What's Another Year

"What's Another Year" was Johnny Logan's first Eurovision Song Contest winner, achieving success in the 1980 edition of the Contest. This was Ireland's second Contest victory. Composed by Shay Healy, the song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in May.[1]

"What's Another Year"
Single by Johnny Logan
from the album What's Another Year
B-side"One Night Stand"
ReleasedApril 1980
Format12" single, 7" single
LabelRelease Records, Epic
Songwriter(s)Shay Healy
Producer(s)Bill Whelan, Dave Pennefather
Johnny Logan singles chronology
"What's Another Year"
"In London"
Eurovision Song Contest 1980 entry
Seán Michael Patrick Sherrard
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
◄ "Happy Man" (1979)   
"Horoscopes" (1981) ►

The song is often misinterpreted as a power ballad, sung from the point of view of a man who has been waiting for the girl of his dreams to fall in love with him. On some level, he seems to recognise that she will never share his feelings, but he still holds them regardless. The title appears in the chorus, specifically "What's another year/To someone who is getting used to being alone?" In other words, he is prepared to wait as long as it takes. In reality, the song was written by Shay Healy (who also wrote "the Ultimate Country and Western Song" performed by Billy Connolly) about watching his father coming to terms with the death of his wife and companion, Mairin.

When showband frontman Glen Curtin, the original choice of singer, turned down "What's Another Year", the song was rearranged by Bill Whelan to suit Johnny Logan's singing style.[2] Whelan later composed Riverdance for the interval entertainment slot at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. Musically, the song is easily identifiable by its saxophone introduction played by Scottish musician Colin Tully, who now lives and teaches in Wales. The success of "What's Another Year" launched Logan's Eurovision career (he would go on to success in 1987 with "Hold Me Now") he also had a winner as song writer for Linda Martins Why Me in 1992. In addition, the song was selected as one of the 14 greatest Eurovision entries in a special to mark the 50th anniversary of the contest. It was covered by Shane MacGowan of The Pogues in the "Song for Eurotrash" cover album of 1998.

Famously, after being announced as the winner of the Contest, Logan was overcome with emotion and could not achieve 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.

The song was performed seventeenth on the night (following France's Profil with "Hé, hé M'sieurs dames" and preceding Spain's Trigo Limpio with "Quédate esta noche"). At the close of voting, it had received 143 points, placing 1st in a field of 19. The song was succeeded as Eurovision winner at the Eurovision Song Contest 1981 by British band Bucks Fizz and the song "Making Your Mind Up". It was succeeded as Irish representative at the 1981 Contest by Sheeba with "Horoscopes".

Johnny Logan released a German-language and Spanish-language version of "What's Another Year".

Track listing

European single 7" / 45 RPM single (RL 1005)/(EPC 8572)

Side A: "What's Another Year"
Side B: "One Night Stand"

Spanish single 7"single (EPC 8572)

Side A: "Por un Año Más" - 3:08
Side B: "One Night Stand" - 3:52

German single 7"single (EPC 8732)

Side A: "Was Ist Schon Ein Jahr" - 3:08
Side B: "One Night Stand" - 3:52


Chart (1980) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 1
Denmark (Hitlisten)[5] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[6] 1
Israel (IBA)[7] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 1
Portugal (AFP)[10] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 1
West Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 2


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