"J'aime la vie" (French pronunciation: [ʒɛm(ə) la vi]; "I Love Life") was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1986, performed for Belgium by Sandra Kim. Belgium had finished the 1985 contest in last place, and thus achieved the rare turnaround from last to first in the space of one year. The song also marks the only time to date that Belgium has won the contest. The song was also included on Kim's album J'aime la vie in 1986. When released as a single, it topped Belgium's singles chart for seven weeks and was the country's best-selling hit of 1986, and it also reached the top 20 in Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.
|"J'aime la vie"|
|Single by Sandra Kim|
|English title||"Crazy of Life" (first version)|
"J'aime la vie" (second version)
|B-side||"On n'oublie pas"|
|Sandra Kim singles chronology|
|Eurovision Song Contest 1986 entry|
|◄ "Laat me nu gaan" (1985)|
|"Soldiers of Love" (1987) ►|
Performed in French, the song is a positive one, dealing with the pleasure to be had in life.
During Preview Week, Kim sang the song with the common theme of "things she likes" intact throughout. In the video, she does many things which she finds enjoyable, which include partaking in physical education class, hanging out with friends, listening to her Walkman, buying a big ice cream cone, and performing a choreographed dance in an exercise studio.
Performance at the Eurovision Song Contest 1986Edit
At Bergen, the song was performed thirteenth on the night, following Ireland's Luv Bug with "You Can Count On Me" and preceding Germany's Ingrid Peters with "Über Die Brücke Geh'n". Its winning tally was 176 points, finishing first in a field of 20. The entry received points from every jury.
In the lyrics, Kim describes herself as being "fifteen", although she was later proven to be only thirteen at the time of her performance. She thus remains the youngest ever Eurovision winner and one of the youngest-ever performers at the contest. Her record is unlikely to be challenged, as the Contest rules were changed to specify that performers must turn at least 16 in the year that they perform. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, the Swiss (who had placed 2nd) petitioned to have the Belgian win nullified after Kim's age was revealed.
Kim, herself of Italian descent, also recorded her winning entry in Italian (with the same title as the original French, "J'aime la vie") and English (two versions, the first "Crazy of Life", the second with the same title as the original French, "J'aime la vie").
In a 2006 online interview with 12points.be, Kim was asked if she sings "J'aime la vie" "with pleasure" at concerts and events now, to which she responded, "Not always." She then said, "It's a little girl's song, with little girl's lyrics, with a young adolescent's atmosphere. Nowadays, singing 'J'aime la vie'... do you like life every day? Me neither." She does however continue to perform the song, and in 2007 one of the performances was televised live on Norwegian TV.
- "J'aime la vie" – 3:00
- "Ne m'oublie pas" – 4:39
"J'aime la vie"
- Written by R. Marino-Atria/J.F. Furnemont-A. Crisci
- Arranged by J.P. Lebens
- Produced by Marino
"On n'oublie pas"
- Written by R. Marino-Atria/J.F. Furnemont-A. Crisci-A. Bertrand
- Engineered L. Tylgat
- "Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- Video interview with 12points.be
- "Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 26. 5 July 1986. p. 12. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 24, 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Top 3 in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 28. 19 July 1986. p. 14. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Sandra Kim – J'aime la vie". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Jaaroverzichten 1986" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
- "Eurochart Hot 100 of the Year 1986" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 51–52. 27 December 1986. p. 28-29. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 4 October 2021 – via American Radio History.
- "Single top 100 over 1986" (PDF) (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1986" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 22 October 2020.