Song Of The Day 11/19/2014: Clodagh Rodgers - "Jack in the Box"



British Hits, American Misses: This was the year I discovered just how much power the Eurovision Song Contest still wields. Not over the global music climate, mind you, or even just the European climate. I'm talking about the dramatic upswing of page viewership I got in May just by lowering my standards intolerance for schmaltz immunity against airborne disease defenses and devoting a week to the annual celebration of treacle and social awkwardness that we call Eurovision. That week of groveling preceded the most sustained period of popularity this blog has ever experienced, and while you could argue that the internet has finally caught up to my editorial versatility and savior faire, I know it's because I gave one week in spring to unshaven cross-dressers and Polish milkmaid gangstas and an appreciative legion wept in gratitude. So never again will I dismiss the ESC, although I will continue to marvel at how utterly glad I am to only have to hear that kind of music once every year.

Clodagh Rodgers' "Jack In the Box" was the UK entry in the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest, losing to Séverine's "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" from Monaco, but scuttling up the British charts to a #4 peak. Everything about this song screams, pants and tap-dances "Eurovision." The childhood-regression metaphor, the sweetly packaged, somewhat Nordic sensuality, the English-speaking singer with the silent "g" in her first name. I always think I'm supposed to pronounce that "g" but I balk at the precipice. Do I clear my throat? Constrict my nasal passages? Spit? "Jack in the Box" also played a key role in the classic Monty Python episode "The Cycling Tour." Absolutely everything in this paragraph should provide ample supporting evidence as to why it never made it across the Atlantic. Which is not a judgement. Just demographics, baby.


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