We know a lot about Eurovision; this is knowledge we want to share with you. Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. This time we’re going back to 1969, to the Finnish entry of that year.
Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Finland didn’t enter the top-5 in the Eurovision Song Contest so far. The best score was 7th place for Marion Rung with her “Tipi-tii” in 1962 and Lasse Mårtenson with his “Laiskotellen” two years later. There have been a lot of complaints about the contest. The Scandinavian countries claimed that they were left out by the others. However, they also voted for eachother. Another complaint was that the jury was not an expert jury. Denmark already left the contest, the other Scandinavian countries were not too keen on participating either.
Despite what is described above, the Finnish broadcaster YLE took a lot of effort in organizing a national final under the name Euroviisut. Six artists participated, among them a lot of huge stars. Three former Eurovision participants (Viktor Klimenko, Laila Kinnunen and the forementioned Marion Rung) took part. The other three contestants were about to take part one day. The contest was held on february 12th in YLE’s tv-studio in Helsinki. The contestants were:
1.Marion Rung, singing “Tuntematon sydämeni“, 6th with 1.760 votes
2.Viktor Klimenko singing “Vaari sirkuksessa“, 3rd with 36.880 votes
3.Laila Kinnunen singing “Potkis“, 4th with 17.100 votes
4.Markku Aro singing “Sanoin“, 5th with 5.260 votes
5.Katri Helena singing “Maailman pihamaat“, 2nd with 42.160 votes
6.Jarkko & Laura singing “Kun silloin ennen“, 1st with 88.040 votes
Jarkko & Laura
So the duo Jarkko ja Laura where the clear winners with the song “Kuin siloin ennen”. The duo was made up of Jarkko Antikainen and Laura Ruotsalo. The two met when they sang in a trio called The Hobbyguys. In 1966, they had their breakthrough as a duo, with a song Laura wrote: “Meidän laulumme“. A lot of hits followed, a Finnish version of Esther & Abi Ofarim’s “Cinderella Rockefella” (“Rakkahin Rokkefeller”) being one of the most remarkable ones. In 1974 they quit singing as a duo on a regular basis, as Jarkko started his own company. The two married in 1975. Laura made a solo album in 2004. The duo still performs every now and then.
1969 was the only time they took part in the national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The song and performance
“Kuin silloin ennen” means “Like in those days”. “Like in those days, everyhting’s well again”, is what the duo sang. The full lyrics of the song can be found here. Both were dressed like “in those days”: both had a suit in burgundy. Laura had a necklace, Jarkko a straw had and a walking stick. The song contained a part where the sound of tap dancing could be heard. However, this tap dancing was not performed by the two.
“Kuin silloin ennen” was not among the favorites in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest. Six countries all awarded it with one vote: Luxembourg, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and Germany. This was enough for a 12th place. The results, however, were a controversy: four countries (Spain, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and France) won the contest, countries that were already quite succesfull. Again, the Scandinavian countries did not reach the top. Finland was one of many countries that decided not to participate in the 1970 contest because of this result.