When I was young and lived in Sweden, our family – just like the majority of the Swedish population – used to watch the Eurovision SongContest every year in the spring. First there would be a Swedish version, where the Swedish representative to the European contest was selected, and then a month or so later, there would be the great event, taking place every year in the country of the previous year’s winner. Sweden has won many times, and although most of the music that comes out of this contest is instantly forgotten, there are some songs and artists that have prevailed, most notably ABBA, who won with their song Waterloo in 1974.
Watching the event on television was always a great treat for us kids, as it involved such delights as candy, chips & dip, and staying up late to hear the votes and find out who won. The excitement would then continue the next day, when we got to discuss the songs and the results with our friends (this is before Twitter and Facebook, so we actually had to wait until we saw our friends in person to talk to them!) Then, if there was a really good song, I would record it off the radio with my tape player, and play it in my room while doing my homework or drawing.
Over the years, especially since Eastern Europe opened up, the contest has changed, and now involves more countries, artists and some different rules. It’s still there however, but I haven’t been able to watch it since we left Belgium (where I didn’t always get to watch it either, since we didn’t have a television set). This year the entire event was broadcast online, and with Prof. Husband away for a conference, I made an evening out of it, for old time’s sake. I drank decaf tea, had some potato chips, and watched 26 mostly bad songs performed in some kind of palace in Baku. I was having a great time suffering through some pretty hideous performances and outfits, when William came out sometime late and joined me, as he couldn’t sleep. We watched the recap of all the songs together, as well as the voting, faithfully cheering for Sweden. I was quite moved by nostalgia and the excitement of hearing,
“And the twelve points go to… Sweden!”
over and over again. William put his arms up in victory when the final votes came in and Sweden was pronounced the winner of 2012’s Eurovision Song Contest. We even stayed up to listen to the winning song again, even though it was super late. For those of you who missed it, here it is: Euphoria!