Ranked – Ireland’s 7 Eurovision Winning Songs
In this post we are ranking Ireland’s 7 Eurovision winning songs that have made the country the most successful in Eurovision history.
Ireland has an illustrious history in the Eurovision Song Contest partaking in it 55 times since making their debut at the 1965 contest in Naples, only missing the contest in 1983 and 2002.
The Irish have won the competition a record seven times and is the only country to win it three times consecutively which they did by winning the contest in 1992, 1992 and 1993.
Ireland’s Eurovision Winners
1970 | Dana – All Kinds Of Everything
1980 | Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year
1987 | Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now
1992 | Linda Martin – Why Me
1993 | Niamh Kavanagh – In Your Eyes
1994 | Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan – Rock ‘n’ Roll Kid
1996 | Eimear Quinn – The Voice
Johnny Logan is the only performer to have won twice and also wrote the 1992 winning entry. Ireland, who also finished second with Sean Dunphy (1967), Linda Martin (1984), Liam Reilly (1990) and Marc Roberts (1997), has a total of 18 top-five results.
As part of our build-up to the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest where Ireland will be represented by Wild Youth singing “We Are One,” we compiled a ranking of Ireland’s Greatest Eurovision Winners.
Ranking Ireland’s Eurovision Winning Songs
(7) ‘Why Me?’ – Linda Martin
“Why Me?” is a 1992 song by Northern Irish singer Linda Martin which was Ireland’s fourth-ever success in the competition.
It was composed by Johnny Logan, who had previously won the contest with “What’s Another Year?” and the self-composed “Hold Me Now” (in 1980 and 1987 respectively) the only person to win the contest with a song composed for him, win the contest with his song and then compose another winner.
This was also Linda’s second appearance in the competition after she came second in 1984 with “Terminal 3”.
Why Me is a ballad, building in intensity towards the end where Linda describes her thoughts about her lover and asks why she is the lucky one to have his love, as opposed to anyone else.
IRELAND 1992 🇮🇪
"Why Me?" Linda Martin
Music & Lyrics: Johnny Logan
— Eurovision Requests 📂 (@escrequests) April 16, 2023
(6)What’s Another Year?’ – Johnny Logan
This was Johnny Logan’s first Eurovision success which won him and Ireland the 1980 edition of the contest, as well as being Ireland’s second Eurovision victory. What’s Another Year? was composed by Shay Healy.
Famously, after being announced as the winner of the Contest, Logan was so overcome with emotion that he was unable to reach the high notes near the end of the song in his reprise. Instead, he called out “I love you Ireland”, a phrase he would repeat seven years later.
🥇Ireland 🇮🇪- What’s another year
The legend that is Johnny Logan ❤️
— Hollie 🇸🇮🇱🇻🇫🇮 (@eschollie85) February 22, 2023
(5) “In Your Eyes’ – Niamh Kavanagh
“In Your Eyes” is a love ballad by Irish singer Niamh Kavanagh which won the Eurovision Song Contest 1993 for Ireland held in Millstreet scoring a total of 187 points. It was written and composed by Jimmy Walsh.
In the song, the singer Niamh Kavanagh tells how, after being lonely, she has found love and heaven in her lover’s arms and how it has changed her, making her a better person.
This victory in 1993 was Ireland’s fifth Eurovision win and the second in what would be a historic three-year winning streak.
# 12. Ireland 🇮🇪 1993: Niamh Kavanagh- In Your Eyes pic.twitter.com/jOHKBGE6vs
— EMPRESS 🦄 (@swtpussypsycho) December 13, 2022
(4) Rock n’ Roll Kids’ – Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan
This song sung by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won the Eurovision Song Contest 1994. It was written by Brendan Graham and performed for Ireland.
The song was Ireland’s sixth-ever win in the competition and completed a hat-trick of wins. Ireland’s three consecutive Eurovision wins is a record that still hasn’t been matched by any other country to this day.
There was a myth that the song was chosen not to win as it was rumoured that the Irish broadcaster was not prepared to host the contest for a third consecutive year, hence the selection. This has never been proven.
IRELAND 1994 🇮🇪
"Rock 'n' Roll Kids" Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan
Music & Lyrics: Brendan Graham
— Eurovision Requests 📂 (@escrequests) November 21, 2022
(3) All Kinds of Everything – Dana
The song was written by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith and performed by Dana who was only an 18-year-old schoolgirl at the time. It would go on to win the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest Ireland’s first-ever success in the competition.
The song marked a return to the ballad form from the more energetic performances which had dominated Eurovision previously.
In All Kinds of Everything Dana sings about all the things which remind her of her sweetheart (such as wishing wells, wedding bells and an early morning dew) with the admission at the end of every verse that “all kinds of everything remind me of you”. The recording by Dana became popular worldwide.
— 🎵 Oldies Plak 🎵 (@OldiesPlak) December 1, 2022
(2) The Voice – Eimear Quinn
Eimear Quinn represented Ireland in the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest with The Voice which would go on to win the competition outright. The music was composed, and the lyrics were written, by Brendan Graham, who had also written and composed “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, which was the Irish winner from 1994.
At the time this was Ireland’s fourth success in five years and their seventh and most recent success in the competition. Ireland still holds the record for the most contests won by a single country.
“The Voice” is a very Celtic-inspired song, with the singer portraying herself as “the voice” which watches over the world, describing “her” effects on the elements, such as the wind and seasons like Mother Nature. It is of folk-like style and sung at an extremely high pitch. The song was accompanied by traditional Irish percussion, woodwind and string instruments.
If you had told Irish folk back then that this would be the country’s last win for at least 27 years they would have scarcely believed you.
IRELAND 1996 🇮🇪
"The Voice" Eimear Quinn
Music & Lyrics: Brendan Graham
— Eurovision Requests 📂 (@escrequests) February 12, 2023
(1) ‘Hold Me Now’ – Johnny Logan
It had to be, didn’t it? Ireland’s best-known Eurovision song was composed and performed by Irish singer Johnny Logan and won the country the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest. Logan had previously won “What’s Another Year?” in the 1980 contest and would go on to write the winner of the 1992 contest “Why Me?”.
“Hold Me Now” is a ballad sung from the point of view of a man whose love interest is leaving him for someone else. Logan pleads with his girlfriend to “touch, touch [him] the way you used to do” to leave him with good memories of their relationship, even as they “fill this memory / for the last time”.
Hold Me Now is usually sung by Irish football team Bohemians at home matches in Dalymount Park.
#129 | Ireland 🇮🇪 1987
Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now
Last year: 113#ESC250
— Stacey || 🇫🇮🇮🇹🇸🇮🇬🇧🇮🇸🇲🇩 (@StaceysKarma) December 31, 2022
Ireland will be hoping to make it eight Eurovision wins this year in Liverpool and we recently previewed Ireland’s Eurovision chances.
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