France

Mercy by Madame Monsieur

After two good results from internally selected entries it was a surprise to see a return to a national final in France, but what a great move it was. The line up was one of the best this year, and led me to discover the excellent young artist Lisandro Cuxi, whose album has been on heavy rotation on my player. I was disappointed when he lost to this song but I’ve soon grown to love it.

As Salvador Sobral arrived in Kyiv last year he was directed to cover up a t-shirt referring to the Europe-wide migrant crisis. Fast forward a year and Madame Monsieur have given it a personal treatment and placed this great humanitarian issue centre stage. Mercy tells the story of a baby, named Mercy, born on board a ship rescuing migrants desperately trying to traverse the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s potentially a thorny issue for a Contest that’s ostensibly apolitical, but this is not Big P-Politics. The treatment here is clear, but subtle, inviting the audience to reflect on an issue that both unites and divides the participating nations, without hammering home a lecture. It will be interesting to contrast which countries its support will come from with those who snub its message; support I think will be plentiful, for the song itself is quite lovely, and beautifully understated.

My marks: douze points!

Will it qualify? N/A Big 5