Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s Pick of the Comebacks: 50s/60s

After all the comebacks announced in the last few days, our picks from this week will feature the best and worst comebacks of all the decades! First off is Matteo‘s pick.

Switzerland 1958 – Lys Assia – Giorgio (2nd place)

She was the first one to win. And like Valentina Monetta, she came back two years in a row to represent her country (not the same thing, I know). After singing both songs representing Switzerland in 1956 (same as Michèle Arnaud for Luxembourg), she was also asked to represent the neutral country in 1957 and 1958. That probably makes her the Queen of Comebacks: Corry Brokken from the Netherlands came back in ’57 and ’58 too – but was not considered for the second song in 1956.
Plus: keep in mind that she came back on the Eurovision stage after winning and coming 8th (out of 10) – and nailing it again with a second place. This confirms her as the reigning queen of comebacks.
Lys Assia’s song is remarkably old fashioned – and that is why I like it. It talks about a lady meeting her lover Giorgio – but don’t worry. He is a nice guy, he comes from Ascona, on the Swiss side of the Lake Maggiore – he’s no Italian!
They spend a weekend on the Lake (as she likes to repeat throughout the song) and the song even tells us that the menu of the quick trip was risotto, polenta and wine. Which are all northern Italian/south Swiss plates – see how traditional Giorgio is?
A bit of transgression is in place though: the couple are at the restaurant, in the main square of Ascona. And when the waiter comes to take their orders he believes they’ll be going for simple coffee. But no! Lys and Giorgio will have some more wine!
Songs with this kind of narrative don’t exist anymore (thankfully), but we end on a spicy note: Giorgio takes Lys on a boat trip. And it’s all so suggestive that makes her sigh – letting us all know what happened then.
Arrivederci bella bionda! – “Goodbye my beautiful blondie!” Giorgio says while leaving her. Who knows if they met again afterwards…

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