FINLAND: Hyvää syntymäpäivää Suomeen!!
One of our more erstwhile countries who love Eurovision has today celebrated a big milestone. In 1917, Finland became an independent nation and has never looked back. Over the years, they’ve excelled in athletics, motor sport and ice hockey. Eurovision has had a somewhat hit-and-miss relationship with Finland, but of course there is that one precious win.
So to celebrate with our Finnish friends, here are a few of their more noteworthy songs from years past.
First, we look at that very first Finnish song. It came from Laila Kinnunen in 1961, and was called ‘Valoa ikkunassa’ (Light at the window). It finished 10th out of 16 in Cannes.
Next we move to the 1970s, when the Finns almost started to hit their stride. Between 1971 and 1975 they managed three (yes, three) top 10 finishes. This next song comes from 1975 – YLE’s shortest trip at the time – when the contest was at Stockholms Mässan. ‘Old man fiddle’ came 7th for Pihasoittajat.
The 1980s were an interesting decade for the Finns. A number of songs that have since become classics didn’t quite get the juries to vote for them. There was another scattering of top 10 placings, so this is my next pick. Coincidentally, it was also staged in Sweden – this time in Gothenburg – but was cursed with being on second. A later draw may have favoured this magnificent effort from Sonja Lumme entitled ‘Eläköön elämä’ (Long live life). It placed 9th of the 19 competing songs.
Moving forward into the era of semi-finals, Finland has continued to have a patchy record. They have made it to finals (more on this later), but here’s the last time they did. It was in 2014 and came from the young thrusting band Softengine. This managed third in its semi-final in Copenhagen, and a creditable 11 in the Grand Final. Did it deserve better?
Before we finish, here’s one in just to see if you’re paying attention. It’s another fan favourite from the days when every year we seemed to be in Dublin (oh to be there again some time soon). You can’t help but bop along to this.
Finally, the only way to finish is with the most ‘monster’ of winners. It was obvious that it would win, and was just what the contest needed. Lordi won their semi-final and the final with the same score (292). They scored points of everyone except Monaco and Albania. It’s the arockalypse.
So what are your favourite Finnish songs? Is it in this list or have we missed it? And Happy Birthday Finland.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland, Youtube