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"Merci, Chérie" ("Thank you, darling") was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1966. Performed for Austria by Udo Jürgens with lyrics in German—despite the French words of the title. It is an earnest ballad in which the singer, as he leaves her, thanks his lover for good times and positive memories.

The song was performed ninth on the night, following Portugal's Madalena Iglésias with "Ele e ela" and preceding Sweden's Lill Lindfors and Svante Thuresson with "Nygammal vals". The final points tally for "Mercie, Chérie" was 31, securing it first place at the head of an 18-entry field.

The song was succeeded as contest winner in 1967 by Sandie Shaw singing "Puppet on a String" for the United Kingdom, and as Austrian entry in that year by "Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt", performed by Peter Horten.

This was also the only time that Austria would win the Eurovision Song Contest until 2014 when Conchita Wurst won with the song "Rise Like a Phoenix".

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (1966) Peak

position

Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[1] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[2] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[3] 14

Cover versions[edit]Edit

  • The song was covered by the English singer Vince Hill. Baker Cavendish wrote the English lyrics, with musical arrangement by Johnny Arthey. Released on Columbia Records, Hill reached #36 in the UK Singles Chart with it in June 1966.[4]
  • Gunnar Wiklund with Nisse Hansén's orchestra recorded it for the Swedish market in 1966. Al Sundström wrote the Swedish lyrics but kept the French title. The song was released on the EP Sjunger Eurovisionsschlager 1966 on His Master's Voice.
  • In 1967, Bent Fabric released an instrumental version of the song on his album Operation Lovebirds.
  • In 2007, American pop star Belinda Carlisle recorded a French version of the song and included it on her album of standards, Voila.
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