Jetty Paerl

De Vogels Van Holland
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Draw Position 1, Final Position NK, Points (Final) NK

"De vogels van Holland" ("The birds of Holland") was the first Dutch entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1956 - the only edition of the contest at which two entries per country were allowed - performed in Dutch by Jetty Paerl. The song is particularly significant for being the first song performed in Eurovision Song Contest history.

Composed in the chanson style characteristic of the contest's early years, the song is about the titular "birds of Holland". Paerl sings that they are especially musical, learning to "twitter in their early youth / So they can celebrate spring in Holland". She goes on to explain that it is the unique nature of the Dutch climate and the faithfulness of Dutch girls that cause the birds of the country to sing. It appears, indeed, that Holland's birds actually sing lyrics, as they are contrasted with "the French birds", "the Japanese birds" and "the Chinese birds", all of which sing "tudeludelu" (a sound roughly approximating birdsong).

According to Des Mangan this song set the tone for the Eurovision tradition of nonsensical lyrics, although he admits that there are other contenders for such a claim as well.

The Dutch Final was held on 24th April at the AVRO TV Studios in Hilversum, hosted by Karin Kraaykamp. The winning song was chosen by postcard voting.

Performance Video

De Vogels Van Holland

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