It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the 1990s. It’s Rodrigo‘s turn today and he has decided to introduce you to one of his favourites from the whole decade.
Croatia 1998: Danijela – Neka mi ne svane (5th place)
Hands down the best Croatian entry of all time and miles ahead of anything else that graced Birmingham’s stage on 9 May 1998, Neka Mi Ne Svane emerged as a dark horse and ended up in a disappointing 5th position on the night. Disappointing not so much for the result but because of what finished ahead of it.
I would argue that the beauty of this song lies in its simplicity. There’s no need to overdo anything, the subtlety with which the message is delivered is beauty beyond words and Danijela gives it a touch of sweetness that makes for a sublime three minutes. The lyrics, once translated, are just a scream of passion and the music is perfectly composed, making it not only the best Croatian entry ever but one of the best songs of the whole decade.
There is obviously no way of proving this, but intuition tells me that with today’s rules this would have been a landslide winner more countries voting and a jury/televote combo would have lifted this up above the wildly undeserving winner. I still, as of today, cannot for my life understand how Dana International was able to defeat Danijela (or Imaani, Chiara and Edsilia, for that matter!). ‘Neka…’ also suffered from a short supply of friendly vote, with both Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina out of competition that year. Those almost certain 24 points wouldn’t have made it a winner, but they surely would have boosted it up.
Danijela had her last hit in the summer of 2012, when she released ‘Brodolom‘, which was a smashing summer success and has a hilarious video. The lyrics have a word game with a man’s boat being too small… you join the dots!