May 22, 2014

173/917 Lado Leskovar: Vse roze sveta (Yugoslavia 1967)

Yugoslavia took part 27 times in the Eurovision Song Contest from 1961 on until its disintegration in the early 1990's. The later yugoslav entries are well known and appreciated among Eurovision community, but the country's first decade in Eurovision is almost completely ignored. This is unfortunate, because during those years Yugoslavia hardly ever presented a second rate entries to the contest. The 173th Eurosong is one of the forgotten pearls.

The Yugoslav entry for the 1967 contest held in Vienna was sung by 25 year old Slovenian singer and actor Lado Leskovar. This entry is one of those Yugoslav ballads that didn't make that much of an impact way back then, but which now sound appealing and poignant and bare similarities to the 21st centuries balkan ballads, that are so much appreciated today.

The melody, its structure and the performance of the singer remind me very much of the Yugoslav entry 1965 (which I gave 5 points couple of posts ago in this blog). The song starts with a simple instrumentation which is accompanied from the very start by the convincing vocals. Like Ceznja the song opens it's full bloom after the first verse. And, again, like Ceznja, the most magnificent part of the song is its instrumental break before the end. In this case the powerful yet thoughtful trumpet solo is the crown of this wonderful entry.

What is different in this song is the mood and lyrics. Whereas the 1965 entry is nostalgic song of longing and loving, the mood in Vze roze sveta is somber and in some places even sinister. This is apparent in both the string arrangement, the vocal interpretation and lyrics, which is like a Slovene version of Where have all the flowers gone. The song starts with a gunshot salute saying farewell to a hero to be buried. The protagonists wonders why the trumpet sound reminds him always of the soldiers that are buried under all the flowers in the field.

Unfortunately the audience, and more importantly the juries, did not understand the lyrics of this song for peace, and the spoken passage recited during the instrumental break sounds slightly out of place, even though it contributes to the sad overall feeling of the song.

Like the entry from 1965, I love the overall quality of this song and the gloomy mood it creates. The song gathered seven votes that resulted a respectable 8th place in the final results (out of 17 songs).

For a long time the only good recording available of the song was the live recording of the contest held in Vienna. I was, however, extremely happy when just couple of days ago I stumbled upon a crystal clear recording of the song included in a compilation album available in Spotify. Share and enjoy!

My points 4/5.

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