* OK, the anniversary show is not on for another couple of hours yet here, so for god's sake, don't tell me the results. :) *

Minouche Barelli - Boum Badaboum - Eurovision 1967

Minouche Barelli - Boum Badaboum

Minouche Barelli - Boum Badaboum (English version) (1967)

This was the second Eurovision song composed by Serge Gainsbourg, and it placed fifth for Monaco in 1967. The winning entry by Sandie Shaw is rather awful, and this should definitely have won in my opinion. Although I'm sure the subject matter (the song passionately avows wanting to get the most of of life before getting wiped out by an atomic bomb) didn't make the song entirely palatable to all the judges. In case you can't make out the lyrics in the English version, you can see read them here. I think the original French lyrics (here, with the English translation) are even more morbid, actually.

You'll notice at the beginning of the video, the conductor is Aimé Barelli, who is her father. Minouche was just 20 at this time, and I can't imagine a better vocalist could have been chosen to perform this. Her big voice really puts the 'boum!' in this song, and her performance is phenomenal. Minouche died early last year, aged just 56.

If you don't already have Ultra Chicks 5, track down a copy... not only are all the songs are fantastic, it includes 'Boum Badaboum' (the French version).

Joëlle Ursull - White and Black Blues

Joëlle Ursull - White and Black Blues (1990)

Gainsbourg's third and final contribution to Eurovision was in 1990 for Joelle Ursull for France, and took second place. It's a pretty weak song, but I'm posting it for anyone who's curious:

Joëlle on AllMusic

Étienne Daho & Dani - Comme Un Boomerang Gainsbourg also wrote 'Comme Un Boomerang', a song intended for entry into 1975's Eurovision, but which was deemed too risqué by the French judges and was rejected. A few blurbs in French seem to mention that the song continued a theme started in the song 'Boomerang' from the film Anna, but I'm not certain on that.

A rough translation is here [page gone] - you can see this song is again not quite as light-hearted as most Eurovision songs! It was written especially for French singer/model/girl-about-town Dani, who hadn't had much luck on the Eurovision front, having missed out on competing the year before after France pulled out due to the death of President Pompidou.

Fortunately Dani finally got her chance to shine on this track, when Étienne Daho resurrected it in 2001:


Serge Gainsbourg

  1. Étienne Daho and Dani - Comme un boomerang (2001)
  2. Serge Gainsbourg - Comme un boomerang (1974)

Serge's own performance (a live studio recording, I think?) of the song is superb. It seems it appeared on a compilation of unreleased tracks, entitled Inédits 1958-1981, but I can't find much on it, except for a mention of it in this French article.

France Gall & Serge GainsbourgWhile I was looking up info on 'Comme Un Boomerang', I stumbled upon an answer to my question from a while back about why France Gall worked with Gainsbourg again after 'Les Sucettes':

Je suis retournée le voir à ce moment-là parce que rien ne marchait et il a gentiment accepté de m'écrire ces deux chansons. Les textes étaient parfaits mais ce n'était pas ce que j'attendais. Je n'étais pas heureuse de les enregistrer. C'est là que je me suis rendu compte qu'il avait dit tout ce qu'il avait à dire avec moi. En fait il ne m'a jamais connue. Ce qui l'intéressait c'était ce qu'il projetait sur moi. (Serge Gainsbourg Official Site).

From what I can understand (with a bit of Babelfish help), she says there that she returned to him because she wasn't working, and he kindly agreed to write two songs for her. The next bit I don't entirely get - is she saying the lyrics were perfect, but she had to wait for them? She says she wasn't happy to record them and that she realised he didn't know her at all, and that what she found interesting was what he projected onto her.

My Poupées De Son feature (top right-hand corner of this page) has been updated with an mp3 of France's live Eurovision performance.

.... still hoping someone can help me out with a list of what I've put up so far. pretty please?

That's it for my Eurovision Special for now, but I might post a few random songs over the next few weeks. Feel free to keep sending any requests for past Eurovision songs.

Comments (15)

  • Julzin  
    France Gall: "nothing was working " could imply she wasn't working, in this context.. then: "the texts were perfect but not what I was expecting." then you're right, except that "What interested *him* was what he projected onto her." --- minor diffs, pedantry, sorry.
    • Christine  
      Thanks Julzin - and don't worry, it was helpful not pedantic :).

      I also left out that she says he'd said all he had to say with her.

      I've just watched the whole Eurovision special - the first half was kitsch brilliance, the second half was excruciating. :D I now have a few new favourites from the old clips they showed.
  • Bruno  
    The commentators (both male and female) on Belgian tv were great fun.They were like : (male)so if You want to vote for like Johnny Logan that's number... and then (female) and why not France Gall,number 9,hihi!or when the 5 finalists were announced and the last one had to be announced (female)come-on Fraance!And then when she didn't make it : (male)You just knew they wouldn't pick her and (female) yeah,yeah whatever..
  • Scott Salsman  
    This is my new favorite blog, and you're my new best friend.
  • Christine  
    scott 1.thanks and 2. ah, if you say so... :o ;)
    Bruno - sounds funny. I don't know who the commentators were on our TV - they kept getting excited over anything Irish, but they didn't sound Irish. Weird. But they were pretty funny.
    I think I have the full list of the Poupee covers - the only one I was missing was Marijke Merckns - De Modepop.
  • Roar  
    Hi:) The "inedits" album by Gainsbourg is part of the "Gainsbourg forever" 17/18 CD box released a few years ago in France. It includes all studio albums by Gainsbourg, a few off-album tracks (not exclusive to this box), concert recordings from the early 60s (also available as a separate album - have a look at amazon.fr), and a rare tracks CD (the "inedits" CD), which is only available in this box and cannot be purchased separately. The box is still available at www.fnac.fr, and www.priceminister.com. Personally I just don't get why one doesn't compile all his off-(studio)album material in one box: rare tracks, EPs, soundtracks, songs written for and performed by other artists (excluding entire albums). Because the Gainsbourg boxes released the last 10-15 years leave too many gaps. Bloody annoying!
    • Christine  
      thanks for that info, roar. and i agree re: the compilations.
      a reader has let me know that 'comme un boomerang' is not actually included in 'gainsbourg forever'.
      back soon everyone!
      • Roar  
        With regards to the "Gainsbourg forever" box: the reader is probably right about "comme un boomerang" missing in the above-mentioned Gainsbourg box. From what I understand two editions of it were released (though it's damned hard to find precise information about this, including track lists); the one I have contains 17 CDs and no "comme un boomerang." Given two editions exist, it might appear the exclusive one contains a rare track CD with 20-something songs (or so I've always believed - and I always believed the goodies were to be found in the other edition), my rare track CD only has 15 songs, including the marvellous "Mr William" and "Ah! si vous connaissiez ma poule." I'll be happy to send you these songs, if you're interested. As for the re-release of Gainsbourg's catalogue: the main catalogue is easy to find, but the essential off-album material is often ignored. So one ends up having double and in some cases triple sets of his songs in order to complete one's collection. Very expensive and very frustrating. So I was very happy to find the "comme un boomerang" here and would be happy to contribute with the harder-to-find material (that is, that of it which I have), should this be interesting at all. The missing songs bugs me intensely. Roar :)
  • sampsa  
    Hi... i've been searchin everywhere the video of farnce gall in the eurovision contest with poupée de son... Anyone who has it, please send it, i'd be most gratefull!!!
    • bruno  
      Hi,it's up for the moment on my blog. Have fun!
  • Gerry  
    Hi Christine ! Just a small comment on that France Gall quote, concerning her return to Serge Gainsbourg... With "nothing was working", she means that she had no success in those years (1970 to 1972) and the two songs by Serge Gainsbourg she is referring to, are "Frankenstein" und "Les petits ballons", released as a single in 1972, very rare, a real collector's item nowadays, but to be honest, rather boring (especially the B side). This was just for everyone who is curious... :-)
    Cheers: Gerry
  • ion  
    It didn't win, but the best Eurovision entrant I've heard (not that I know a lot of them) is "Ding Ding Dong" by Teach In (Netherlands, 1975). I heard an obscure Swedish band named Aba (spelling?) also won. Perhaps you could post something by them sometime, so I could hear what they sound like.
  • Christine  
    Thanks Gerry. Since 'marcher' also means going (as in functioning/working) and it's an expression I've come across when people are talking about music success, I guessed that must mean nothing's charting (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Same as we might say in English 'nothing's taking off'. I actually really like those two Gainsbourg songs, it's the last stuff of hers I like. I posted them earlier, which is where I originally asked why did she return to Gainsbourg, but didn't find an answer till now.

    Ion - very funny. Be careful what you wish for (nah, just kidding, I'm not going to post ABBA).

    Roar - thanks for that info. I'll happily accept anything you want to send my way, especially 'Ah! si vous connaissiez ma poule'.
  • Kate  
    I know you have just about everything, but if you don't have it yet, I can send you Boum Badaboum in Italian....

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