Songs of Europe (1981 concert)

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Songs of Europe
Songs of Europe.jpeg
Final22 August 1981
VenueMysen, Norway
Presenter(s)Rolf Kirkvaag
Titten Tei
Directed byJohnny Bergh
Executive supervisorFrank Naef
Host broadcasterEBU, NRK
Number of entries21 songs from 1956 to 1981

Songs of Europe is a concert television programme commemorating the Eurovision Song Contest's twenty-fifth anniversary. The event was held in Mysen, Norway in 1981, featuring nearly all the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest from its first edition in 1956 to 1981, and broadcast to more than 100 million viewers all over Europe.[citation needed]

The concert, which was the largest ever in Norway at the time, and still the largest in Mysen, was hosted by Norwegian television personalities Rolf Kirkvaag and Titten Tei, who led the two-hour live broadcast in English, German, French, Norwegian and Spanish. The majority of entries were conducted by Sigurd Jansen, although the song "Hallelujah" was conducted, as it was in 1979, by composer Kobi Oshrat.[1] "Nous les amoureux" was conducted by Raymond Bernard, "La, la, la" by Manuel Gas, and "Boom Bang-a-Bang" by Kenny Clayton.[2][clarification needed]


It is the biggest concert arranged to feature such an amount of Eurovision Song Contest artists and more specifically winners performing at once, with 21 out of a total 29 winners (four winners in the 1969 Contest) attending to perform their past winning songs; that is with the Eurovision Song Contest's fiftieth anniversary, Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest, featuring most of the artists as guests and not as performers, and the Contest's sixtieth anniversary, Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits, featuring fifteen artists acts.

The show[edit]

Heavy rain delayed the start of the concert and interrupted some of the early performances. The songs were performed and shown in videos, in accordance to the chronological order of the Eurovision Song Contest's winners from the first edition in 1956 up to and including the 1981 edition; although 1981 was the 26th edition, it was held a few months prior to the concert and thus included in it.

Some snippets of earlier ESC performances intermingled into the show. 21 acts performed their winning songs live (although Dana lip-synched her winning song), including three out of the four winners of the 1969 Contest. The remaining eight winners, marked in light red, were shown in video footage of their performances in their respective editions of the Eurovision Song Contest, where available. Others were shown in still photographs or in clips taken from other broadcasts where no clip from the contest was known to exist. Abba's performance of Waterloo was taken from a televised concert the group had performed in Mysen in 1975.[citation needed]

Year Country Artist Song Language
1956   Switzerland Lys Assia "Refrain" French
1957  Netherlands Corry Brokken "Net als toen" Dutch
1958  France André Claveau "Dors, mon amour" French
1959  Netherlands Teddy Scholten1 "Een beetje" Dutch
1960  France Jacqueline Boyer "Tom Pillibi" French
1961  Luxembourg Jean-Claude Pascal "Nous les amoureux" French
1962  France Isabelle Aubret "Un premier amour" French
1963  Denmark Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann "Dansevise" Danish
1964  Italy Gigliola Cinquetti "Non ho l'età" Italian
1965  Luxembourg France Gall "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" French
1966  Austria Udo Jürgens "Merci, Chérie" German2
1967  United Kingdom Sandie Shaw "Puppet on a String" English
1968  Spain Massiel "La, la, la" Spanish
1969  Spain Salomé "Vivo cantando" Spanish
1969  United Kingdom Lulu "Boom Bang-a-Bang" English
1969  Netherlands Lenny Kuhr "De troubadour" Dutch
1969  France Frida Boccara "Un jour, un enfant" French
1970  Ireland Dana "All Kinds of Everything" English
1971  Monaco Séverine "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" French
1972  Luxembourg Vicky Leandros "Après toi" French
1973  Luxembourg Anne-Marie David "Tu te reconnaîtras" French
1974  Sweden ABBA "Waterloo" English
1975  Netherlands Teach-In3 "Ding-a-dong" English
1976  United Kingdom Brotherhood of Man "Save Your Kisses for Me" English
1977  France Marie Myriam "L'oiseau et l'enfant" French
1978  Israel Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" (א-ב-ני-בי) Hebrew
1979  Israel Milk and Honey4 "Hallelujah" (הללויה) Hebrew
1980  Ireland Johnny Logan "What's Another Year?" English
1981  United Kingdom Bucks Fizz "Making Your Mind Up" English


1.^ Attended the show as a guest in the audience.
2.^ The song also contains phrases in French.
3.^ The line up of Teach-in was different from the winning 1975 group, although still led by lead singer Getty Kaspers.
4.^ Gali Atari who was part of Milk and Honey when they won, had by this point been replaced by Leah Lupatin.

International broadcasting[edit]

In the United Kingdom, a highlights programme was broadcast by BBC Two on 25 September 1981 and introduced by Terry Wogan.[3] BBC Radio 2 transmitted the concert on 26 December 1981, introduced by Len Jackson.[4]


The following countries, listed in order of broadcasting dates, had confirmed that they would broadcast the anniversary show.[5]

Date of broadcast Country[6] Channel Station Commentators
22 August 1981  Denmark DR DR TV TBC
 France France Télévisions Antenne 2 No commentator
 Ireland RTÉ
 Mexico Las Estrellas
 Norway NRK NRK Fjernsynet Knut Aunbu
25 September 1981  United Kingdom BBC BBC Two Terry Wogan
26 December 1981 BBC Radio 2 Len Jackson
Unknown  Austria ORF FS2 No commentator
 Belgium BRT BRT1
 Cyprus CyBC RIK 1
 Egypt ERTU Channel 1
 El Salvador TCS Canal 2
 Finland Yle Yle TV1
 Germany ARD Das Erste TBC
 Jordan JRTV JTV 2 No commentator
 Greece ERT ERT1
 Iceland RÚV RÚV1
 Netherlands NPO NPO 1
 Peru ATV
 Portugal RTP RTP1
 Dominican Republic CERTV RTD
 Spain RTVE La 1
 Sweden SVT TV2 Arne Weise
 Venezuela VTV No commentator

Non-broadcasting countries[edit]

The following countries were originally intended to broadcast the event, but withdrew for unknown reasons

Country Station Channel
Hong Kong Hong Kong RTHK
 Israel IBA Channel 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Songs of Europe - BBC Two England - 25 September 1981 - BBC Genome". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Songs of Europe - BBC Radio 2 - 26 December 1981 - BBC Genome". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ Wærhaug, Sølvi (24. august 1981). «Nesten krise …». VG. s. 36.
  6. ^ Wærhaug, Sølvi (18. august 1981). «Fire verdensdeler følger Momarkedet». VG. s. 37.
  7. ^ Wærhaug, Sølvi (20. august 1981). «TV-nerver i helspenn». VG.