May 29, 2013

786/917 Alma Lusa: Se eu te pudesse abraçar (Portugal 1998)

 As I've mentioned earlier, the portuguese entries are usually recognizeable by their national influences. Often this has meant a serious and passionate fado-ballad that shakes the heart and warms the mind. The Eurosong 786, requested by a reader of this blog Jukka Kangasjärvi, presents proudly the porgtuguese culture in a more up tempo manner.

Alma Lusa was a group that was put togeher by the composer José Cid to perform his composition first in the portuguese selection and then in the international final of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998. Cid had taken part in the contest already 18 earlier with a poppy Um grande grande amor receiving one of the best placings ever for his country, 7th place among 19 participants.

His 1998 entry is much different from the 1980 entry. Instead of a pop, Se eu te pudesse abraçar is a happy folk song about, as portugues entries often are, love and home country. Cid can been seen among the group as playing accordeon.

The song is breath of fresh mediterranean air in this, sometimes rather pompous contest. The singer Inês Santos, who since then has become a major actor in the portuguese music and theatre scene, is a delight to both watch and hear and the positive energy from the whole group gives smile to at least my face. This song (reaching 12th place among 25)  was certainly the most positive entry from the 1998, a contest where the most attention was paid to more overblown entries like the winner Dana International and the german clown Guildo Horn.

My points 4/5.

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