L'oiseau et l'enfant around the world

by Richard West-Soley 72 views

You've seen the sites celebrating Eurovision performers… Now visit a special site celebrating a very special Eurovision song – France's last winner, 'L'oiseau et l'enfant', which won the Wembley contest in 1977.

Jean Paul Cara, who had a hand in writing Marie Myriam's evergreen chanson as well as being involved in the French entries 1, 2, 3of 1976, Humanahum of 1981 and the Luxembourgois entry of 1980 Le papa Pingouin, has dedicated asection of his official site to the international success of that winning song from Wembley. On his site, you can listen to the song in its numerous incarnations, including the Portuguese,Chinese, German and Finnishversions – the latter performed by fellow Eurovision classic Katri Helena.

Bygone Era
The siteoffers slice of Eurovision history from an era when multiple language versions of Eurovision entrieswere regularly released across Europe, and orchestral covers, such as the Paul Mauriat version, were commonplace. The chanson was riding high, and France had, with its 1977 win, clocked up an impressive five victories since Dors, mon amour took the crown at the third ever contest in 1958. Le français was still a winning language at a time when the first period of free language rule was about to come to an end.

The contest has changed tremendously since then, but perhaps the past has a lot to teach modern competitors and fans alike; sometimes, a strong, heartfelt performance can still be enough to raise an entry to the heady heights of the top five. And L'oiseau et l'enfant is, by a long way, not the only entry to gain commercial success on an international scale; there are still rich pickings to be had in the charts of Europe and beyond.

Recently, both L'oiseau et l'enfant and Le papa pingouin received the remix treatment, with new, animated versions being released; information on both these can be found on the site. Click here to view Jean Paul Cara's shrine to Marie Myriam's classic. Below, you can watch the original clip (complete with faux-comedy wonky titles courtesy of the 1977 BBC).


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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.