Eurovision Song Contest 1977 Review

Welcome to London, again. We’re back to being hosted by the BBC, so you know this contest will be smooth and simple. Sweden returned (and will never skip again), but Yugoslavia withdrew for the next four years. This leaves us with 18 participants for the millionth time, which is a number I’m getting tired of.


Ah, London. A city that’s received many Eurovisions in the early days, and this is the last one (so far). We open with a shot of Big Ben, of course, what else could it be? The British commentator introduces us to the Houses of Parliament, which seems unnecessary, since he’s commentating for the British audience, but whatever, he has a nice voice. We also take a look at other constituent countries, which is nice, they’re often forgotten.

Our host for today is Angela Rippon, who welcomes all viewers in participating and non-participating countries in both English and French. The commentator talks over her French presentation to talk about The Swarbriggs, the Irish representatives.

Also, singing in a non-official languages was banned again, but Belgium and Germany were given exceptions because they’ve chosen their entries before the rules changed.


Ireland - It’s Nice to Be in Love Again

Performer by
The Swarbriggs Plus Two

This is a strong start. It’s a nice, laidback song that just feels very Eurovisiony for some reason. The singers give an enchanting performance, the song is memorable and has a strong hook. It’s just well-made and nice. There’s absolutely nothing to hate here. And it makes sense that this scored well since it’s so agreeable.

Monaco - Une petite française

Performer by
Michèle Torr

I like the chorus much more than the verses. In general, I don’t think the tempo change between them is executed well. It probably could’ve used a pre-chorus to bridge them together. But still, there’s plenty to like here: Michèle gives an outstanding performance, the melody in the chorus is super catchy (and reminds me of The Party is Over Now from the previous year a bit, though the similarity is very vague). But still, it could’ve benefitted from a little bit more focus.

Netherlands - De mallemolen

Performer by
Heddy Lester

This is a very middling ballad with nothing interesting happening. It has no variation and nothing to make me interested in it. It just starts, goes on and ends. It really could’ve used at least some variation.

Austria - Boom Boom Boomerang

Performer by
German and some English

Look, I get it, it’s a criticism of the musical industry, but it’s a really bad song. I like entries that try to make a statement, but I don’t like it anyway.

Norway - Casanova

Performer by
Anita Skorgan

Anita gives us a really strong vocal performance, but the song itself isn’t very good. It has some awkward lyrics that she has to get out too quick, which feels very jarring. It’s really not bad, but it also isn’t particularly good. Still, I enjoyed it for the most part, though that could be because the previous two songs weren’t that great.

Germany - Telegram

Performer by
Silver Convention

Like the commentator said, this is a very international affair. You have Germans born in Czechoslovakia, Hungarians born in Yugoslavia, German-born Germans and even Americans. I love it.

And the song is actually good as well. It’s insanely catchy and the incorporation of the telegraph machine in the instrumental is an absolute stroke of genius. In general, it’s musically interesting, varied, has a strong catchy hook and a fun topic. What’s not to like here?

Luxembourg - Frère Jacques

Performer by
Anne-Marie B

Well, this song definitely stadnds out. In a good way, of course. First of all, it has prominent bells, I absolutely love bells in music. In general, the instrumental is very contemporary and interesting. The lyrics are interesting too. She namedrops a lot of random men and says that she’s scared of them and then asks her brother Jacques to protect her from them because “her body has grown”. Once again, this definitely has some undertones of being about sexual assault (and I’ll always give props to songs that try to address serious issues). But even without that, it’s a great song that I’ll definitely be revisiting.

Portugal - Portugal no coração

Performer by
Os Amigos

And here we have another Portuguese entry that’s all about celebrating the fall of their dictatorship. Sadly, it didn’t grip me much, probably because I’m too removed from the Portuguese dictatorship both temporally and spatially. I still thought it was a fine song though.

United Kingdom - Rock Bottom

Performer by
Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran

This is exactly how you win me over. By having a song with clever lyrics, very prominent piano and a very catchy hook. There are undertones of criticising the government (or at least I think so because of the opening shot with the Financial Daily), but the straighforward interpretation of working through a broken relationship is just as logical.

Whatever your intepretation, you can’t deny that this was made to win (much to the BBC’s displeasure, who didn’t want to host two contests in a row). Add the fact that Ronnie Hazelhurst conducted with his umbrella and you have something that will stick in your mind for a while (or at least until the end of the show).

Though I’m sometimes struggling to connect with this for some reason. It just doesn’t feel as playful as it was probably intended to.

Greece - Mathema solfege

Performer by
Pascalis, Marianna, Robert and Bessy

On the other hand, this feels extremely fun and playful. It’s an absolutely infectious song with a hook that won’t let you go until the end of time. Even though it just repeats the names of the notes in the chorus, it doesn’t feel repetitive, probably helped by the music being pretty varied and the verses changing it all up completely.

I maybe would’ve liked more variation here, but it’s still very strong regardless of that.

Israel - Ahava Hi Shir Lishnayim

Perfornmer by

Ilanit is back from 1973 with a power ballad that, while not as good, still feels great and fun. But then, I actually like this kind of ballads a lot, so I’m hardly objective. But she really sings her heart out and makes me feel her passion and emotion. Israel was still absolutely intent on winning (something they’d achieve next year).

It’s also interesting how this entry is in a major key. Israeli music really does assign opposite roles to major and minor key compared to Western music and that creates a wonderful sense of weirdness, which just appeals to me.

Switzerland - Swiss Lady

Performer by
Pepe Lienhard Band

Alright, I’m absolutely taken by this. It’s probably the zaniest and most creative entry this year, combining very straightforward 70s rock with a flute and an Alpine horn and throwing in some yodeling. Watching this was a joy (and performing it seemed like a lot of fun too, judging by the band’s behaviour on stage - they clearly loved every second of it). Clearly, the juries loved it too, since they put it 6th. I’m going to put it a little higher than this though.

Sweden - Beatles

Performer by

“I think you’ll find this a good one too, although it’s not fancied in the bookmakers’ running” - the British commentator. Well, I’ll have to disagree with him. I didn’t find this a “good one” 4 years ago and I still don’t find it a “good one”. In fact, I find it very annoying, from the slightly slurred vocals at the start to the weirdest lyrics ever. “Your great grandfather can tell you who they are”? Really? Can he? Because they only broke up 7 years prior to this and their music remained popular.

Even if you take that all away, it still remains a very middling and uninteresting song that doesn’t offer anything of value.

Spain - Enséñame a cantar

Performer by

And here’s a song that probably shouldn’t work so well, but does anyway. It’s a country-style song that sounds Spanish and not American. It’s insanely charming and fun, I enjoyed it a lot. There’s something about this fusion of styles that just works.

Italy - Libera

Performer by
Mia Martini

And here we have an entry that sounds funky and upbeat on the surface, very modern for 1977, but has a pretty sad background. It was originall going to be a ballad, but Mia Martini got this new arrangement forced on her and she really didn’t like it.

As a lover of ballads, it’s always sad to see a ballad being revamped to be more upbeat to have more appeal. Clearly though, that didn’t work since it scored very poorly, only getting good points from three countries.

Finland - Lapponia

Performer by
Monica Aspelund

The high note is probably what killed it for the juries and, I have to say, it does make me enjoy this considerably less too. Because otherwise, it’s an exceptionally composed and performed song with no issues. It’s upbeat and fun, it feels very Finnish. And Monica is an outstanding singer and performer.

I also really like the piano in here, it supplements everything else really well. But then, I’m a total sucker for pianos, like I’ve said many times before.

Belgium - A Million in One, Two, Three

Performer by
Dream Express

Belgium sent a fun upbeat pop song in English that actually works really well. The performers are enchanting and charming, the melody is strong and the hook is great. It’s a good addition to the lineup, though it’s hard to say a lot about it. It’s just a plainly good song, with no additional flourishes or anything.

France - L’Oiseau et l’Enfant

Performer by
Marie Myriam

And yep, you can immediately understand why this won. It’s an outstanding performance. It starts with a big instrumental intro, but then we get a verse sung acapella, with no accompaniement from the orchestra at all. After that, we finally get a chorus with all of its instrumental glory and the backing singers start providing harmonies. This is an incredible trick to make the songs sound extremely variable, but it requires a supremely confident singers, since not every singer can sing without any backing.

Of course, we have some key changes, but they’re incorporated really well. The song doesn’t draw a lot of attention to them, but kicks up the complexity after each one. It’s very easy to miss them because of this.

And the lyrics are amazing too. I don’t often talk about the lyrics because I don’t always pay attention to them, but I have to point out these ones. They’re composed in a way that makes them appealing even to people that don’t speak French. They have strong rhymes and a nice flow. But, while non-francophones can still enjoy them, francophones will enjoy it so much more because of the abundance of metaphors and clever expressions. Of course, the bird and the child, as the title of the song suggests, are used a lot, but there’s so much more to this. It actually has some pretty dark lyrics at times, about the blood of the poet and the dark misery of war. And yet, it manages to maintain a very hopeful mood throughout. I think that Joe Gracy, the songwriter, should be very proud of this since it’s an outstanding achievement.

It’s obvious why this is still considered to be one of the best French entries and why it’s so well-regarded by everyone. It’s iconic in every sense of the word.


  1. France - L’Oiseau et l’Enfant
  2. Switzerland - Swiss Lady
  3. Luxembourg - Frère Jacques
  4. Finland - Lapponia
  5. Greece - Mathema solfege
  6. United Kingdom - Rock Bottom
  7. Israel - Ahava Hi Shir Lishnayim
  8. Monaco - Une petite française
  9. Norway - Casanova
  10. Germany - Telegram
  11. Spain - Enséñame a cantar
  12. Ireland - It’s Nice to Be in Love Again
  13. Belgium - A Million in One, Two, Three
  14. Italy - Libera
  15. Portugal - Portugal no coração
  16. Austria - Boom Boom Boomerang
  17. Netherlands - De mallemolen
  18. Sweden - Beatles


  • Austria - 1 (1965)
  • Belgium - 1 (1961)
  • Denmark - 1 (1963)
  • France - 3 (1969, 1976, 1977)
  • Germany - 2 (1957, 1972)
  • Italy - 1 (1958)
  • Luxembourg - 3 (1956, 1964, 1973)
  • Monaco - 2 (1968, 1970)
  • Netherlands - 1 (1959)
  • Norway - 1 (1966)
  • Portugal - 1 (1967)
  • Spain - 1 (1971)
  • Sweden - 1 (1962)
  • Turkey - 1 (1975)
  • United Kingdom - 1 (1960)
  • Yugoslavia - 1 (1974)

Congratulations to France for becoming the first coutry to win twice in a row in my rankings. But what can I say, they’ve been sending gold lately.


This was a bit of a mixed year. Some songs were great, but some were really bad. But I enjoyed it overall. The voting sequence was good, France didn’t even start to lead until halfway through and it seemed like the UK would still catch up, as they got more 12s than France. But I’m glad France won, it’s an outstanding song and performance.

I’ll see you all in 1978, where we’ll finally be going to Paris, yay.