Paul & Charlie on Eurovision: “We weren’t going to enter”

When talking about their Eurovision win, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettingan said how they we originally both not going to enter.

In an interview with Emil Löfström for the podcast Eurovision Legends, the singer Paul said:

I contemplated not doing it because I was heading in a different direction. I was on my way in to meet Brendan Graham (The composer and lyricist). I was going to tell him that I wasn’t interested… but Brendan had a big smile on his face and I looked at him and I said “Of course let’s do it”. I completely changed my mind. If I decide on something don’t depend on it. I can change my mind at the blink of an eye.

Charlie then replied:

I didn’t know that. We’ve known eachother a long time and that’s the first time that I realised. I was in a similar situation.. I was reluctant. I was moving house and I said I’d think it over.

The duo also spoke about how the song was originally submitted to the Irish broadcaster RTE in 1992. Charlie said:

I did the original demo, and it was pretty dreadful and Brendan brought me back Paul’s version, and as soon as I heard it I said that’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. We put it in but I happened to be on the judging panel… and so I had to abstain and the song didn’t come through.

Speaking about the impact of their song Paul said:

It’s almost became an anthem at football matches and social occasions. After 26 years people still sing it… The song has gained in popularity over the years… It’s reaching bigger audiences.

During the 1994 Eurovision, what could be described as the most well known interval acts was introduced, Riverdance. When asked about the impact of Riverdance, Paul said:

We didn’t get to see it until on the night. It was something special and wonderful. It was a year later before Riverdance started to take off. It very nearly didn’t get underway as they struggled to get funding for it.

The greenroom would normally be full of people who are totally self obsessed and into what they’re doing, but when Riverdance came on the big screen in the green room everyone stopped talking and everyone’s jaw dropped and that made me proud to be Irish.

Charlie spoke about a song he wrote for the Irish National Final in 2015, ‘Anybody got a shoulder’ by Kat Mahon, which came 2nd.Speaking about the song not getting to represent Ireland, Charlie said:

I was really disappointed. Of all the songs I’ve written for Eurovision I thought it was the best one. I loved the song and I had a lovely singer, Kat who I just met by accident. I write songs that young people can sing and who knows I could be back in another year.

You can see Kat singing the song below:

You can hear the full interview by clicking here, and you can see the performance of their winning entry below:

What’s your favourite entry from Ireland at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments section below!

2 Comments
  1. Liat says

    Great! I love the podcast Eurovision Legends but haven’t heard this episode yet. Thanks!!

    1. Matthew Grocott says

      No worries Liat 🙂

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