Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s Pick of the 80s

It’s Wednesday – it’s 80s day! For today, Sophie has chosen a song from the early days of the century of shoulder pads, perms, and neon colours. The German entry of 1981, though, does not show any of those attributes. Maybe that’s just the reason why it got picked this week.

Germany 1981: Lena Valaitis – Johnny Blue (2nd place)

Make an educated guess who could have been the composer of the German entry “Johnny Blue” in 1981. Of course, the correct answer is Ralph Siegel. Who else?! There were not many German entries back in the 80s that the Eurovision legend cannot take the credit for. I would not exactly call myself a Siegel-fan – especially not when it comes to times of the San-Marino-Siegel-cooperation – but I have to admit that there are some songs from the early days that I really like. “Johnny Blue” performed by Lena Valaitis is one of them.
The song tells the sad but also uplifting story of a little blind boy who didn’t have any friends and who got picked on. But when little Johnny learned to play the guitar the miracle that is called music helped him to become confident and happy. The other people suddenly started to listen and to respect him. I think the message of the song is very beautiful. But maybe I also picked this one because it reminds me of one of my favorite German-language songs ever (unfortunately not Eurovision-related for once, but still worth listening to!). “Am Tag, als Conny Kramer starb” by Juliane Werding is a cover of the song “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by the Canadian-American roots rock group The Band and as well as “Johnny Blue” it gets me in a melancholic mood but still makes me feel hopeful at the same time which I appreciate a lot.

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