20 Years of Hurt

A little while ago there was a nice programme on the BBC looking back at the summer of 1996 and the brilliant run England had in our home football tournament. Euro 96 was the first football tournament that I was old enough to fully engage with (might have been USA 94 if we’d been there).

As someone who loved anything where countries come together in a competitive format it holds many special memories for me: Gazza’s wonder-goal, our demolition of the Dutch team in the group stages, David Seaman’s goalie jumper of many colours. Most of all, Paul Gascoigne’s outstretched boot narrowly failing to connect with the ball as it flashed teasingly across the German goal line will always be etched in my mind.

It occurred to me that there was another 20th anniversary coming up this year. On 3 May it will be 20 years since the United Kingdom last won Eurovision. To be honest, the occasion probably feels more momentous now than it did at the time. When Katrina and The Waves romped to victory at the Point Theatre, Dublin, it felt like the natural order of things. This was back in the day when a Eurovision failure for the UK was to come second yet again. What I’d give now, for a UK second place finish?

Anyway, I wrote a little something to mark the anniversary. I don’t particularly have the means to record a proper song and do it justice, so the words will have to do. I’m sure people will know the tune.

Everyone seems to know the score
It’s on the right side of the board
What a joke, what a bore

The UK’s gonna pick a bad song
Gonna stage it all wrong
But we know we belong

‘Cos I remember

Two girls with short skirts
Brotherhood still waving
Twenty years of hurt
Never stops me craving

All the wrong notes, all the missed keys
And so many wannabes
Bring us down to our knees

But still I see that puppet from Shaw
Lulu get a score draw
The Waves good as before

And Sir Cliff dancing

Two girls with short skirts
Brotherhood still waving
Twenty years of hurt
Never stops me craving

[Terry Wogan commentary]
 “Ireland have come in second, but we all know who’s won. They’ve been leading since the beginning, first time since 1981, since Buck’s Fizz”.
 “Ok, where are we going to hold it? Where are we going to hold it? Somewhere close to my house, alright?

I know that was then, but it could be again.

It’s coming home, it’s coming, Eurovision’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, Eurovision’s coming home
Two girls with short skirts (it’s coming)
Brotherhood still waving (It’s coming)
Twenty years of hurt (it’s coming)
Never stops me craving (it’s coming)

FADE

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