Nocturne (Secret Garden song)

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Norway "Nocturne"
Nocturne (Secret Garden song).jpg
Eurovision Song Contest 1995 entry
Gunnhild Tvinnereim,
Åsa Jinder,
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen
Petter Skavlan
Geir Langslet
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
◄ "Duett" (1994)   
"I evighet" (1996) ►

"Nocturne" was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1995, performed in Norwegian by Secret Garden representing Norway. It was the second time Norway won the contest, after it had won in 1985 with Bobbysocks! song "La det swinge". For their performance at the Contest the Secret Garden duo of Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Løvland featured three guest musicians; Norwegian vocalist Gunnhild Tvinnereim, Hans Fredrik Jacobsen on penny whistle and Swedish nyckelharpist Åsa Jinder.

Eurovision victory[edit]

The song was performed fifth on the night, following Bosnia and Herzegovina's Davorin Popović with "Dvadeset prvi vijek" and preceding Russia's Philip Kirkorov with "Kolibelnaya dlya vulkana". At the close of voting, it had received 148 points, placing 1st in a field of 23.

The victory represented the second for composer Rolf Løvland, who had previously written "La det swinge". Additionally, it represented the first time in four years that Ireland had not won the Contest (although Sherry herself is Irish), thus bringing to an end the only hat-trick of victories in Eurovision history. Ireland would go on to win the next Contest, achieving the feat of four victories in five years.

As Norway had previously won the Contest in 1985 with "La det swinge", the second victory allowed the tongue-in-cheek tradition to emerge that Norway could only win in years ending with a 5, a joke referred to by the members of Bobbysocks at the Congratulations special in late 2005, Norway having entered "In My Dreams" that year and not achieved victory.

The song was succeeded as winner in 1996 by Eimear Quinn representing Ireland with "The Voice".

It was succeeded as Norwegian representative at the 1996 Contest by Elisabeth Andreassen with "I evighet".

Norway won again in 2009, but that year's entry was sung entirely in English.


The song is noted for its almost complete absence of lyrics — with only 24 words being sung in the original Norwegian version and much of the rest of the song being given over to a violin intermezzo performed by Irish musician Fionnuala Sherry.

While no other winning song in the contest has featured so few words, Finland would go on to place 15th in the 1998 Contest with "Aava", which contains only six words repeated throughout the song. The previous holder of the record of shortest lyrics in Eurovision history was Belgium and their 1983 entry "Rendez-vous", with a total of 11 words.


"Nocturne" was not released as a single in Norway itself. The song was however released as a single by Secret Garden in the rest of Europe and Scandinavia, then in its English language version, and reached #1 in Israel (topping the chart for 4 weeks), #26 in Sweden, #6 in Belgium (Flanders), #24 in Belgium (Wallonia) and #20 in the Netherlands.[1]

"Nocturne" is included in Secret Garden's first album, Songs from a Secret Garden. The album "Inside I'm Singing" (2007) includes a new version.


Dusty Cowshit version (1996)[edit]

The song was covered comedic and first released as a single by the country-inspired novelty band Dusty Cowshit, reaching #16 on the Norwegian singles chart in 1996.[2]

Celtic Woman version (2011)[edit]

"Nocturne" was featured on Celtic Woman: Believe, the seventh studio album by the group Celtic Woman released on 25 May 2011. "Nocturne" was sung by Chloë Agnew. Agnew also performed "Nocturne" live on both the Believe and Emerald concerts.

Usage in other media[edit]

"Nocturne" was used of several episodes of TVN soap opera Oro Verde.[3]


Secret Garden version[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[5] 24
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[6] 54
Israel (Israel Top-30)[7] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 20
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[10] 26

Dusty Cowshit version[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 13


  • Diggiloo Thrush. "1995 Norway". Retrieved 2007-02-22.
  • Diggiloo Thrush. "1998 Finland". Retrieved 2007-02-22.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Rock 'n' Roll Kids" by Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan
Eurovision Song Contest winners
Succeeded by
"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn