We know a lot about Eurovision and we want to share this knowledge with you! Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. And we immediately start off with something really old. We go back to France 1958!
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
No less than 5 times France won the Eurovision Song Contest. Not only André Claveau (1958), the man we will talk about today, won the contest. Two years later it was Jacqueline Boyer who won with “Tom Pillibi”. Again, two years later, in 1962, Isabelle Aubret won the contest with “Un premier amour”. Frida Boccara was one of the 4 winners in 1969 with “L’oiseau et l’enfant”. And the last one was Marie Myriam in 1977. She sang “L’oiseau et l’enfant”. But note also that in 1991 Amina had as much points as the winning Carola (Sweden). However, Sweden received more times 10 points, so Carola won.
André Claveau was selected internally by French broadcaster ORTF. On the 7th of February, 5 singers (not Claveau himself) sang one song each. However, they knew they were not going to represent France in Eurovision, as André was already chosen. The songs were:
- Parigi Roma, sung by Charles Dumont (but not in the link)
- Héléna, sung by René Denoncin (again, the link brings you to the version of another singer)
- Musique magique, sung by Jocelyn Jocya
- Dors mon amour, sung by Hubert Giraud (this is Claveau’s version, no version of Hubert Giraud could be found)
- Tape dans tes mains, sung by André Richin (The song could not be found online)
The full results of the contest are not known, but “Héléna” seems to be the runner up after “Dors mon amour”.
André Claveau, was born on 17th December 1911 in Paris. In the 1930s, he started performing in small clubs in and around Paris. By the 1940s, Claveau was already a household name in France, with a string of hits making regular appearances on French radio. The pinnacle of Claveau’s career came in 1958 when he represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest. He charmed the international juries and secured France’s first victory in the competition. Claveau was very down to earth: winning the Eurovision Song Contest didn’t mean he wanted to stay among the rich and wealthy. In stead, he was happy he could by a new cow for his farm!
Parallel to his singing career, Claveau also demonstrated his talent as an actor. He starred in a number of French films in the 1950s, most notably the musical comedy Pas de vacances pour Monsieur le maire in 1951. His charm and charisma translated seamlessly to the silver screen, and his acting roles only increased his popularity. However, with the arrival of rock and roll in the 1960s, Claveau’s traditional style of music fell out of favour with the younger audience. His popularity waned, and he found it increasingly difficult to compete with the new musical wave. As a result, Claveau decided to retire from public life by the end of the decade.
André Claveau, photo credits: Nationaal Archief
Dors Mon Amour
The title “Dors mon amour” translates to “Sleep, My Love” in English. This title reflects the tender sentiment of the song, which is essentially a lullaby sung by a lover to his beloved. The lyrics, written by Pierre Delanoë, depict the singer soothing his lover to sleep, promising that in her dreams she will find a world full of happiness and love. The composition by Hubert Giraud complements the lyrics with its gentle, melodic flow, effectively capturing the song’s warm and calming essence.