Anne-Marie David: Je suis l’enfant soleil

This, I submit, is one of the few good ESC songs (and performances), representing France in Israel in 1979.

It’s remarkable how different is the performance below from the earlier one for the selection in France. It’s 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’s nothing remarkable about that performance. It’s striking what difference this makes.

Here (below), Anne-Marie suddenly brings it all alive. Full of soul and inspiration, it’s the performance of a lifetime, far beyond anything else in her brief 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 an artist. “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 perhaps transcends the ESC format. For this reason it couldn’t win, nor achieve the format- or genre-specific ideal paradigmaticity of that time, as exemplified by Corinne Hermès’s ‘Si la vie est cadeau’ (‘Tu te reconnaîtras comes closer to that).

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