Eurovision 1969: France’s Frida Boccara in focus

The Eurovision Song Contest 1969 gave us one of the most exciting voting results in the history of the contest. France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands were all declared winners. 51 years later, many Eurovision fans still love the French entry.

The Eurovision Song Contest 1969 took place in Madrid, Spain. France decided to internally select their act. Frida Boccara got the right to represent her country with the song Un Jour, Un Enfant (A day, a child) a ballad about the wonders of the world from the perspective of a little child. By the end of the night four countries had the highest number of points: France, Spain, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom. After a moment of confusion onstage, Frida Boccara was declared the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1969 together with Salomé from Spain, Lenny Kuhr from the Netherlands and Lulu from the United Kingdom.

Should the current tie-breaking rules have existed in 1969, France would have won the contest. According to the rules, the country that received points from the most number of countries would win. This would reduce the tie between Spain and France. However, France received four points from two countries. On the other hand, Spain’s highest points were three points from three countries.

Un Jour, Un Enfant- opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this French entry from 1969, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇳🇴 Robert I. – Wow. What a beautiful entry! Why haven’t I heard this song played more often? Already after a few seconds I could hear that this is music of the absolute highest quality. And what a great artist. It’s plain excellence in all it’s simplicity, Frida Boccara alone on stage performing this jewel of a song. Oh, I wish we could get entries like this back in Eurovision.

🇫🇷 Bernard D. – Frida Boccara was a great singer in France.  Un Jour, Un Enfant was a standard of the French variety. The author and the composer also participated in the heyday of song in France. Great classic voice and music, beautiful text. This song is a poem, and I love it.

🇬🇧 🇹🇭 John E. – What an amazing voice and a song sung with great conviction. Sadly, not understanding the lyrics means the impact is lessened for me. I love the simplicity of the presentation and the live orchestra. Although technically superb, I do not find the song as memorable as the other joint winners.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – France 1969 appears to be the favourite of the four winners for a lot of people, but I can live with Spain and UK being equal winners. I’m not that fond of this song. Find it a bit dreary.

🇩🇰 Liza P. – I like this song, but at the same time I find it incredibly boring. The song is for me very melancholic all though the lyrics is very hopeful and optimistic. When I think of it, it is rather brilliant to make a positive song sound sooooo sad. Obviously, it’s not a favourite winner of mine. However, I think that Frida has a very good voice – maybe a bit too masculine for my taste.

🇹🇷 Günec N. – Epic and classic could be two words to define Un Jour, Un Enfant.  Very well performed by Frida Boccara on stage, it had to share the victory with its 3 other competitors. 1969 was really a strange year.

🇫🇮 🇨🇴 Álvaro S. – I think that the French winner from 1969 was the best winner from that year with the Netherlands being in a close second. The chorus, the way it grows sounds so natural and emotional for me that it simply moves me. This is one of the few songs I can simply close my eyes and connect to the emotions of the song and the feelings from the beginning to the end. A masterpiece.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J.- I really like her voice. I kinda like the song too, but’s it like, not love from me. It’s a tad too boring for that. While I wouldn’t necessarily skip it, it’s not one I would put on a playlist myself. I am really indifferent when it comes to this.

🇭🇺 Vangelis M. – I really loved France that year. It’s a song I sometimes want to listen to and I can understand why it was among the winning ones that year. Good representation of France!

Enjoy Frida Boccara’s performance from the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about her.

Frida Boccara – a mini biography

Frida Boccara was a French singer of Italian descent, born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1940. She tried to represent France for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 without success. However, she got the opportunity five years later, in 1969 with the song Un Jour, Un Enfant. She ended with a joined victory together with Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  Later, Frida released her winning song in Spanish, English, German and Italian.

In 1980 and 1981, she once again participated in the French national selections. She released several albums and participated in other music festivals too. In 1996, Frida Boccara sadly passed away at the age of 55 after health problems.

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