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Abba to Sanna: Sweden's ten best Eurovision hits

Published: 07 May 2014 15:23 GMT+02:00

Whether you love it or hate it, and in Sweden it's usually the former, there is no getting away from Eurovision.
 
Most Swedes get misty eyed when recalling tales of their childhood, munching godis (candy) around their television during that one magical Saturday night in May. Sweden has a pretty decent record in the Eurovision Song Contest, triumphing on five occasions.
 
Along with the United Kingdom, Sweden is one of just two countries with Eurovision victories in four different decades, and the only nation to host it in five decades (1975, 1985, 1992, 2000, 2013).

So here, in no particular order, is The Local's take on the top 10 Swedish Eurovision hits.  
 
Abba/Waterloo (1974) 
Well, no Eurovision list is complete without Sweden's very own fab four. The quartet triumphed in Brighton in 1973, Sweden's first ever Eurovision victory. What's perhaps less known is that the group had tried, and failed, a year earlier to win Melodifestivalen with the song "Ring, Ring", which placed third.
 
A year later they returned with Waterloo and the rest, as they say, is history. 
 
 
Eric Saade/Popular (2011)
Impossibly clean shaven Eric Saade sparked Sweden's upward trend by placing third with this catchy number, which also topped the Swedish pop charts in 2011. The less said about his stint in green room as sidekick to Petra Mede at Eurovision 2013 the better though. 
 
 
Herrey's/Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley (1984)
A decade after Abba's win the Herrey brothers claimed Sweden's second Eurovision victory. Wearing fetching golden boots, the trio's bizarrely named Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley edged out serial winners Ireland. It marked the first win for a song sung in the Swedish language but not the last...
 
 
Carola Häggkvist/Främling(Stranger) (1983)
Eurovision icon Carola made her first bow at the contest in 1983, when she was just 16 years old. She wound up third, charming the viewing public along the way. "This song is just fun. It's plain old fun. It's everything Eurovision is supposed to be and it makes you smile," says one Eurovision fan on The Local's editorial team.
 
 
Charlotte/Take me to your Heaven (1999)
This song dominated the radiowaves in 1999. Some critics accused her of ripping off Waterloo but it proved popular at Eurovision, edging out Nordic rivals Iceland into second place. 
 
 
One More Time/Den Vilda (The Wild One) (1996)
A lush, entirely original song which is so good it might just make you want to pack your bags and move to the land of the Swedes, according to one Twitter user. It placed third at the Eurovision in Norway. "A very Pagan song with a beautiful melody. Sung in Swedish!" Rosie Trenta told The Local. 
 
 
 
Loreen/Euphoria (2012) 
Former Pop Idol star Loreen followed in Abba's footsteps by winning Melodifestivalen a year after a previous attempt. Her track Euphoria was, for many, the anthem of 2012 and a runaway winner at Eurovision that year, scooping a mighty 372 points. We're going up-up-up-up. 
 
 
Carola/Fångad av en stormvind (Captured by a storm wind) (1991)
Häggkvist returned in 1991 and, literally, blew the competition away with a song that is still whistled by Swedes with mega enthusiasm some two decades later. 
 
 
(Dis)honourable Mention 
 
Monica Zetterlund/Once upon a time in Stockholm (1963)
Swedish jazz icon Monica Z was the recent subject of a critically acclaimed film and is widely hailed as one of the country's greatest singers. However, she also holds the distinction of the being the only Swede to get the dreaded 'nul points' at Eurovision 1963 with this ballad. To make matters worse neighbours Denmark won the contest on the night. 
 
 
And finally 
 
Sanna Nielsen/Undo (2014)
Poor old Sanna has been slated for everything, from her dress sense to poor grammar in the lyrics for this year's Melodifestivalen winner. Described by The Local's music critic Paul Connolly as being "too wet" for even Celine Dion, it may not be everyone's cup of Swedish coffee but is amongst the favourites to bring Eurovision back to Sweden in 2015. Have a listen and judge for yourself. 
 
 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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