IRELAND: Fifty years since Dana
If you were around 50 years ago tonight, you may have witnessed Ireland’s first ever win the Eurovision Song Contest. A mere five years after we saw Ireland début in Naples, Dana took home the prize at the RAI Theatre in Amsterdam.
Dana, born Rosemany Brown, was 18 at the time, and beat several well-established artists to take Ireland’s first win.
The contest in Amsterdam had a mere 12 entrants, mainly due to the uncertainty after four countries all won in Madrid in 1969. Nevertheless, the contest soon developed into a two-horse race between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Both countries scored steadily although when Dana secured nine of the ten possible votes from Belgium, the win looked certain.
Here’s Dana’s winning reprise.
All kinds of everything was written by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith, two songwriters who worked for an Irish newspaper at the time.
Dana’s Eurovision road began in 1969, when she finished second in the national final to Murial Day with the song Look around.
Dana went on to have a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including Who put the lights out, It’s gonna be a cold cold Christmas, and Fairytale.
Dana is now Dana Rosemary Scallon. In her time she later became an independent MEP between 1999 and 2004, representing Connacht-Ulster.
Ireland had six more wins in the next 26 years. But we should always remember Dana for being the first.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland