Finland celebrates its 100th year as an independent state and has ever since searched for its place in Europe and the world, between East and West. Sometimes with less success. As we speak in 1939 we were at war again with Soviet Union but - let's make a huge change of subject here - since 1961 Finland has been taking part in the Eurovision song contest (and we also took part, and won twice, the copycat contest behind the Iron curtain, Intervision song contest). It may have taken awhile before we won, but it never stopped us taking part. EBU did, in those crazy 1990's-early 2000's.
Let's look back in coming days as a countdown to the Big Day some of the most memorable and significant entries from Finland.....
In 1993 YLE was again rather desperate and decided to go for a small scale national final with four invited ladies each with two songs. Katri Helena, ever so popular, won with a very Finnish song Tule luo with accordeon and all. The bule and white voice sent shivers down the spine with the magnificiant orchestration (the year it was another story, check the previous post). Despite placing only 17th it was a success..
Sonja Lumme delivered one of the most perfect Eurovision entries with Eläköön elämä in 1985 and hopes were high. Once again Finland was drawn as numer two in the running order and she finished somewhat disappointing 9th place. However, one of the best Finnish performances ever, despite some local critics for the lyrics full of ä's and ö's....
It finally happened. Hell froze over. In 2006 Finns sent Lordi with Hard rock hallelujah to Athens and the rest is history. After 45 long years Finland won, and what a win it was: most countries placed Finland in top-3 and Lordi broke the record of points received until then and they became overnight heroes in Finland. Over 800.000 people gathered to their Welcome party at the Market Square in Helsinki and they charted all over Europe - the last physical single, btw. From 2007 it was all about digital platform charts, so much easier to peak everywhere. Just saying. Anyways, it wasn't all roses for Lordi pre-Athens. Half the nation was raging with disgust and so ashamed some swore they will eat a hat full of sh*t or leave the country if we really let them go and represent us..... Of course the next day they all loved them and said they supported them from the beginning. Yeah. Right. Whatever. Thi blogger was a proud supporter from the beginning.
Katri Helena, the official blue and white voice, the real and most beloved voice of Finland. The most Finnish singer of them all. No wonder she's singing tonight at the President's reception, the Party of a century, in honor of #SuomiFinland100. She finally got to Eurovision back in 1979 after several attemps and sung her heart out in her Katson sineen taivaan, a celebration of Finland and it's blue skies and one's longing for home in this wide world. A true classic. And the perfect ending to this series of post. And last night snow fell so it's white and sunny like in the video!
Happy 100th Finland!