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What's Another Year

"What's Another Year"
Eurovision Song Contest 1980 entry
Country
Artist(s)
Seán Michael Patrick Sherrard
As
Language
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)
Conductor
Finals performance
Final result
1st
Final points
143
Appearance chronology
◄ "Happy Man" (1979)   
"Horoscopes" (1981) ►

"What's Another Year" was Johnny Logan's first Eurovision Song Contest winner, achieving success in the 1980 edition of the Contest. This was Ireland's second Contest victory. Composed by Shay Healy, the song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in May.[1]

The song is often misinterpreted as a power ballad, sung from the point of view of a man who has been waiting for the girl of his dreams to fall in love with him. On some level, he seems to recognise that she will never share his feelings, but he still holds them regardless. The title appears in the chorus, specifically "What's another year/To someone who is getting used to being alone?" In other words, he is prepared to wait as long as it takes. In reality, the song was written by Shay Healy (who also wrote "the Ultimate Country and Western Song" performed by Billy Connolly) about watching his father coming to terms with the death of his wife and companion, Mairin.

When showband frontman Glen Curtin, the original choice of singer, turned down "What's Another Year", the song was rearranged by Bill Whelan to suit Johnny Logan's singing style.[2] Whelan later composed Riverdance for the interval entertainment slot at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. Musically, the song is easily identifiable by its saxophone introduction played by Scottish musician Colin Tully, who now lives and teaches in Wales. The success of "What's Another Year" launched Logan's Eurovision career (he would go on to success in 1987 with "Hold Me Now"). In addition, the song was selected as one of the 14 greatest Eurovision entries in a special to mark the 50th anniversary of the contest. It was covered by Shane McGowan of The Pogues in the "Song for Eurotrash" cover album of 1998.

Famously, after being announced as the winner of the Contest, Logan was overcome with emotion and could not achieve the high notes near the end of the song in his reprise. Instead, he called out "I love you Ireland", a phrase he would repeat seven years later.

The song was performed seventeenth on the night (following France's Profil with "Hé, hé M'sieurs dames" and preceding Spain's Trigo Limpio with "Quédate esta noche"). At the close of voting, it had received 143 points, placing 1st in a field of 19. The song was succeeded as Eurovision winner at the Eurovision Song Contest 1981 by British band Bucks Fizz and the song "Making Your Mind Up". It was succeeded as Irish representative at the 1981 Contest by Sheeba with "Horoscopes".

In Germany, Johnny Logan released a German-language version of "What's Another Year", entitled "Was ist schon ein Jahr". In Portugal the single was released (in English) with a minor typing error on the front sleeve as "What's Another Year!"

Charts

Chart (1980) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[5] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[6] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[7] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[8] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 1

References

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006).  
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Johnny Logan – What's Another Year" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Johnny Logan – What's Another Year" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Johnny Logan – What's Another Year". GfK Entertainment.
  6. ^ "Ireland singles charts". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  7. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Johnny Logan search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  8. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Johnny Logan – What's Another Year". VG-lista.
  9. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Johnny Logan – What's Another Year". Singles Top 60.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Johnny Logan – What's Another Year". Swiss Singles Chart.
  11. ^ "Johnny Logan: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
Preceded by
"Geno" by Dexys Midnight Runners
UK Singles Chart number-one single
17 May 1980 - 24 May 1980
Succeeded by
"Theme from MASH" by Mash
Preceded by
"Hallelujah" by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey
Eurovision Song Contest winners
1980
Succeeded by
"Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz
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