Not-so-random ESC Song of the Week (4. – 10. 5. 2015)

NICOLE – EIN BISSCHEN FRIEDEN (Germany 1982)

In a week where not a lot happened, I was rather glad that history provided a very easy choice for me. Last Friday, it was 70 years since World War Two ended in Europe, which is something happening shockingly unnoticed here in Switzerland – I probably wouldn’t have remembered the date without people from other countries talking about it. In a week like this, nothing seemed more fitting to me than a song about peace, even though some might find it slightly ironic I chose a German song for the end of the Second World War.Ein Bisschen Frieden is not only a peace song but also a rather historical one from the perspective of Eurovision. It was Germany’s first win, leaving Belgium as the only participant of 1956 that hadn’t won yet. But it was also the first (and still the only) win of Ralph Siegel, back when his songs actually were good enough to become ESC classics. So how did Germany’s first victory song age over the last 33 years?

When I hear it on CD, I always imagined Nicole on stage with her iconic white guitar, maybe accompanied by one or two backings/instrumentalists, so I was quite surprised to see the Germans putting six people on stage – and I think it was a bad decision. It makes it all look way more messy and less intimate then it is supposed to be, and it gets impossible for me to believe her claims to be a simple girl if she has five instrumentalists (and a choir in the last sections!) behind her. It is generally a song I enjoy a lot more on CD, because the live performance looks not too good to me. Besides the messy staging, they managed to make Nicole look pretty bored during parts of the song, and her clothes look like something she’d never wear deliberately to me. And the rather weird stage design doesn’t help either.

RATING: It is certainly one of the classic songs of the contest, and a good example for a peace anthem that’s not disturbing with its message (Looking at you, Russia 13!), but there are certainly some things wrong with it, like the staging and the arrangement. But as the melody itself is pleasurable, I’ll be kind and give it a 7/10.

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