Top Spanish Eurovision Songs for Fiesta Nacional de España
October 12 is Fiesta Nacional de España, the national day of Spain which marks Christopher Columbus's first arrival in the Americas. It is also known as Hispanic Day or Día de la Hispanidad.
To celebrate, Aussievision contributors have chosen their favourite song of all time from Spain who has competed 59 times in the contest for two victories. Let's begin:
'Dancing in the Rain' - Ruth Lorenzo (201th, 2014) - chosen by Steve
Coming 10th in Copenhagen at the contest in 2014 – a year dominated by two other divas (Sweden’s Saana Nielsen and Queen Conchita of Austria) – Ruth Lorenzo achieved Spain’s joint best result over the past 15 years, showcasing her powerhouse vocals and demonstrating some admirable hairography despite the titular deluge she appears to have been soaked by.
I’ll admit to a certain pro-Lorenzo bias dating back to her stunning rendition of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ on The X Factor – UK six years earlier, but I think her live performance on the Eurovision stage speaks for itself. Combining English with Spanish (a move not without controversy nationally), Ruth’s passion and vocal gymnastics secured España a deserve “left-hand-side-of-the-board” result.
'La, la, la' - Massiel (1st, 1968) - chosen by Fleur
Spain's first winner would have to be my favourite Spanish entry. I don't mind 1960's music, and this song is quite catchy like many songs from that era. It also helps that "La, la, la" is an easy song to sing along to if you don't know Spanish.
Massiel is probably best known for defeating Cliff Richard by one point to win the competition. However since it is Eurovision, of course there was controversy involved. Massiel was not the original singer of the song. That was Joan Manuel Serrat who insisted on performing in Catalan. Spain was under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in those days and he was against Serrat's stance so Massiel was chosen as Spain's representative.Ah politics, hey. Well regardless, she won and Spain also had their first top 5 song in the contest. Massiel went on to have a long singing career and also appeared in a couple of stage productions.
Can I say "Congratulations"?
'I Love You Mi Vida' - D'Nash (20th, 2007) - chosen by Liv
My 11-year-old mind actually desintigrated the first time I saw this - I never knew I needed the Spanish Backstreet Boys till now. This staging stood out on the night and I still think is one of the best dance numbers to grace Eurovision. Certified banger.
'La Venda' - Miki (22nd, 2019) - chosen by Emma
Miki’s La Venda (The Blindfold) is my favourite Spanish entry simply because I enjoy listening and attempting to sing along to the studio version. Whilst the lyrics appear to make little sense when translated into English, the song is about removing the blindfold of prejudice and enjoying life...a theme very in keeping with what Eurovision is all about. La Venda is a catchy party tune that could get almost anyone up on the dance floor. The revamped Eurovision version seemed to lose some of its authenticity and divided fans, with many preferring the original version (myself included). Unfortunately for Spain the song only finished in 22nd place, but this song has major happy vibes and for this reason I never tire of listening to it!
'Vivo Cantando' - Salomé (=1st, 1969) - chosen by Mike
For me, any Spanish Eurovision list would not be complete without the amazing Salomé and Vivo Cantando. A joint 4 way winner in Madrid 1969, Salomé is still Spain's last champion 50 years on. The song itself oozes that bouncy big-band 1960s vibe, so popular at 60s Eurovision Contests, and is expertly performed by the Barcelona-born singer. Almost as famous as the song itself is the iconic Pertegaz designed Chalk Blue pantsuit Salomé wore on the night. Weighing 14kgs, it featured long porcelain cylinders that gave the outfit a brilliant fringing effect that swayed whenever she moved. Although dancing was strictly against Eurovision rules in 1969, Salomé still managed to cavort on the spot enough for the outfit to shimmer its way into Eurovision history. ¡Olé!
'Baila El Chiki Chiki' - Rodolfo Chikilicuatre (16th, 2007) - chosen by Kyriakos
It is one of those entries that you either love it or really hate it. But for me it’s a reminder that Eurovision needs to be fun and quirky at times. The act was selected through MySpace under the project name “Let’s Save Eurovision”. Unfortunately the weird, freaky and cheeky but ultimately iconic performance couldn’t save Spain ending up at 16th place. Surprisingly though over the last 15 years it is Spain’s fourth best placed Eurovision entry. It may not have aged well but it is definitely an ear worm that squirms in your brain and gets stuck there.
Filled with jokes and absurdities which references ‘¿Por qué no te callas?’ which translates to “Shut up, will you?. ..Why Don’t you shut up?” a phrase uttered by the King of Spain to the Venezuelan President at a 2007 summit in Chile while the Venezuelan president repeatedly interrupted the Prime Minister of Spain’s speech. The King’s remarks gained cult status. The song also references some famous Spaniards, the Macarena song, Michael Jackson and RoboCop. It charted No.1 in Spain and Greece and during a trip to Greece over the summer of 2008 it was played everywhere especially at beach bars. It kind of stuck with me and reminds me of the good times in Greece.
'Say Yay' - Barei (22nd place, 2016) - chosen by Alyce
One thing that often makes me love a Eurovision Song is whether it’s a boppy song that I can’t help but dance along to. This is the reason I love Spain’s 2016 entry Say Yay entry so much. It’s a fun catchy song that you just can’t help but dance along to. In hindsight, this was an underrated song that should have finished higher than 22nd
'Nacida para amar' - Nina (6th, 1989) - chosen by Dale
I am a big fan of Eurovision in the 80s and Spain served up some crackers during the decade. The best in my opinion was this stellar ballad by Nina. The song translates as 'Born to Love' and starts with the lyrics 'Shut up, kiss me' which is a winning first line in its own right.
Ok the crushed pink dress with black bowties (and matching black gloves and pink bowties) isn't a great look, but it's all about Nina's voice and her engaging delivery, you can't help but like her and want her to do well (and if you don't, you have no soul). There is a pretty annoying strand of hair throughout the performance, but by the end you only remember her incredible. She finished 6th on the night with a third of the juries putting her in their top 3.
Amanecer - Edurne (21st, 2015) - chosen by Laura
Amanecer represents many of the elements I love about Eurovision - the drama, the copious wind machine use, the orchestral instrumentation, the costume reveal, the way Edurne transforms into a tiger in the music video, the drama, the hand gestures, the climax, the big notes, the choreography, and did I mention the DRAMA?! The way this song builds from the opening piano to the full orchestral finish, accented by strings and punctuated by drums, the movement and driving pulse it has is fantastic, and Edurne’s powerful voice completes it. I love how incredibly EXTRA this song is, and thus it is my favourite Spanish entry. And to top it off, she’s singing about the desperation of a lost love - what could be more Eurovision than that?! Amanecer is Spanish for ‘dawn’ and it should have marked the dawn of a new era of Spanish glory at Eurovision, but alas, it was not to be, coming a mere 21st on the Eurovision 2015 scoreboard. In this author’s opinion, Amanecer aged like a fine wine and was so unbelievably robbed.
Quédate Conmigo - Pastora Soler (10th, 2012) - Honourable mention
We didn't have an Aussievision contributor put this as their number one, but many people put it as their 'reserve'. So we feel it needs an honourable mention, it finished 10th in 2012 with an incredible vocal and constantly finishing in the top 10 in the ESC250 annual countdown.
So those are our the 10 songs in Spanish Eurovision history loved by Aussievision contributors, they have served us up some great entries that perhaps have deserved better over the years. They haven't won since 1969 and they'll be hoping their 2020 entrant Blas Canto can change that result.