Aug 5, 2013

23/917 Birthe Wilke & Gustav Winckler: Skibet skal sejle i nat (Denmark 1957)

Choreography and other stage gimmicks started to steal the show in the Eurovision song contest since late 1970's. Before that it was the song that mattered the most. There were of course exceptions. Already the 23rd Eurosong is best remembered for the longest kiss ever on the Eurovision stage. So far, 56 years later it hasn't been equalled. This gimmick was, however, more a mistake than a deliberate attempt to catch the attention. And the song, the first one to represent Denmark, was very good even without the last 11 seconds.

Skibet skal sejle i nat was a first duet ever in the Eurovision and a very romantic one. Even though very few in the audience understood danish, the message of the song was easily understandable: A ship is going to sail soon and tear the sailor boy and his lover apart from each other for a very long time. Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler used their acting skills (in addition to their musical ones) to the full and gave a very convincing performance as a couple regretting the separation but bravely looking forward to the day when they shall be united again.

The great performance together with a lovely melody and arrangement enchanted the juries who gave the song third place among only ten participants. To me it is one of the best Danish entries ever and one of the best songs from the first years in the contest.

The kiss then? Wilke and Winckler were instructed to kiss until when the floor manager would show them to stop. Unfortunately (or not) the signal never came and the song would write Eurovision history already at the second contest ever arranged.

My points 4/5.

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