27 November – I’ll be begging on my knees

Is the free language rule a good thing? We have seen a clutch of good results where singers have stuck to their own tongue, but we know there’s one language that predominates above all others.

Of course, in 1998 there was no free language rule. That meant today’s birthday boy Vili Resnik had no choice but to sing in Slovene. His was what you might call an earnest ballad, and his gravelly voice really set it off. If you remember the postcard, Slovenia’s was a fruit machine that paid out when their flags came up. Sadly, Vili’s performance didn’t pay out, even though he scored from five countries, mainly from his part of our continent. Slovenia’s fortunes have been mixed since, as has their use of the free language rule. But eventually, we’re sure, we’ll see a(nother) contest in Ljubljana.

Vili is 60 today.

Srečen rojstni dan, Vili!