2020

#LEAPDAY: Songs in the Key of 29

LEAPDAY: Songs in the Key of 29

It only comes but once every four years, so why not celebrate it. If it’s your birthday today, then many happy returns from the Eurovision Ireland team.

And how best to commemorate this most elusive of dates? Why, with songs that have scored exactly 29 points of course. It’s given us an interesting mix of success, obscure, and everything in between. Let’s look at some of them.

But where to start? With a winner of course. The first ever song that scored exactly 29 points also was the first winner for Spain. Controversy surrounded the scoring in 1968, but Massiel won, and that’s that. It was a close contest, but the six points from Germany finally swung it in the direction of María de los Ángeles Felisa Santamaría Espinosa and her song La la la.

Spain beat the UK in 1968, and in 2004 they had their turn in scoring 29 points. James Fox had won Making Your Mind Up at a bit of a canter, so came to Istanbul with high hopes with his song Hold on to our love. He scored of ten of 35 countries, with the biggest scoring from Ireland. Here he is cutting a dash in a blue suit.

In 2000, when North Macedonia had another name, they sent a girl group with high hopes. Marija, Ivona, Rosica and Verica were XXL, and came 15th with this song, which got 10 each from Romania and Croatia. It’s 100% te ljubam.

The most recent song to score 29 points came along in 2010. In the second semi-final in Oslo, 18-year-old Sieneke Peeters had been selected to represent the Netherlands. She took a large organ and some pals dressed as organ ornaments and sang a song written by the Smurfs’ Father Abraham. Nine countries gave Sieneke points, but it wasn’t enough to make the final. So Sha-la-lie along with this song anyway.

Finally, we have this classic from 1984. In deepest Luxembourg one May evening, the duo of Benedicte Adrian and Ingrid Bjørnov, also know as Dollie De Luxe, came along singing about life. They scored the magic 29 points off seven juries, including eight from Sweden. If you go along to any Eurovision disco, this is likely to be played, making a song that really has stood the test of time.

So 29 isn’t such a bad thing after all. You could win, become a classic or just achieve notoriety. Are these among your favourites? Tell us what you think.

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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