Tonight I'm happy to share a collection which started as an exercise in testing the possibility of doing something which until the coming of the internet most certainly one would not have been able to do. I started it as little more than a joke, but ultimately works quite well as a compilation - having passed the keeping kids quiet on journeys test a couple of times.
It also brought back happy memories of sitting down as a child with my family each year to watch it, at an age when to see the scores coming in at the end of the show was almost unbearably exciting - when mathematics was a vague enough concept to still hold the possibility of yielding practically any result, without the disappointment of being able to understand that if France was 150 points ahead of the UK then the last jury to vote would not be able to snatch victory from inglorious defeat and Cliff, The Shadows or somebody like Lulu would rise triumphant.
Not that the UK ever was that far behind in those days. My generation were present at the most exciting and glorious time to be alive musically (just like every generation before or since, according to age).
It was, though, a time when, despite the charts being dominated by T Rex, The Sweet, David Bowie, et al, the BBC would always put forward one of the Radio 2 set again. Just how great would it have been to have seen Slade on there, or somebody that good, even once?
I have already mentioned in an earlier posting that my Father could not be described as a great music-lover, but each year he would join us for this family ritual. As he had brushed aside my request a year earlier to take me to see Wizzard playing just down the road with a simple one-word refusal, there was no point in asking if he would take me to Brighton - about thirty miles along the coast - to experience the Eurovision Song Contest in the flesh.
I can still remember that night, when ABBA arrived to take over the world. Even though as a surly teenager I grew to despise their music and everything I perceived that they represented, I loved "Waterloo", and now that once again I find I have almost no interest in being fashionable or down with the kids, hearing it brings a smile to my face and makes me want to jump around the room (as long as there's no-one looking, obviously).
I didn't mind 'Dinge-Dong', the next year's winner, but as puberty left me incapable of articulating anything recognisable to an adult as human speech I absolutely drew the line at the Brotherhood of Man, (something which I find stays with me to this day), and with the breaking of punk and my voice roughly simultaneously I lost interest in the contest until about 1989, when I accepted an invitation to a Eurovision party as a joke and have watched it most years since.
Our oldest one isn't much interested in music, but middle-sized one has watched recordings of it for the last two years, it won't be long before she's old enough to stay up for it if she wants to.
So it is, with the circle almost complete as another generation of our family prepares to take their comfy seat with a mug of something warming for the greatest show on earth, I am happy to present, in chronological order and at glorious 128kps, all winners of the Eurovision Song Contest from the first gathering in 1956 to Serbia's triumph in 2007.
It's split into four manageable sections, each ripped to an individual file, so if you only want ABBA, then part two's your beastie, but it would be a shame to miss out on 'Poupee de Cire Poupee de Son', 'Puppet on a String', or 'Boom Bang a Bang' from the first, the onslaught of the Irish Eurovision Machine as it runs rampant through volume 3, or the sheer absurd majesty of 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' from the fourth.
01 Refrain - Lys Assia ( Switzerland 1956 )
02 Net Als Toen - Corry Brokken ( Netherlands 1957 )
03 Dors Mon Amour - Andre Claveau ( France 1958 )
04 Een Beetje - Teddy Scholten ( Netherlands 1959 )
05 Tom Pillibi - Jacqueline Boyer ( France 1960 )
06 Nous Les Amoureux - Jean-Claude Pascal ( Luxembourg 1961 )
07 Un Premier Amour - Isabelle Aubret ( France 1962 )
08 Dansevise - Grethe & Jorgen Ingmann ( Denmark 1963 )
09 No Ho L'Eta - Gigliola Cinquetti ( Italy 1964 )
10 Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son - France Gall ( Luxembourg 1965 )
11 Merci Cherie - Udo Jurgens ( Austria 1966 )
12 Puppet On A String - Sandie Shaw ( United Kingdom 1967 )
13 La La La - Massiel ( Spain 1968 )
14 Un Jour, Un Enfant - Frida Boccara ( France 1969 )
15 De Troubadour - Lennie Kuhr ( Netherlands 1969 )
16 Boom Bang-A-Bang - Lulu ( United Kingdom 1969 )
17 Vivo Cantando - Salome ( Spain 1969 )
01 All Kinds Of Everything - Dana ( Ireland 1970 )
02 Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue - Severine ( Monaco 1971 )
03 Apres Toi - Vicky Leandros ( Luxembourg 1972 )
04 Tu Te Reconnaitras - Anne-Marie David ( Luxembourg 1973 )
05 Waterloo - ABBA ( Sweden 1974 )
06 Ding Dinge Dong - Teach-in ( Netherlands 1975 )
07 Save Your Kisses For Me - Brotherhood of Man ( United Kingdom 1976 )
08 L'Oiseau Et L'Enfant - Marie Myriam ( France 1977 )
09 A Ba Ni Bi - Yizhar Cohen & Alphabeta ( Israel 1978 )
10 Hallelujah - Milk & Honey ( Israel 1979 )
11 What's Another Year - Johnny Logan ( Ireland 1980 )
12 Making Your Mind Up - Bucks Fizz ( United Kingdom 1981 )
13 Ein Bisschen Frieden - Nicole ( Germany 1982 )
14 Si La Vie Est Cadeau - Corinne Hermes ( Luxembourg 1983 )
15 Diggi Loo-Diggi Ley - Herreys ( Sweden 1984 )
01 La Det Swinge - Bobbysocks ( Norway 1985 )
02 J'Aime La Vie - Sandra Kim ( Belgium 1986 )
03 Hold Me Now - Johnny Logan ( Ireland 1987 )
04 Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi - Celine Dion ( Switzerland 1988 )
05 Rock Me - Riva ( Yugoslavia 1989 )
06 Insieme:1992 - Toto Cutugno ( Italy 1990 )
07 Fangad Av En Stormvind - Carola ( Sweden 1991 )
08 Why Me? - Linda Martin ( Ireland 1992 )
09 In Your Eyes - Niamh Kavanagh ( Ireland 1993 )
10 Rock 'N Roll Kids - Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan ( Ireland 1994 )
11 Nocturne - Secret Garden ( Norway 1995 )
12 The Voice - Eimear Quinn ( Ireland 1996 )
13 Love shine a light - Katrina and the Waves ( United Kingdom 1997 )
01 Diva - Dana International ( Israel 1998 )
02 Take me to your heaven - Charlotte Nilsson ( Sweden 1999 )
03 Fly on the Wings of Love - Olsen Brothers ( Denmark 2000 )
04 Everybody - Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL ( Estonia 2001 )
05 I Wanna - Marie N (Marija Naumova) ( Latvia 2002 )
06 Everyway that I can - Sertab Erener ( Turkey 2003 )
07 Wild Dances - Ruslana ( Ukraine 2004 )
08 My Number One - Helena Paparizou ( Greece 2005 )
09 Hard Rock Hallelujah - Lordi ( Finland 2006 )
10 Molitva - Marija Serifovic ( Serbia 2007 )
Hope you enjoy it.