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Nocturne (Secret Garden song)

Eurovision Song Contest 1995 entry
Fionnuala Sherry,
Rolf Løvland,
Gunnhild Tvinnereim,
Åsa Jinder
Petter Skavland
Geir Langslet
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
◄ "Duett" (1994)   
"I evighet" (1996) ►

"Nocturne" was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1995, performed in Norwegian by Secret Garden representing Norway. It was the second time Norway won the contest, after it had won in 1985 with Bobbysocks! song "La det swinge". For their performance at the Contest the Secret Garden duo of Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Løvland featured two guest musicians; Norwegian vocalist Gunnhild Tvinnereim and Swedish nyckelharpist Åsa Jinder.


  • Eurovision victory 1
  • Lyrics 2
  • Releases 3
  • Charts 4
    • Secret Garden version 4.1
    • Dusty Cowshit version 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Eurovision victory

The song was performed fifth on the night, following Bosnia and Herzegovina's Davorin Popović with "Dvadeset prvi vijek" and preceding Russia's Philip Kirkorov with "Kolibelnaya dlya vulkana". At the close of voting, it had received 148 points, placing 1st in a field of 23.

The victory represented the second for composer Rolf Løvland, who had previously written "La det swinge". Additionally, it represented the first time in four years that Ireland had not won the Contest (although Sherry herself is Irish), thus bringing to an end the only hat-trick of victories in Eurovision history. Ireland would go on to win the next Contest, achieving the feat of four victories in five years.

As Norway had previously won the Contest in 1985 with "La det swinge", the second victory allowed the tongue-in-cheek tradition to emerge that Norway could only win in years ending with a 5, a joke referred to by the members of Bobbysocks at the Congratulations special in late 2005, Norway having entered "In My Dreams" that year and not achieved victory.

The song was succeeded as winner in 1996 by Eimear Quinn representing Ireland with "The Voice".

It was succeeded as Norwegian representative at the 1996 Contest by Elisabeth Andreassen with "I evighet".

Norway won again in 2009, but that year's entry was sung entirely in English.


The song is noted for its almost complete absence of lyrics - with only 24 words being sung in the original Norwegian version and much of the rest of the song being given over to a violin intermezzo performed by Irish musician Fionnuala Sherry.

While no other victorious song has featured so few words, Finland would go on to place 15th in the 1998 Contest with "Aava", which contains only six words repeated throughout the song. The previous holder of the record of shortest lyrics in Eurovision history was Belgium and their 1983 entry "Rendez-vous", with a total of 11 words.


"Nocturne" was not released as a single in Norway itself. The first release of the song as a single would come in a comedic cover version by country-inspired novelty band Dusty Cowshit, reaching #16 on the Norwegian singles chart in 1996.[1] The song was however released as a single by Secret Garden in the rest of Europe and Scandinavia, then in its English language version, and reached #26 in Sweden, #6 in Belgium (Flanders), #24 in Belgium (Wallonia) and #20 in the Netherlands.[2]

"Nocturne" is included in Secret Garden's first album, Songs from a Secret Garden. The album "Inside I'm Singing" (2007) includes a new version.


Secret Garden version

Chart (1995) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[4] 24
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[5] 13
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 26

Dusty Cowshit version

Chart (1996) Peak
Norway (VG-lista)[7] 13


  • Diggiloo Thrush. "1995 Norway". Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  • Diggiloo Thrush. "1998 Finland". Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  1. ^ Norwegian charts, "Nocturne"
  2. ^, chart positions "Nocturne", Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands
  3. ^ " – Secret Garden – Nocturne" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  4. ^ " – Secret Garden – Nocturne" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Secret Garden search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  6. ^ " – Secret Garden – Nocturne". Singles Top 60.
  7. ^ " – Døsty Cåwshit – Nocturne". VG-lista.

External links

Preceded by
"Rock 'n' Roll Kids" by Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan
Eurovision Song Contest winners
Succeeded by
"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn
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