Nov 29, 2013

472/917 Maribelle: Ik hou van jou (Netherlands 1984)

What is a perfect Eurovision ballad like? It should start quietly, preferably with only a piano backing, which gives the singer (preferably a female singer) to show her tender side. More instruments should join in in about 30 seconds and by the middle of the song the full ochestra should be blasting from the stage. After a short return to the sparser instrumentation should follow the overblown finale where both the orchestra and the singer can give their all. If possible, the title of the song should include the words "I", "you" and "love". Here I give you a perfect Eurovision lovesong, the Eurosong numer 472.

The Dutch Eurovision entry from 1984 certainly stood out as a song you were expecting. The song was pompous, it was well arranged to suit the Eurovision orchestra and the melody was all one could except from a Eurovision love song. On top of it all stood 24 year old Marie Kwakman (renamed rather unispiredly as Maribelle), who could really belt out the highlights of the song as well as whisper the tender parts.

With a slight reminiscense of Carly Simon Maribelle, standing alone on stage, had a total control over the cameras and caught the eye both at the Grand Théare de Luxembourg and at home. With a title translated simply as "I love you" you could have thought it would have been a pefect performance of a perfect song.

However it didn't really go that way. In 1984 the juries preferred the bouncy pop-songs (Sweden, Ireland and Denmark in particular) and more somber ballads (Spain, Belgium and Italy) rather than a positive, heart winning love song. The Dutch entry ended in the disappointing 13th place in the results with mere 34 points.

A shame really, after watching again Maribelle's performance, I can see nothing wrong with it and she would have deserved a better place in the final results. If nothing too spectacular, the song was definately better than shaky performance by the host country (10. place), the screeching ladies from the UK (7. place) and the second rate love song from France (8. place). But the world, let alone the Eurovision Song Contest, is not fair.

My points 3/5.

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