7 August – I’m singing about the people that have just discovered themselves

Is Eurovision political? Is there a fine line between a political song and one that celebrates history? Where do you draw this line?

Some countries have had more turbulent histories than others, and some very recently. Back in 1975, revolution was very fresh in Portuguese minds, and today’s birthday boy (José Henrique) Duarte Mendes sang a song about dawn. Dawn being a new start a hope of what would come after the change of government. It followed the Portuguese song in 1974 which sounded the start of the Carnation Revolution. If you know your history, the 12, 10, 8 voting started in 1975, and Duarte’s song scored 16 points. Twelve of those came from one country. No names mentioned, but that country débuted that year. And it was in Sweden – there’s that safe word again – for the first time. All in all, 1975 was a very significant year.

Duarte is 76 today.

Feliz aniversário, Duarte!