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Diwanit Bugale, Breton , France

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“Diwanit Bugale” (“May The Children Be Born”) was the French entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1996, performed in Breton by Dan Ar Braz & L’Héritage des Celtes.{source}

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The song was performed thirteenth on the night, following Norway’s Elisabeth Andreassen with “I evighet” and preceding Slovenia’s Regina with “Dan najlepših sanj”. At the close of voting, it had received 18 points, placing 19th in a field of 23.

“Diwanit Bugale” is remarkable for being the first and (to date) only occasion in which the French entry at the Contest did not contain any words of French. Indeed, there is no record of a francophone version ever being produced. During the 1990s, the Contest was dominated by Ireland with Celtic-inspired songs, and this performance is generally believed to have been a French response to the popularity of such a style of music. Interestingly, it is only the second time that a Celtic language was heard at the Contest – Ireland having previously performed in the 1972 contest in Irish, singing “Ceol an Ghrá”.
The Celtic connection in the song was also made stronger by the inclusion of Karen Matheson (Scottish) and Elaine Morgan (Welsh) in the group.

The song – the lyrics and music of which were all written by Ar Braz – is a slow-moving ballad, in which the singers express their wish for children to be born “With eyes full of laughter in the rain” and “From the hard fights and agreement”, that is, as a means of preventing disagreements among the peoples of the world. The lyrics also contain the lines “And so beautiful is your way/To speak this language/Which escapes me again”, which can be interpreted as praise for the Breton language itself, or as a general praise for calm words.

As befits a Celtic song, the instrumental break features the Irish uilleann pipes.

Despite its comparative lack of success, “Diwanit Bugale” has become a favourite among many Contest fans. Eimear Quinn (the winner of that year’s Contest with “The Voice”) has recently recorded a cover version of it.

It was succeeded as French representative at the 1997 contest by Fanny with “Sentiments songes”.

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