Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ding Dinge Dong...listen without prejudice

Everyone has a guilty pleasure…it could be bad food, trashy paperbacks, an unswerving devotion to a Canadian powertrio (no, not Triumph…or Mahogany Rush) or even needlepoint. Mine is guiltier than most, however. Mine is…(whisper it..) Eurovision. Not in that cheesy, kitsch, ‘It’s so bad it’s good’ way, but in a sad, musical critique way. I genuinely love it. Don’t hate me.

As any scholar of Eurovision will tell you, the heyday was the 70’s and the apex of the heyday was the mighty triumvirate which bestrode the middle of the decade like a mighty colossus*. 1974: Abba -‘Waterloo’, 1975: Teach In -‘Ding Dinge Dong’ and 1976, Brotherhood of Man ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’. Now THAT is a heady brew. Let’s turn our attention to 1975 shall we…

(There's a bit of a preamble - the good stuff starts at about a minute in) 

I have no idea who Teach-In are or were really. I’ve had a quick look at that catalogue of inaccuracy that is Wikipedia and it has just the bare bones of a story. But that’s OK as all good Eurotunes are really only designed to burn and shine for a moment. Apart from Abba.

Right, you’ve got this far without laughing too hard, lets analyse why ‘Ding Dinge Dong’ is a brilliant piece of Pop:
The melody. It burns its way into your brain and will never leave.
That lovely, simple Guitar lick that punctuates the tune.
The amazing harmonies…such close intervals.
And probably the greatest middle eight ever written.

Yep, the lyrics are complete and utter bobbins, but they’re no worse than ‘Come And Get It’ or ‘September Gurls’.

If this was recorded by The Cardigans, Saint Etienne or Belle and Sebastian (especially  Belle and Sebastian) we’d all be wetting ourselves over it’s ‘pure, unvarnished post modern Pop styling’ or something equally pseudo. But it was recorded by some happy looking Dutch guys and a charming young lady called Hilda.

Still got a problem with Eurovision? May I just gently direct you to the writer of the winning entry in 1997 for the UK?  ‘Love Shine A Light’ by Katrina And The Waves was written by a certain Kimberley Rew. Yeah…Kimberley Rew. The guy from the Soft Boys.

There are only two types of music: Music you like and music you don’t like. I really like ‘Ding Dinge Dong’. Give it a whirl. I dare you to leave me a comment.

*That’s one HELL of a sentence. Lester Bangs…pah!


  1. Thanks for posting a Eurovision song, Rushbo. And thanks for posting that particular song, too. I liked it a lot (especially the vocals at 1:22 where the singer adds "dinge dong" so quickly at the end of her line that it sounds as if she ran out of time to sing them at the correct rhythm).

    It's nice to finally meet another person who likes both power pop and Eurovision. (I guess there had to be at least two out of the six billion individuals on Earth.) For me, there have been some fabulous songs presented at Eurovision. I posted one from the 2010 Eurovision a little while ago, along with some magnificent videos of the chap who wrote it. (I won't give too much away, but it's a special treat for anyone who likes The Smurfs.) Oh, and the song I posted was the Dutch entry, too.

    Viva Eurovision!

  2. Well said Peter. Good to know someone else is man enough to step up and admit a love for all things Eurovision. I've watched it ever since I was 7 or 8 with the notable exception of 2003 when I was travelling abroad as part of a school trip. That was the year when the UK unleashed Jemini to the world and we recieved 'nul points'. I was inconsolable.

    Viva Eurovision back atcha!

  3. Maybe I can help a fellow sufferer ! There's a great (Russian) blog with obscure stuff including a whole Teach-In album - and unbelievably without "Dinge Dong" on it.

    There is also another, frighteningly detailed, blog of Eurovision related albums at
    where you can get a whole album of songs that didn't even win the Dutch selection contest to get onto the real Eurovision show. Now, THAT guy has got it bad.
    For my money, Fairytale by Norway just misses out to Eighties Coming back by Estonia as best Eurovision song of all time. Can't believe I'm even typing that. Can't wait until Dusseldorf in May.

  4. I forgot about 'Fairytale' that's a GOOD tune. I covered it with some of my colleagues at a staff party and I enjoyed it way more than I should have.
    There are some real Eurovision freaks out there who's devotion is frightening. And I think that's great.

  5. My own guilty Eurovision pleasure would be Mouth and MacNeal - I loved "How do you do", and still do - I even still have the 45 I bought back in the 70s.
    Also liked their "I see a Star" Eurovision entry a lot. I always knew it wasn't ever going to be worth staying up to view the entire show, just to hear 1 or 2 gems...
    Thanks for this.

  6. ...maybe we could form some sort of self-help group, where ESC lovers who have been ostracised by their peers can gather in a safe enironment and discuss all things Eurovision. Who's in?