La, la, la

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Spain "La, la, la"
Eurovision Song Contest 1968 entry
Manuel de la Calva
Ramón Arcusa
Rafael Ibarbia
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
◄ "Hablemos del amor" (1967)   
"Vivo cantando" (1969) ►

"La, la, la" (Spanish pronunciation: [la, la, la]) is a song which was performed by the Spanish singer Massiel at the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 in London, winning the contest for Spain in that year.[1]


The performance of the song was the first of Spain's two Eurovision wins to date. The song was composed by Ramón Arcusa and Manuel de la Calva, otherwise known as the singing duo Dúo Dinámico. This was the first Eurovision Song Contest broadcast in colour, with viewers noting Massiel's backing singers in their short teal coloured dresses (from left/tallest to right/shortest, they were María Jesús Aguirre, María Dolores Arenas, and Mercedes Valimaña Macaria).[1]


Massiel recorded the song in four languages; Spanish, Italian, German, all as "La, la, la", and in English, as "La, la, la (He Gives Me Love)". It was later covered by the Italian singer Mina in Radiotelevisione Italiana's 1968 variety series Canzonissima and by Finnish singer Carola. The band Saint Etienne recorded another cover version, featured on the album A Song for Eurotrash (1998) with English lyrics that differ from the original, referring to the man she is dating instead of the things she is thankful for. The biggest-selling recording of the song, however, was the cover-version, performed in Spanish, by Portuguese fado star Amália Rodrigues. It was also sung by Alpay, a famous Turkish singer, in Turkish that same year in "Sen Gidince & La La La" 45 rpm.[citation needed]


The song has been the subject of more than one controversy. Joan Manuel Serrat, the artist originally chosen to perform Spain's entry, intended to sing it in Catalan. The Franco government would not allow this – and insisted that the entry should be performed in Spanish, official language for all the territories of Spain, although Serrat wanted to make a claim for the other regional languages of this country, repressed under the Franco dictatorship. Hence the last-minute substitution of Massiel as singer. It was not until 2004, when Andorra made its first entry, that Catalan would be heard on the contest stage.[citation needed]

"La, la, la" beat the favourite, the United Kingdom's "Congratulations", by just one point. Bill Martin (writer of the UK entry) called the Spanish song "a piece of rubbish".[citation needed]

A documentary film shown on Spanish television in 2008 claimed that General Franco had had the competition fixed to ensure a victory for Spain, which would boost the country's image abroad.[2][3][4] In return for the juries' votes, the film alleged, the Spanish national television service (TVE) had purchased marginally popular television programmes from other countries for broadcast in Spain, as well as booking lesser-known foreign acts to perform in the country.[2] The maker of the documentary quoted journalist José María Íñigo:

"Massiel won Eurovision with bought votes."[2]

Eurovision TV Director Bjorn Erichsen rejoined:

"Was Franco really so keen for Spain to win it? We're not talking about NATO here or the EU, or political influence, we're talking about a pop song contest."[2]

Massiel was outraged by the allegations, insisting that she won because her song was better, and that Franco would have not been able to buy any votes for her in the first place. She also blamed the allegations on competition among Spanish TV channels.[5]

In any case, José María Íñigo, the person who had made the original claims in the documentary, quickly said that his words had been taken out of context, and that he had never made such a claim. He further said that the channel that produced the documentary, laSexta, who was the promoter of the Spanish representative that year, Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, had manipulated his words to help promote their candidate:

"If there had been such a manipulation, it would have been for a different artist who had been closer to the regime."[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Info on "La, la, la" from Diggiloo Thrush". Retrieved 2010-06-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Franco stole Cliff Richard's 1968 Eurovision glory by fixing vote". 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2010-06-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Congratulations... 40 years late". BBC News. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2010-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Govan, Fiona (2008-05-04). "How Franco cheated Cliff out of Eurovision title". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "La prensa británica se escandaliza con el tongo de Massiel". Retrieved 2010-06-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Massiel e Iñigo acusan a La Sexta de 'urdir todo para favorecer a Chikilicuatre'". Retrieved 2014-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links

Preceded by
"Puppet on a String" by Sandie Shaw
Eurovision Song Contest winners
Succeeded by

"Un jour, un enfant" by Frida Boccara,
"De troubadour" by Lenny Kuhr,
"Vivo cantando" by Salomé,
"Boom Bang-a-Bang" by Lulu