Oct 14, 2013

218/971 Doninique Dussault: Marlène (Monaco 1970)

This time the random number generator draw me a song that I had reviewed already. In these occasions I give myself a liberty to pick a song I want. So for the first time in this blog a song of my own choosing, a bizarre number of cabaret amongs the pop and schlager tunes. Eurosong number 218 stood out among the other 11 songs like a cranberry among rasberrys and is one of my favourite Eurovision Song Contes entries ever.

Dominique Dussault was only 16 years of age when she stood on a Eurovision stage in Amsterdam. She looked and sounded very much like her idol Edith Piaf, a short and a fragile looking lady with a strong trembling voice. Even her stage costume, curly hear and overblown gestures remind me of Piaf, who had died only 6 and half years prior to the 1970 Song Contest.

Dussault did not, however, sing about the sparrow of Paris, but of another great central European diva Marlene Dietrich (who actually was one of Piaf's best friends and acted as her matron of honour when she got married). In her song Dussault describes her low voice playing from an old 78t record, a character holding a cigar, the "Blue angel", a legend that will never be forgotten.

In the second half of the song Dominique tells us how much she would like to be like Marlene but as a small girl "only 150 cm long with curls like sheep hair" she cannot match her dream character. Finally she tries to imitate her german and english with german accent making the song both poignant and funny.

This cabaret like number was not what the juries were looking for and with only five points the song ended in the drawn 8th place. With the nordic countries, Portugal and Austria boycotting the contest there was only 12 countries participating.

To young Dominique Dussault the future didn't have big success in store. The very modest result placing in the 1970's didn't help her in her musical career, so after the excellent recorded version of Marlène nothing was really heard of her. She didn't stop singing, but continued her career in a smaller circles, singing jazz and chansons away from the public eye and away from the popular music business.

I have always loved the 1970 Monegasque entry for the passionate delivery and the clever melody and text and for not hesitating to be different. These peculiar oddities that come up every now and then make the Eurovision Song Contest exciting and worth watching.

My points 5/5

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