Paulo de Carvalho "E Depois de Adeus"
Paulo de Carvalho "E Depois de Adeus" (And After Goodbye)
Flopped at Eurovision - but started a revolution back home
The song is about the end of a relationship. It's not in any way political. Paulo de Carvalho gives a good professional vocal performance, and he's singing in Portuguese. It's a respectable entry. But the musical paradigm is entirely American. And, even for 1974, out-of-date.
Eurovision is a song contest - it's for the best original new song. And the Portuguese entry sounds like something Sinatra, Matt Munro or any Sinatra clone might have sung. It is a mainstream American-style song, old-fashioned and behind the times. The UK had Matt Munro sing at the Eurovision contest - but a decade earlier, in 1964.
Stuck back in time
Portugal in 1974 was itself old-fashioned and behind the times. In fact so far behind the times it was still in the grip of a backward-looking fascist dictatorship, and running a ramshackle colonial empire after all the other European powers had turned away from empire. It was stuck in a timewarp, and its people were suffering - locked in a long war, economically going nowhere and with no end in site.
Culturally Portugal was isolated, and the autocratic regime was afraid of anything subversive or modern. Economically, it was ultra-protectionist. Coca-Cola, even though it was American, was banned - to protect the local soft drinks industry.
Singers and music were licenced by the state and song lyrics subject to censorship. Older American music was accepted, but not the new 60s stuff or anything with anti-war or political