Eurovision Fest

Lys Assia – Refrain


In 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest marked its inaugural edition, aiming to foster unity through music in Europe, which was still recovering from the ravages of World War II. Among the pioneering artists, who took part in this historic event, was Switzerland and its representative Rosa Mina Schärer (professionally known as Lys Assia) with her captivating song “Refrain”.

“Refrain” is a tender and romantic ballad that speaks of love and longing. The song’s title, “Refrain”, refers to the recurring chorus that emphasizes the singer’s plea for a lost love to return. Lys Assia’s performance was marked by its heartfelt delivery and emotive interpretation, capturing the essence of melancholy and yearning.

The orchestration of “Refrain” was melodious and harmonious, featuring lush arrangements that complemented artist’s powerful yet delicate vocals. The song’s poignant melody and evocative lyrics combined to create a captivating and memorable performance that resonated deeply with audiences.


Release date Genre Length Language Country
24 May 1956 Chanson Poétique 03:11 French Switzerland
French English
(Refrain d’amour…) (Refrain of love…)
Refrain, couleur du ciel, parfum de mes vingt ans
Jardin plein de soleil où je courais enfant
Partout je t’ai cherché, mon amoureux lointain
Guettant par les sentiers où tu prenais ma main
Refrain, colour of the sky, the scent of my twenties
Garden full of sun where I spent my childhood
Everywhere I’ve been looking for you, my distant love
Waiting along the path where you took my hand
Les jours s’en sont allés et nous avons grandi
L’amour nous a blessés, le temps nous a guéris
Mais seule et sans printemps
Je cours en vain les bois, les champs
Dis, souviens-toi nos amours d’autrefois?
The days passed away and we grew up
Love wounded us, time cured us
But lonesome and without spring
I run in vain through the woods, the fields
Say, do you remember our old loves?
Les années passent à tire-d’aile
Et sur les toits de mon ennui coule la pluie
Où sont parties les caravelles, volant mon cœur
Portant mes rêves vers ton oubli?
J’aurais voulu que tu reviennes comme jadis
Porter des fleurs à ma persienne
Et ta jeunesse en mon logis
The years pass away as quick as lightning
And upon the roofs of my concern pours the rain
Where did the caravels leave, stealing my heart
Carrying my dreams away from your memory?
I wanted you to come back like bygone
Carrying flowers to my shutter
And your youthfulness to my home
Refrain, couleur de pluie, regret de mes vingt ans
Chagrin, mélancolie de n’être plus enfant
Mais seule et loin de toi, par les chemins où tu n’es pas
Je vais, pleurant mes amours de vingt аnѕ
Refrain, colour of the rain, regret of my twenties
Sorrow, melancholy not to be a child anymore
But lonesome and far from you, along the roads where you аre not
I go, crying the loves of my twentieѕ

While the scoring system of the first Eurovision Song Contest remains shrouded in mystery, with a detailed record not publicly disclosed, it was well-known that Switzerland won with Lys Assia’s song “Refrain” back then. She won the first edition of the contest becoming of who was latter known as the first woman to win the contest and the first artist to win the contest on the home soil as the host country.

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