Song of the Day: ‘Fiumi di parole’ by Jalisse

Song of the daySong of the Day – We all have Eurovision songs that we love and listen to regularly. But then there are songs we might only remember because someone posts a link on Facebook or a Forum. We will shuffle through Eurovision history and present a random song every now and then during summer to bring back memories and give you the chance to discuss songs and years during the “Eurovision drought”. Our song of this day is Italy’s ‘Fiumi di parole‘ by Jalisse (1997).

Bemusingly, although not for them, Italy’s broadcaster RAI had ‘accidentally’ applied in 1997 and by the time they realised they did not want to take part, it was too late! Rather than pay the fine they would incur, they belatedly decided to just send the winners of that year’s San Remo festival.

Jalisse, a duo consisting of Alessandra Drusian and Fabio Ricci dutifully chopped a third off their song off (but kept a key change in there, phew!) and went along to Dublin to perform, where they finished in a very respectable 4th place.

Italy didn’t make the same mistake again and didn’t apply for another 13 years. Jalisse tried to enter for San Marino in 2008 but were not selected.

Here’s their performance from 1997:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUcN5XENcXo]

Jalisse have been active since then. You can find more information about them at www.jalisse.it.

If you would like to nominate a song of the day, email us at eurovisiontimesesc@gmail.com and tell us the song title, artist, year, and why!


68 comments on “Song of the Day: ‘Fiumi di parole’ by Jalisse

  1. LOVE IT!
    My 1997 winner along with Slovenia!
    Greece sent a gem that year too! Spain, Ireland, France, Estonia, Turkey, UK, Cyprus and Poland were very good too and for that reason 1997 has probably the highest average in my rankings!

  2. 4th place was about right, paying a fine or not :.) 1997 is a difficult year to judge will go for:
    not much competition in that year either…

  3. Love Love Love! My winner that year and among my 25 most fav esc songs ever.

    • why Spain loves Greece very much, that is a very well-known song/video here in Spain from 1977, and thus Spain will always be in harmony with Greece whatever happens! :-)

    • sorry dear friend, wanted to add that song below!

      • above I meant, it is a very famous song even here in Spain! :-) and reminds us here in Spain of our importance to Greek history :-)

  4. Yay! SotD is back! :)

    “Fiumi di parole” is my third of 1997 after Poland and Greece*. A great, strong and intriguing song, with one of the best performances of the night. Probably one of my favourite Italian entries of all time too; together with 1966, 1984 and 1991.

    We gotta mention too that this was the first Sanremo winner to show up at ESC since 1972 (and the next wouldn’t come until 2013).

    * But it’s very hard to judge the entries of 1997 since it’s one of the best editions ever. So many more great songs to mention: United Kingdom, Turkey, Estonia, Malta, Slovenia, Portugal…

  5. Yay! SotD is back! :)

    “Fiumi di parole” was one of the last great songs before the dark ages of ESC set in (1999-2007 … I am still undecided on 2008, which had many great songs but many shitty ones too. Plus the result was horrible …)

    Anyway, Jalisse are in 5th place on my 1997 list with a 10/12.
    1st SLO (among my favourite ESC songs ever)
    2nd ISL
    3rd UK
    4th GRE

    • indeed 97 was very hit and miss thus understand the UK win, one of the still orchestra type/original language shows, which I miss very much

    • I’d like to defend 2005. A quite good edition imo.

    • I normally see 2007 as a crucial step in the right direction. It saw some songs with a little more depth and seriousness, f.e. Hungary and Georgia – the latter being very interesting song combining many musical elements in a successful way. And some other songs that were made to make people LISTEN rather than just shake it: BiH, Ireland, FYR Macedonia, Germany.

      There are some horrors too of course (UK, Poland) and some silliness as well (Switzerland, Latvia, Ukraine), but it contains several songs that actually mean something.

      • I see your point. 2007 was a step in the right direction indeed after the nadir 2006 was (full of formulaic, empty and pretentious stuff. Gosh! I dislike this edition with a passion …). I agree on the songs you name as positive examples too but would like to add Serbia and Bulgaria to your list.

        • Yes, and Serbia of course. I have it at 12/12, even if it’s not something I would normally listen to otherwise. It’s just very, very accomplished musically. Objectivity winning over personal taste for me here, I guess.

          Bulgaria: Interesting, but it somehow lacks something.

          • I did not listen to music like Serbia 2007 before I joined the ESC online community either. In the mid-noughties I listened to Balkan music a lot (esp. Hari Mata Hari and Jelena Tomasevic) because a whole new music universe had opened up to me. Nowadays, I listen to songs like that now and then. It is still music I like a lot but it has become a normal sound on my playlist.

            • I love the Zeljko Joksimovic type of songs too. There’s a very special mood in them, but I think they are also more understated and thoughtful whereas a song like “Molitva” is more dramatic.

            • Indeed.
              Jelena has done both: Her “Jutro” from the NF 2005 is similar to Molitva whereas her ESC entry and most songs on her fantastic post-ESC album “Panta rei” are on the understated side of Balkan music.

  6. I fail to see Iceland’s appeal that year…

  7. I love this song, it’s a pitty Italy withdrew after such a high (both in terms of results and quality).

    I also love the winner that year, Katrina did such a good job. Things went downhill not long after that unfortunately.

  8. I really like it.My favorites of 1997:

    France is nice too.

  9. and wanted indeed to add a Greek importance here too :.)

  10. here in Spain we always appreciate and love that song from Greece very much

  11. Very well, I can come up with a (current) Top 10 for 1997:

    1. Poland
    2. Greece
    3. Italy
    4. France
    5. United Kingdom
    6. Turkey
    7. Malta
    8. Estonia
    9. Slovenia
    10. Portugal

    Honorary mention: Iceland

    Catchy as hell: Bosnia & Herzegovina

    Underrated: The Netherlands

    Overrated: Cyprus (not bad, but a lot of people seem to really love this one and I really don’t get it)

    Good and bad in one: Spain (the two first minutes are great, then a really unnecessary and screamy last minute pops up with Marcos doing faces and all that)

    Guilty pleasure: Denmark (the pants and the girls :$ )

    Absolutely awful: Croatia

    • Indeed I would kind of agree with you about it but not very sure at all re 1997, no doubt is why UK won

  12. I just read on wiwiblogs that Montenegro has warned EBU they will go to justice if their jury voted isn’t reinstated.lol: http://wiwibloggs.com/2015/07/06/montenegro-ebu-jury-vote-justice/99222/

  13. My 1997 winner. Great song.

  14. It’s a song that often moves from 9/12 to 10/12 and back again in my rankings. Not so easy to decide on.

    What tends to drag it down a bit is the verse which is built on a chord progression that has been a cliché since the early 90’s. And since there isn’t so much to counterpoint it in the verse, it has to be a minus.

    But a very good song in any case: It is very well “directed” musically with a good dynamic balance between verse and chorus, and the chorus is much stronger than the verse.

  15. Am I the only one who really treasure Russia 2007? It is probably the most interesting compositions that year:

    Unusual chord changes that make it uncertain what the key is, and if we are in major or minor = a complex emotional span. And somehow containing a certain Russian pathos and seriousness that I recognise from f.e. Tchaikovsky: Heavy, downwards melodies. Vocally perhaps a bit overdone for my taste, but personal and expressive.

    One of the songs I dream of analysing someday.

  16. And as for me, not a fan of 1997, a year with lots of good songs but not many “great” ones and in general we’re starting to see the amazingness of the 90s slipping away towards more mainstreamy bleh

    Russia is my winner, closely followed by Greece, Bosnia and France. I really like Slovenia, Poland and Malta too, and the Uk is a solid song but better live than in audio. The rest I’m not a big fan (Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and even Ireland are all overrated to me, even if none is a “bad” song per se, I just find them empty in substance). On the other hand a few songs that did poorly, I genuinely like, like Portugal, Netherlands or even Austria. And we can all agree Croatia is the worst one of them all.

    • I have Croatia second from last. Norway is in last place on my list.
      I really like Turkey … but not as much as Sebnem’s song the previous year. I really love “Beşinci mevsim”. It’s so relaxed … and somehow it has an intellectual feel about it …

  17. Wow, no surprise that Italy have one of the best average rankings in the competition, simply an amazing song and artist!

    Btw if someone is interested I have actually made a ranking of all the countries mean placements over the years with some twists of my own making ^.^ :P

    • I am a sucker for statistics. :)

      • Yeah me too lol ^^

        This is the link to it if you want to check it out:


        • Thanks. I am still at work but have bookmarked it for later tonight. :)

          • Well give me some feedback on it later if you want :) Especially my own big 4/5 penelty hihi ^.^ :P

            • You’re ranking makes sense, and since I am against the BIG4/5 rule, I am totally fine with the penalty you give for those countries coming bottom 5 in the final. I tried to come up with a fair average ranking for some time too but eventually gave up because the old ESC countries had an advantage because they already got results when there were only 12 to 14 songs competing. Plus, the different formats make it very difficult too. F. e., which of the 11th placed songs under the 2 semi-finals format got 28th place this year? (Further complicated by the fact that a different number of countries participated and voted in the semi-finals …) I eventually gave up and only have a list of personal averages for countries on years (awarding every entry 0-10 or 12 points … meaning that there can be several 12 pts songs in a year f. e.). Still, your ranking is the best effort I have seen so far. :)

            • Thank you for the feedback! :) Altough the penelty does not actually change anything in the ranking, it is more fair. cause of the facts that the big 5 gets those spots for free almost. So that was my initial thaught. Yeah the ranking is of course unfair still. With the semifinals and the fact that it was much easier back in the days to get a top ten placing (this is why UK still is in the top 5 :P). I am actually now thinking about some method that will make a better placing now more valuable then before, when their were less countries participating, but not making ”the new countries” (Azerbaijan, Georgia etc) take advantage of it. So that will be my next challenge on it haha ^^

  18. Some thoughts on the 1997 edition:
    i)The second place for Ireland shows they were many times overrated during the jury era.
    ii)I believe that turkey would have won if it was a 2003 to 2008 and not the 1997 edition.

  19. That is rather annoying, I didn’t know Jalisse had been in Eurovision and planned to enter “Tra Rose E Cielo” in ETSC 4 :(

  20. Btw off topic: It has now been officially confirmed that Stockholm will hold Eurovsion song contest 2016 in Ericsson Globe, so it seems it will once again be a kinda small venue.

  21. I am terribly sorry but I really need to share this:

    A while ago I watched a speech in the European parliament by someone named Weber. Seriously it was one of the most dispeakable and repulsive things I’ve listened in my life. Never heard so many lies gathered together. Has this person actually been elected by the voters? If so, I feel deeply sorry for them. I really feel sorry that persons like this represent the European peoples.

    Sorry, but I don’t want to be part of THIS Europe.

    • Was it Manfred Weber (CSU)?


      Well, he is a CSU guy. What do you expect? The way the CSU talks about other German states is sometimes very condescending and despicable too. There is Bavaria … and there is everyone else, who is basically shit. That’s the way the CSU works. :(

      • Yep. That’s him :(

      • CSU may have adopted a hard line towards Greece but all is fine since the Greek prime minister was given a standing ovation by the extreme xenophobic right of the European parliament.

        • CSU is mainly about awful rhetorics but pragmatic politics on most occasions. And of course the extreme right welcoms everyone who damages the EU’s authority and strengthens nationalist agendas.

          • The anti-German and anti-European rhetoric in Greece should stop because it’s getting out of hand.Yesterday it was the U19 German national football team that was booed during the whole game vs Spain(it was held in Greece)and today it was a hateful attack on Schäuble during another football game.There were banners calling the man who attacked him and left him in a wheelchair stupid because he didn’t finish the “job :(

            I hope there will be a deal at the eleventh hour and we wil be able to put this behind us before it’s too late.

            • Man is a hopeless creature. Whoever came up with the idea than mankind was the pride of creation was either extremely silly or very cynical. We love pointing fingers first instead of contemplating what we might have done wrong/can do better in the future. Only a few seconds later, we are calling each other awful names, and a few minutes later, we are at each others’ throats. No other creature is as silly and hateful as that. Speaking of other creatures, if we had ostracism in creation, mankind would be expelled in no time for sure. Im am pretty sure whom all the elephants, foxes, deer and lions we love to kill for pleasure would vote for … or all those pigs and hens we confine in tiny spaces for a short and miserable life. :(

            • On a more positive note Guy Verhofstadt’s fantastic parliament speech was very well received by the majority at the Greek social media. :)

            • I’ve always liked Mr. Verhofstadt because you can always tell that he is very passionate about European integration. :)

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