Ireland’s capital Dublin became the host again of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest after Johnny Logan won the contest in the preceding year with What’s Another Year which was a European bestseller, but he would even be outscored by the 1981 winner Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz from the United Kingdom.

For the second time, the Eurovision champion winner, Ireland, was the host for the event which took place in Dublin. In 1981, the total amount of participating countries was 20 once again equalling the record set three years earlier in Paris. Morocco withdrew after their first participation, and Italy decided to stay at home as well because the interest in the country had diminished. Yugoslavia returned to the contest after five years of absence, so did Israel after the county had missed out on one contest. Finally, Cyprus made its Eurovision debut. It was also the first year Egypt’s television viewers could follow the contest live on television.

The opening sequence of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest showed ‘old Ireland’ blending into ‘modern Ireland’ with shots of Celtic ruins, cliffs, castles, edited together with close-ups of art and shots of planes, waterfalls, people in the park, children feeding birds, traditional door knockers, front doors, architecture and horse races. The sequence ended with a map of Europe on a globe which span round to reveal the Eurovision logo.

The United Kingdom’s entry Making Your Mind Up by the group Bucks Fizz won the 1981 contest after a close race with Germany’s entry Johnny Blue by Lena Valaitis. Bucks Fizz was specially formed for the Eurovision Song Contest and had created a memorable show act when the 2 guys in the group ripped off the skirts of the 2 girls, revealing a shorter skirt underneath. To date, it is seen by many as one of the most memorable moments in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Bucks Fizz continued their career all over Europe with many hitsongs during the 1980s, like The Land Of Make Believe and My Camera Never Lies.


01 Austria Marty Brem Wenn Du Da Bist 020 17
02 Turkey Modern Folk Trio and Aysegül Dönme Dolap 009 18
03 Germany Lena Valaitis Johnny Blue 132 02
04 Luxembourg Jean-Claude Pascal C’est Peut-être Pas L’amérique 041 11
05 Israel Habibi Halaylah 056 07
06 Denmark Debbie Cameron, Tommy Seebach Krøller Eller Ej 041 11
07 Yugoslavia Seid-Memic Vajta Leila 035 15
08 Finland Riki Sorsa Reggae O.k. 027 16
09 France Jean Gabilou Humanahum 125 03
10 Spain Bacchelli Y Solo Tú 038 14
11 Netherlands Linda Williams Het Is Een Wonder 051 09
12 Ireland Sheeba Horoscopes 105 05
13 Norway Finn Kalvik Aldri I Livet 000 20
14 Un. Kingdom Bucks Fizz Making Your Mind Up 136 01
15 Portugal Carlos Paião Play-back 009 18
16 Belgium Emly Starr Samson 040 13
17 Greece Yiannis Dimitras Feggari Kalokerino 055 08
18 Cyprus Island Monika 069 06
19 Switzerland Peter, Sue and Marc Io Senza Tei 121 04
20 Sweden Björn Skifs Fångad I En Dröm 050 10

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