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"Ding-a-dong" (original Dutch title: "Ding dinge dong", as it was introduced in the titles when broadcast) was the title of the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1975. It was sung by Teach-In, representing the Netherlands, and was written by Dick Bakker, Will Luikinga, and Eddy Ouwens. The song reached number 1 in both the Swiss and the Norwegian Singles Chart.
French 7" single cover
|Eurovision Song Contest 1975 entry|
Will Luikinga, Eddy Ouwens
|◄ "I See a Star" (1974)|
|"The Party's Over" (1976) ►|
"Ding-a-dong" was notable for being one of the Eurovision winners that had quirky or entirely nonsensical titles or lyrics, following in the footsteps of Massiel's "La La La" in 1968 and Lulu's "Boom Bang-a-Bang" in 1969, later followed by the Herreys' "Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" in 1984. "Ding-a-dong" was performed first on the performance night (preceding Ireland's The Swarbriggs with "That's What Friends Are For"). The song was the first winner under the now-familiar Eurovision voting system whereby each country awards scores of 1-8, 10 and 12. At the close of voting, it had received 152 points, placing first in a field of nineteen. As the first song performed during the evening, the victory ran contrary to the fact that success usually went to songs performed later in the broadcast. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor's The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, this was the first of three occasions when the first song would win the contest, the second coming the following year in 1976, and the third in 1984.
The song, performed entirely in English, was an up-tempo ode to positive thought; though the song is written entirely in a minor key. The band sings that one should "sing a song that goes ding ding-a-dong" when one is feeling unhappy, and continues "Ding-a-dong every hour, when you pick a flower. Even when your lover is gone, gone, gone." On the night of the Dutch National Song Contest, with the song already having been selected, Albert West and Debbie competed with Teach-In for the honour of performing.
In the original Dutch version the "ding-a-dong" describes the heartbeat of the singer remembering the separation from her lover in the past. As well as "ding-a-dong", the lyrics also contain "bim-bam-bom" representing a fearful heartbeat and "tikke-(tikke)-tak" for the ticking of the clock while waiting for the lover to return:
- Is ‘t lang geleden? Dat mijn hart je riep met z’n ding-dinge-dong?
- Is ‘t lang geleden? Is ‘t lang geleden? In de zomerzon ging het bim-bam-bom.
- Tikke-tak gingen uren, hoelang zou ‘t duren?
- Is it long ago? That my heart called you with its ding-ding-a-dong?
- Is it long ago? Is it long ago? In the summer sun it went bim-bam-bom.
- Tick tock went the hours, how long would it take?
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||64|
|UK Singles Chart||13|
|Dutch Singles Chart||3|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||1|
|Irish Singles Chart||8|
|US Easy Listening||22|
|Single by beFour|
|from the album Friends 4 Ever|
|Released||17 April 2009|
|Songwriter(s)||Will Luikinga, Eddy Ouwens|
|BeFour singles chronology|
Edwyn Collins did a cover of the song for Eurotrash. "Ding-a-Dong" was also recorded by German band beFour for their fourth studio album Friends 4 Ever and released as the second single in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
|German Singles Chart||61|
- O'Connor, J. K. (2007), The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, UK: Carlton Books, ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- Zhuk, Alexandr (September 5, 2017). Encyclopedia of Hungarian rock. Volume one. Litres. ISBN 9785457918016 – via Google Books.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. p. 306. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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