The other songs the Lib Dems could have chosen at the end of Tim’s speech…

This was the song that played as Tim Farron left the hall today.

An inspired choice.

The performer is referenced in his speech here:

Patriots love their country, nationalists hate their neighbours.

I am a patriot.

The fact that in 1990 I kissed the TV when David Platt scored against Belgium in the last minute of injury time doesn’t mean I hate Guy Verhofstadt…or Tin Tin…or Plastic Bertrand, or any of the other large number of very, very famous Belgians.

Of course, looking at this list of Top Ten Famous Belgians, it would have been equally appropriate to have something from the musical My Fair Lady, as its star, Audrey Hepburn, was born in Brussels.

I think that Plastic Bertrand was probably more Tim than “I could have danced all night” though.

But my favourite, which would have fitted in with our environmental credentials, is this one.

Eddy Merckx, probably the most famous Belgian of all time won the Tour de France five times.

But there is another more appropriate song for the Liberal Democrats. J’aime la vie by Sandra Kim. I love life is exactly the sort of optimistic, positive vibe the party wants to project and there’s a parallel with our party’s fortunes.

Sandra won the 1986 Eurovision contest – Belgium’s so far only victory – and made history in doing so as the country had come last the year before. Clearly a good omen for us. It’s also a total outrage that she hasn’t made it on to the top ten famous Belgians list, which currently stands at 90% men.

let me digress a wee moment. I know amongst our readers that there are a fair few Eurovision fans. If you are not one of those people, you may wish to look away now. The mere mention of the 1985 Eurovision song contest is always guaranteed to make me smile because I love the song that did win so much. You can listen to the wonderful Norwegian entry by Bobbysocks here.

It’s a simple step from there to Love shine a light by Katrina and the Waves, the last time we won, 20 years ago. Much to my husband’s disgust, I can feel a bit more Eurovision coming on this evening. It’ll be Charlotte Nielsen’s Take me to your heaven next….

Feel free to suggest your own favourite Lib Dem, Belgian or Eurovision anthems in the comments.

Update:

When you love a song someone has posted in the comments so much, you have to add it into the main post. This is the 2011 Danish Eurovision entry and is just right for now.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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19 Comments

  • Jane Ann Liston 19th Mar '17 - 10:21pm

    Anything on a saxophone – Adolphe Sax was a Belgian.

    Or something rousing like the overture to Ruslan & Ludmilla (Glinka) which used to be played before Liberal Party Political broadcasts, or Auber’s overture to Masaniello, a work which (allegedly) so inflamed the spirits of the Brussels audience that they rose up, revolted and created Belgium.

  • Simon Horner 19th Mar '17 - 10:37pm

    My favourite Belgians are my teenage daughter and son. The European citizenship that I currently share with them will be ripped away in two years time. They had planned to study in Scotland but as they are not entitled to UK nationality they have wisely decided to apply to Irish universities instead.

  • Simon: I do feel for you and your family. You shouldn’t have to go through that.

  • Eddie Sammon 19th Mar '17 - 10:53pm

    I listen to a bit of Belgium music. Salvatore Adamo (although he was born in Italy) and Stromae.

    I think Salvatore Adamo is Belgium’s top selling singer of all time, but that list mustn’t have included him as Belgium, even though his mother tongue seems to be Walloon French.

    Stromae is a good modern singer. Here he is singing a song about love and Twitter on Jimmy Kimmel, with English subtitles!

  • Laura Hudson 20th Mar '17 - 5:47am

    They’re not Belgian (at least not as far as I l know), but I’ve long thought that the leader should walk on/off to ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet. As well as being the party colour, the lyrics actually fit quite well…

  • Paul Reynolds 20th Mar '17 - 7:51am

    I understand Tim likes Pre Fab Brussels Sprout. ha ha What a load of Belgian Waffle.

  • Belgium are a good bet for a top 5 finish this year, but it’s hard to see how Italy don’t win with an infectiously catchy tune and a guy in a gorilla costume. I have a sneaking suspicion that the UK will do comparatively well this year – by which I mean not being in the bottom 3.

    If I had to choose a Eurovision song for the Lib Dems it would have to be the Danish entry “New Tomorrow” by the band “A friend in London” with its anthemic chorus.

  • Richard Underhill 20th Mar '17 - 10:57am

    I have visited Belgium more often than any other country. My father was in the RAF and worked for the Air Attache in the late 1940s. We have a Belgian cookbook. Please do not say it is the same as French.
    When the French built the Maginot Line along the border with Germany the Germans planned to avoid it by going through Belgium in WW1 and through Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg in WW2. Belgian friends were very pro-British because we had tried to defend them. The UK also took in lots of Belgian refugees, as per the display in Tunbridge Wells Town Hall.
    When De Gaulle expelled NATO from Paris Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe went to Belgium at Mons.
    As a Lib Dem we had a training visit to our sister party in Belgium, led by a Swede.

  • Philip Williams 20th Mar '17 - 11:00am

    Jacques Brel was Belgian. But, whilst a beautiful song Ne Me Quitte Pas might set the wrong tone in this context.

  • Diane Reddell 20th Mar '17 - 12:05pm

    Songs that could have been used:- All around the world – Daft Punk, Making your mind up – Bucks Fizz. The more you ignore me, the closer I get – Morrissey, If the kids are united – sham 69, Children of the revolution – T-Rex or People loving people – Garth Brooks

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 20th Mar '17 - 3:17pm

    Paul Walter, the song you mention, “Dominique”, is lovely, isn’t it? My first thought was that the “Singing Nun” wouldn’t have been too happy about the Faith Schools motion! But perhaps I’m wrong, for she became increasingly freethinking and critical of the Catholic Church. In fact she was a remarkable woman, who could be regarded as a liberal hero.

  • @Paul Murray: That is a gorgeous song, isn’t it? So positive. I love it.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 20th Mar '17 - 8:12pm

    Today we should unite this article and our previous references to our Liberal patriotism , exemplified in internationalism,and , delighted because of Caron’s very welcome reference to one of my favourite people of all time , the Belgian born, Dutch raised, but lifelong British citizen, Audrey Hepburn, pay tribute to another of the greats, Dame Vera Lynn, and sing , ” We ‘ll meet again !” as a tribute for that wonderful and much loved , centenarian , lady , Happy Birthday !

  • Unaccoubtably he’s never appeared on Eurovision but Billy Bragg’s Between The Wars seems particularly apt. Especially this bit.

    “For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory
    Mine is the green field and the factory floor
    Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
    And mine is the peace we know
    Between the wars”

    Or the last two lines “Sweet moderation, Heart of this nation Desert us not, we are between the wars” which I once quoted on an election leaflet (I claim to be the only person to have quoted a Billy Bragg song on a Lib Dem leaflet)

  • Neil Sandison 22nd Mar '17 - 2:15pm

    A New Tomorrow certainly gets my vote !

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