited about the upcoming competition and the eurovision betting that will accompany it.
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