SAN MARINO – Senhit continues her #FreakyTripToRotterdam trip to Eurovision 2021 with another alternative and artistic Eurosong cover.
This time she slays with an outstanding video and performance of 1968 UK entry CONGRATULATIONS originally performed by Sir Cliff Richard.
The song might have been ranked 2nd in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest edition but it was a huge international success until today!
The song was written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter and arranged, conducted and produced by Norrie Paramor who was also musical director for the contest, which was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Phil Coulter originally wrote the song as “I Think I Love You”, but was unsure of the lyrics and got together with Bill Martin (the same team that wrote “Puppet on a String“), who changed it to “Congratulations“.
The song was immediately popular in the UK and became a number one single. On the day of the contest, it was the favourite to win, so much so that the British press were posing the question: “What will come second to ‘Congratulations‘?”
During the voting, “Congratulations” was leading for much of the way until the penultimate vote when Germany gave Spain six points, putting them one point ahead of the United Kingdom. It finished second losing to Spain’s entry “La, la, la” by just one point. However, “Congratulations” went on to become a huge hit throughout Europe. In 2008, documentary film-maker Montse Fernandez Vila claimed that the loss was the result of rigging of the Spanish vote by state television on behalf of the Francoist State.
However, José María Íñigo, the person that made such claims in the documentary quickly said that his words were taken out of context and said that the channel that produced the documentary, laSexta, who was the promoter of the Spanish representative that year, Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, had manipulated his words to help promote their candidate. He said: “if there had been such manipulation, it would have been for a different artist who had been closer to the regime”.
The song is still popular and was chosen to lead the show which celebrated 50 years of Eurovision and which was named after it: Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest. Richard also performed the song as part of the commemorations for the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995, despite it having been written long after the end of World War II.