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France "Humanahum"
Eurovision Song Contest 1981 entry
Country France
Artist(s) Jean Gabilou
Language French
Composer(s) Jean-Paul Cara
Lyricist(s) Joe Gracy
Conductor David Springfield
Finals performance
Final result 3rd
Final points 125
Appearance chronology
◄ "Hé, hé M'sieurs dames" (1980)   
"Vivre" (1983) ►

Humanahum was the French entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1981, performed in French by the Tahitian singer Jean Gabilou. Gabilou was the first singer from a French overseas territory to represent France at Eurovision. The song was written by Jean-Paul Cara and Joe Gracy, the team behind Marie Myriam's winning entry "L'oiseau et l'enfant" in the 1977 Contest.

"Humanahum" was performed ninth on the night (following Finland's Riki Sorsa with "Reggae OK" and preceding Spain's Bacchelli with "Y sólo tú"). At the close of voting, it had received 125 points, placing 3rd in a field of 20.

The song was the first in the history of the contest to open with a church organ, reminiscent of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly. The lyrics of the song - part of a Contest tradition of songs with nonsensical titles and choruses - place the setting "in a galaxy in the year three thousand", where an old man teaches a group of children about life on Earth. Gabilou sings that because humanity "invented the war", the Earth eventually could not support life. The song, therefore, is a plea for global peace and the seemingly nonsensical title is in this case instead a reference to the human race, as in the Latin phrase 'Errare humanum est'; 'to err is human'. Gabilou also recorded an English language version of the song under the same title, "Humanahum".

France famously opted out of the 1982 Contest, with the national broadcaster TF1 calling Eurovision "a monument to inanity [sometimes translated as "drivel"]."[1] Due to public pressure, the country re-entered the Contest the next year with a new broadcaster, Antenne 2. Thus, the song was succeeded as French representative at the 1983 Contest by Guy Bonnet with Vivre.

Sources and external links

  • Official Eurovision Song Contest site, history by year, 1981
  • Detailed info & lyrics, The Diggiloo Thrush, "Humanahum".


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