La, la, la

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Spain "La, la, la"
Massiel La, la, la.jpg
Eurovision Song Contest 1968 entry
Country
Artist(s)
Language
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)
Manuel de la Calva
Ramón Arcusa
Conductor
Rafael Ibarbia
Finals performance
Final result
1st
Final points
29
Appearance chronology
◄ "Hablemos del amor" (1967)   
"Vivo cantando" (1969) ►

"La, La, La" (Spanish pronunciation: [la, la, la]) is a song which was performed by the Spanish singer Massiel at the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 in London, winning the contest for Spain in that year.[1] Massiel also released the song in English as "He Gives Me Love (La, La, La)".[2][3]

Eurovision[edit]

The performance of the song was the first of Spain's two Eurovision wins to date. The song was composed by Ramón Arcusa and Manuel de la Calva, otherwise known as the singing duo Dúo Dinámico. This was the first Eurovision Song Contest broadcast in colour, with viewers noting Massiel's backing singers in their short teal coloured dresses (from left/tallest to right/shortest, they were María Jesús Aguirre, María Dolores Arenas, and Mercedes Valimaña Macaria).[1]

"La, la, la" beat the favourite, the United Kingdom's "Congratulations", by just one point. Bill Martin (writer of the UK entry) called the Spanish song "a piece of rubbish".[citation needed]

Joan Manuel Serrat, the artist originally chosen to perform Spain's entry, intended to sing it in Catalan. The Francoist State dictatorship would not allow this – and insisted that the entry should be performed in Spanish, official language for all the territories of Spain, although Serrat wanted to make a claim for the other regional languages of this country, repressed under the Francoist State. Hence the last-minute substitution of Massiel as singer. It was not until 2004, when Andorra made its first entry, that Catalan would be heard on the contest stage.[citation needed]

A documentary film shown on Spanish television in 2008 claimed that Caudillo Franco had had the competition fixed to ensure a victory for Spain, which would boost the country's image abroad.[4][5][6] Massiel was outraged by the allegations, insisting that she won because her song was better, and that Franco would have not been able to buy any votes for her in the first place. She also blamed the allegations on competition among Spanish TV channels.[7] José María Íñigo, the person who had made the original claims in the documentary, later retracted them, saying "If there had been such a manipulation, it would have been for a different artist who had been closer to the regime."[8]

Recordings[edit]

Massiel recorded the song in four languages; Spanish, Italian, German, all as "La, la, la", and in English, as "He Gives Me Love (La, la, la)". It was later covered by the Italian singer Mina in Radiotelevisione Italiana's 1968 variety series Canzonissima and by Finnish singer Carola. The band Saint Etienne recorded another cover version, featured on the album A Song for Eurotrash (1998) with English lyrics that differ from the original, referring to the man she is dating instead of the things she is thankful for. The biggest-selling recording of the song, however, was the cover-version, performed in Spanish, by Portuguese fado star Amália Rodrigues. It was also sung by Alpay, a famous Turkish singer, in Turkish that same year in "Sen Gidince & La La La" 45 rpm.[citation needed] Heidi Brühl covered it in German.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Info on "La, la, la" from Diggiloo Thrush". Diggiloo.net. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  2. ^ Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World 2003 0826463215 "Its apogee was 'La La La' (Massiel, Spain), the 1968 winner. By the mid-1990s, when many former Communist countries were joining Eurovision, the contest had lost touch with current trends in European music."
  3. ^ Geoff Tibballs The Good, the Bad and the Wurst 1472137078 2016 "Performing fifteenth out of the seventeen contestants was Spain's María Félix de los Ángeles Santamaría Espinosa, more conveniently known as Massiel. Her song, 'La La La', defined the term 'singalong' as it contained no fewer than 138 la's."
  4. ^ "Franco stole Cliff Richard's 1968 Eurovision glory by fixing vote". Chinapost.com.tw. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  5. ^ "Congratulations... 40 years late". BBC News. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  6. ^ Govan, Fiona (2008-05-04). "How Franco cheated Cliff out of Eurovision title". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  7. ^ "La prensa británica se escandaliza con el tongo de Massiel". elConfidencial.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  8. ^ "Massiel e Iñigo acusan a La Sexta de 'urdir todo para favorecer a Chikilicuatre'". elmundo.es. Retrieved 2014-06-06.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Puppet on a String" by Sandie Shaw
Eurovision Song Contest winners
1968
Succeeded by
co-winners

"Un jour, un enfant" by Frida Boccara,
"De troubadour" by Lenny Kuhr,
"Vivo cantando" by Salomé,
"Boom Bang-a-Bang" by Lulu