Editorials & Opinion

Portugal’s 10 best Eurovision entries of all-time

What an exciting week, don’t you think? The next hosting city was announced, the dates are out, and you can finally plan your travel to Lisbon. Get yourself ready for some Pastéis de Nata and don’t forget your sunscreen at home: you will need it! With Portugal’s long history at Eurovision, many good songs were sent. What do you think about taking a look at Portugal’s 10 best entries? Vamos a isso!

1 Point goes to “Bem bom” – Doce – 1982

Doce have tried to represent Portugal twice before 1982, and they finally managed to win the passport to Eurovision with “Bem Bom”. The song talks about a love adventure that lasts during all night. With the amount of times that they sing “Very good”, it must have been a really fun adventure. Between “two fingers of magic” at 2am, and a “breakfast for two” at 8am, Doce leaded Portugal to a 13th place, a result that didn’t correspond to the Portuguese hopes. The extravagant looks, their beauty and the catchy song gave Doce a very successful journey. Bem Bom, Hey!

2 Points go to “Deixa-me sonhar” – Rita Guerra – 2003

In 2003 RTP decided to give some rest to the traditional Festival da Canção. A clever move, I must say. Rita Guerra was internally selected to represent Portugal, and the Portuguese public was able to choose between three songs. About the final ranking, I’m sorry but a 22nd for this touching ballad is a crime. You probably don’t know the male backup singer. He was Beto, an incredible singer who had an amazing career. Unfortunately he left us too soon. “Deixa-me sonhar” was pearl between a bunch of poor entries sent by Portugal during those years.

3 Points go to “Lusitana Paixão” – Dulce Pontes – 1991

In 1991 Dulce Pontes has put an end to a very dark period on what it comes to the Portuguese results. Well, the whole Portuguese journey at the contest was a dark period with some exceptions. Sometimes we were able to see the light and that’s what happened with “Lusitana Paixão”.A strong ballad sang by the talented Dulces Pontes, who has conquered a beautiful career inside and outside Portugal. Besides the great voice, she is able to pass emotions when she sings and that’s what defines an artist. One of the many great songs that competed in 1991, a year that remains to be one of the strongest ever.

4 Points go to “Conquistador” – Da Vinci – 1989

There is no party or karaoke in Portugal without this song. Well, I could say that I can’t understand the bad result, but I think I do. I guess that the international juries didn’t like the lyrics about the Portuguese colonial history. That’s the only justification that I can think about to understand the 16th place. Dear friend, there were not even five better songs, so don’t tell me that the result was just fine. Don’t break my heart like that. The song was great, was modern and was well performed. As the song says, we have been to Brazil, Praia, Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Macau, Timor, and now it is your turn to come to Portugal next year. Just let your heart be conquered by the wonders of Lisbon.

5 Points go to “Chamar a música” – Sara Tavares – 1994

Oh…my childhood! Is it too bad if I tell you that this song almost brings to tears? I used to listen to this song when I was a child, and this makes me feel so nostalgic. Such a sweet song, with a fantastic poem written by the talented Rosa Lobato Faria. One of the many great ballads that we sent during the 90’s, our golden years. Sara’s fantastic interpretation makes me forget everything, and during those three minutes I look like a little child who has just received a candy.

6 Points go to “O meu coração não tem cor” – Lúcia Moniz – 1996

Oh, 1996…what a wonderful year. I guess we were one of the few countries to receive 12 points from Cyprus. There are no perfect relationships, and in 1996 Cyprus cheated on Greece, giving to Portugal its love. And who says love, says 12 points to Portugal. Well, can you think of a better way to confess your love for someone than saying “You are my 12 points!”? I can’t. To be honest, before being a Eurovision fan I didn’t even know that Lúcia Moniz was a singer. I always knew her as an actress. This colourful, happy song gave to Portugal a respectful 6th place, for which Lucia’s sympathy and charisma were essential. Who doesn’t enjoy some folk music?

7 Points go to “Amar pelos dois” – Salvador Sobral – 2017

Salvador did this year what we all thought that was impossible. Once I heard the song for the first time I knew that it was special. However, I must confess that in the national semi-final I voted for someone else. I was afraid that it was too different for Eurovision. Fortunately I was wrong and sent him all my votes at the Grand Final of Festival da Canção. I always knew that the opinions about this song would never be consensual. Personally, I think that his victory can influence positively the contest. But who am I, anyway? A brilliant interpretation by a fantastic singer to whom I will never be able to thank enough for what he did. 53 years of waiting ended this May.

8 Points go to “Senhora do mar” – Vânia Fernandes – 2008

There is no way that I can listen to this song without getting goosebumps. Everyone was hoping for a victory, or at least for a very decent result. The 13th place felt like cold water, that once again extinguished the so fragile Eurovision flame in Portugal. I was just 10 years old and I never forgot the disappointment that we felt at home. What was wrong this time? I don’t know. This was our first good song since 2003, and as “Deixa-me sonhar”, it was ignored by the Eurovision public. A song that says a lot about the Portuguese sea tradition and a beautiful tribute to all the lives that were lost during all this years. “He is not sailing anymore, and nobody sees you crying, Lady of the Sea”. I love you Vânia! Just return to Eurovision and make us proud.

10 Points go to “Desfolhada Portuguesa” – Simone de Oliveira – 1969

You know what? At high school, I used to listen to this song with my classmate during the philosophy classes. This used to happen for two reasons: the song was really good, and the classes were really boring. Who cares about Socrates when you can listen to this masterpiece? The song became an icon of the Portuguese music and Simone de Oliveira a diva. She is not afraid to say what she thinks. Only a woman with courage would sing “Who conceives a child, does it for pleasure” in front of a conservative Catholic country. Many still wonder how the dictatorship allowed those lyrics, and so do I. The 15th place means nothing for a song that still lives after almost fifty years. That’s the best prize that she could get.

12 Points go to “A festa da vida” – Carlos Mendes – 1972

It’s not a usual choice, I know. But what is life without some surprises? It’s not easy to choose only one song from 49 attempts, especially when they are all so different. “A Festa da vida” translates as “The party of life” and that’s the reason why this song has for me a very ironic connotation. After all, Portugal was being ruled by a dictatorship and was fighting in the Colonial war, so there were not many reasons to party. “May wars be forgotten thanks to love” – the song just asks you to take life as a party. It doesn’t matter what is going on around you: just be happy and ignore all the negativity. Carlos Mendes did a splendid performance and brought to Portugal it’s best result until that year. So, ladies and gentlemen, this is it. Take the message of the song as a life lesson, and just live your life as if it is one big party. No time to lose.

Do you agree with my 10 favourite Portuguese entries? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below and via our social media pages @ESCXTRA!

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