This, I submit, is another of the few good ESC songs (and performances), representing France in 1979. Cf. my comments on ESC and ESC songs here.
It is remarkable how different is the performance below from the earlier one for the selection in France. It is possible to hear that the song, written by Eddy Marnay – known for the songs he wrote for Édith Piaf and Mireille Mathieu - and Hubert Giraud, is a good one, but there is nothing remarkable about that performance. It is striking what difference this makes.
Here (below) she suddenly brings it all alive. Full of soul and inspiration, it is the performance of a lifetime, far beyond anything else in her career – like, for example, ‘Tu te reconnaîtras’, with which she had won the ESC in 1973 (I link here to the reprise version which I find slightly better than the first one).
In six years, she had grown to become a real artist. “Il a partagé le pain et mon père lui a donné un lit”; “Et tout un hiver brûlant notre amour a fait chanter la terre”; “S’il avait voulu partir je n’aurais même pas su pleurer”. Anne-Marie is breathtaking here.
In some respects the song really transcends the whole ESC format. For this reason it could not win, nor achieve the genre-specific ideal paradigmaticity of Corinne Hermès’s ‘Si la vie est cadeau’ (‘Tu te reconnaîtras’ comes closer to that).
I will come back if I remember or find more good ESC songs, but as I said in the post linked to above, I have a hard time doing so.