1 December – Softly, softly I saw the night melting

Do you like tunes that reflect the country they come from? Or do you like a good dance tune that could come from anywhere? There’s a place for both, although their fortunes can be very mixed.

Our friends in Greece have tried both tacks in their time, and even mixed the two up occasionally. In 1997, they were firmly in the ethnic camp, sending today’s birthday girl Μαριάννα Ζορμπά/Marianna Zorba. Her on-stage backing band (remember them?) had an assortment of instruments that [possibly] included a bunch of bizarre grapes. Marianna herself was either wearing cymbals on her fingers, or they were some exotic form of piercing. Anyway, Greece did lead for a very short time, and picked up votes from six countries – all juries. We’ll probably never get songs like Marianna’s in the 21st Century, so immerse yourself in the pleasant piece of ethnic 1990s.

Mariana is 56 today.

Χρόνια πολλά Μαριάνα!