A Message to Your Heart
|"A Message to Your Heart"|
|Single by Samantha Janus|
|B-side||Heaven is a Place for Heroes|
|Label||Sony Music Entertainment|
"A Message to Your Heart", written and composed by Paul Curtis, was the United Kingdom's entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 1991, performed by Samantha Janus. Paul Curtis also penned the previous year's entry, "Give a Little Love Back to the World."
Samantha Janus won the right to perform at Rome by winning the UK national final, A Song for Europe, where she was the third singer to perform. As in the previous three years, the winner was picked via a nationwide telephone vote. Samantha Janus won over second-place finisher Brendan Faye by only 13,000 votes, in the slimmest margin since the telephone vote was introduced.
At Rome, the song was performed twentieth on the night in March 1991, after Spain's Sergio Dalma with "Bailar pegados", and before Cyprus's Elena Patroklou with "SOS." At the end of judging that evening, "A Message to Your Heart" took the tenth-place slot with 47 points. It was the worst showing for the United Kingdom since 1987, and resulted in the 1992 Song for Europe being retooled as far as telephone voting was concerned.
Like the previous year, composer Paul Curtis submitted a topical entry for consideration; this time, the subjects were the less fortunate, suffering from poverty and starvation. Janus sung of the contrasts between the people who "are hungry just from being born", and the people who have too much, with "their only hunger being greed." The "message to [the] heart" refers to Janus imploring the better-off to, at the very least, say a prayer for the less fortunate, ending with the well-known John Bradford quotation, "There but for the grace of God, go I."
In a somewhat ironic twist, the melody of the song is up-tempo. On the night of the Contest, Janus was dressed in a pink mini-dress, flanked by three women (Zoe Picot, Lucy Moorby, and Nikki Belsher) in white mini-dresses. Janus was also joined by two other "ghost" backing singers, masked by a music stand at the back of the stage; Kit Rolfe who had competed for the UK before in 1984 with the song "Love Games" (which, it was claimed, had also used "ghost" singers offstage), and Hazell Dean, who had worked extensively with Stock, Aitken and Waterman in the eighties.
Janus went on to become a successful actress, starring in the sitcom Game On and the soap EastEnders. Despite her achievements, her entry into the Eurovision is frequently remarked upon. She has said regarding the experience that her failure in the contest devastated her at the time and thought it would spell the end of her career. She has also called her appearance 'ridiculous', in that she was dressed in a pink mini-dress while singing about starving children and says the lyrics of the song are burned into her memory forever.
Give a Little Love Back to the World
|United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
One Step Out of Time