284. ‘All Kinds of Everything’, by Dana

We are only four #1 singles into the 1970s, and we already have a contender for the worst chart-topper of the decade. Prepare yourselves…

dana

All Kinds of Everything, by Dana (her 1st and only #1)

2 weeks, from 12th – 26th April 1970

The intro comes in like the theme-tune to an educational show, aimed at nursery school kids. You brace for something bad, but nothing can quite prepare you for just how bad it’s going to be. Snowdrops and daffodils, Butterflies and bees, Sailboats and fishermen, Things of the sea… The entire song is a list. A list of the things that remind the singer of her special someone. Seagulls, And aeroplanes, Things of the sky… (Seagulls? Who sees a seagull and thinks of their beloved? Maybe he saved her from one that was trying to steal her chips?) All kinds of everything, Remind me of you…

Literally everything reminds her of him. Insects, the wind, wishing wells, morning dew, neon lights, postcards, grey skies or blue… Everything. It just doesn’t work. These are lyrics that could have been written by a ten-year-old (though, actually, I teach ten-year-olds, and it’s insulting of me to think they couldn’t write something better than this.) The only way this song works is if the singer is a wide-eyed child, no older than thirteen.

And, to be fair, Dana does have a very innocent, childlike voice. She sells the drivel that she’s signing, in her lilting Irish accent, and sounds like she believes in it… (*Edit* She was eighteen when ‘All Kinds of Everything’ was released. Far too old.) Things take a slightly creepy turn when she starts to sing of dances, romances, things of the night… And you think, be careful Dana, I know what happens to young Irish girls that find themselves ‘in trouble’. I’ve seen ‘Philomena’…

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This was a hit thanks to the Eurovision Song Contest – an evening famous for terrible music. But not this type of terrible. Eurovision is over the top, camp, cheesy glitz. We’ve had one winner hit #1 so far – Sandie Shaw’s ‘Puppet on a String’ – as well as Cliff’s ‘Congratulations’, which took the runners-up position. Neither of those records were very credible, but they were fun. This, though, isn’t interesting terrible or fun terrible… It’s just terrible terrible. And yet… it won. The rest of Europe heard ‘All Kinds of Everything’ and though, yeah, go on then.

Dana Rosemary Scallon is from Derry, in Northern Ireland, and grew up in London. She represented Ireland at Eurovision, though, and got them their first ever win. In return, she received death threats from the IRA, incensed by the fact a British girl was representing the Republic. (Or maybe they just really didn’t like the song either…)

‘All Kinds of Everything’ was Dana’s first big hit, though she had been releasing music since 1967. She would have hits in Ireland, and in Europe, throughout the seventies, but her star slowly waned. By the eighties she had turned to more traditional, Christian music before she was elected as a member of the European Parliament for Connacht-Ulster in 1999. She still records music (in 2007 she released an album called ‘Good Morning Jesus!’, no less.)

Well then. It’s been a scattergun start to the seventies. Like I said, we’re only on the 4th number one and we’ve already had some catchy, no-nonsense pop, a grizzled actor and a genuine classic at the top. And now this… The charts come and go in peaks and troughs. We’re definitely hitting a bit of a trough through the tail-end of ‘69 and into the seventies. But then, the golden days of the swinging sixties couldn’t last forever, could they? We will wait with bated breath for the 1970s to spring fully into life…

14 thoughts on “284. ‘All Kinds of Everything’, by Dana

  1. badfinger20

    Great review! I enjoyed that much more than the song.
    I agree…I think the IRA just was embarrassed about the song!

  2. Her voice isn’t all that bad…it’s just the song. Yeck.

    So, she’s Irish by birth but, a Londoner by culture. If she was Irish, why the IRA backlash? I’m not understanding the issue. Have mercy. I’m just a dull American.

    I knew Eurovision sounded familiar. Olivia Newton-John was on that in the early 70s.

    1. Yes Eurovision is great – America’s missing out! ABBA are probably the most famous act to have been on Eurovision. Or maybe Cliff. Or Lulu. Olivia Newton-John represented the UK in the 70s, yes.

      The IRA’s problem with Dana was that she was Northern Irish – the British bit of Ireland – the bit that they wanted back – but representing the Republic of Ireland. And this was right at the start of the ‘troubles’, so it was all very tense… Nowadays I doubt there’d be as much of a fuss, if any.

      You don’t have to be a native of that country to represent them – we’ve had Australians singing for Britain, Celine Dion sang for Switzerland…

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  5. In defence of Dana… actually I can’t substantiate that! It was a nice toon if you ignore the lyrics, but she had one decent musical moment in 1976, with her single Fairytale – and not the same song that won Eurovision about 10 years back either – and that was it really 🙂

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  7. A bit too nicey-nicey, yes, but I must admit I quite liked it at the time (honest, I loved Jethro Tull and Canned Heat too at the same time) and find it hard to nurse any kind of hatred for it. ‘The worst chart-topper of the decade?’ Have you forgotten ‘Wand’rin Star’, ‘Long Haired Lover from Liverpool’, ‘No Charge’, or Telly Savalas ‘If’?

    1. Hmm… I doubt it will remain as my least favourite #1 of the decade… Especially with Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep and the New Seekers coming up soon. I quite enjoyed ‘Wand’rin Star’ though – it doesn’t deserve to be in that company!

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