Irish One Hit Wonders: Et Cetera by Sinéad Mulvey and Black Daisy

In this issue, Deputy Entertainment Editor Julie Crowley looks at a song called Et Cetera – Ireland’s unsuccessful Eurovision entry in 2009. It was the only Irish hit single by Sinéad Mulvey and Black Daisy.  

Et cetera (et cetera)

I heard that old song many times

But I still believe you really wanted her

I spent the day deciding should I go or stay

Hoping that the pain would go away

Et Cetera was Ireland’s Eurovision entry in 2009. Irish singer Sinéad Mulvey and her band Black Daisy represented Ireland at the Eurovision semi-final held in Moscow, Russia. They were an Irish-Lithuanian band. The members were Sinéad Mulvey, Lesley-Ann Halvey, Asta Milleriene, and Nicole Billings. Original lead guitarist Steff Caffrey was allegedly asked to leave by RTÉ because the four-piece backing band was seen as too large for the Eurovision stage. Mulvey had previously appeared on You’re A Star prior to her appearance on Eurovision. The song Et Cetera was written by a multinational team consisting of Niall Mooney, Jonas Gladnikoff, Daniele Moretti and Christina Schilling. The song was selected by national juries and viewer votes from six possible entries. Et Cetera is a powerpop/rock song from the perspective of a woman frustrated by her cheating boyfriend. It is a catchy song but it did not achieve the success it arguably deserved.

The previous year had hit a new low for Ireland’s Eurovision entries with the cringe worthy Irlande Douze Pointe from Dustin the Turkey. Black Daisy were the only all-female group in the competition that year. Et Cetera was a promising entry from a musical standpoint but it failed to strike a chord with voters, narrowly losing out on tenth place despite positive audience reception. The song performed disappointingly, placing 11th in the semi-final with only 52 points. It failed to qualify for the final as a result. The 2009 Eurovision final was won by Norway. Speaking to Morning Ireland,  Mulvey stated that “We were so close to tenth place. We gave our heart and soul into that performance.” As a single Et Cetera was a modest success in Ireland. It was released as a single by Sony Music in 2009, entering the charts in July at no.15 and staying for three weeks, peaking at no.6.  

Ireland has had seven Eurovision wins, which is the highest number of any country. Dana won in 1970 with “All Kinds of Everything”, Johnny Logan won with “What’s Another Year” in 1980 and “Hold Me Now” in 1987, Linda Martin won with “Why Me” in 1992, Niamh Kavanagh won with “In Your Eyes” in 1993, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids” in 1994, and Eimear Quinn’s The Voice won in 1996.  Its success has notably declined in recent years. Ireland has not come first since 1996.  Ireland has failed to qualify for the final seven times since 2005. On the rare occasions where Ireland has reached the final in the twenty-first century it has rarely succeeded, coming last in 2007 and 2013. In 2011, Jedward came 8th with their song “Lipstick” which was the best result for years: the first top 10 placement since 2007. It seems unlikely that Ireland will be able to replicate the success of previous decades.

Although Et Cetera was a decent song performed by a talented band, it failed to break the pattern of failure which has dominated Ireland’s Eurovision attempts in recent years. Black Daisy subsequently disbanded, which leaves Et Cetera as their one and only hit single.