Emil Ramsauer, who performed bass violin at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 with Switzerland’s Takasa, has died at the age of 103. 

From the age of 10, Emil played in musical groups affiliated with the Salvation Army — the Christian charity group whose members, known as Salvationists, run charity shops, operate shelters and provide disaster and humanitarian relief around the world.

He died just two months shy of his 104th birthday in a retirement home where he was looked after by both staff and his wife. 

As his funeral, a fellow Salvationist said: “He had a long, fulfilled and versatile life.”

 

He was a bit of a Renaissance man within the world of music, playing flugelhorn, baritone and percussion. Emil always put his skills to good use. In his final decades, he regularly performed at retirement homes, bringing positive vibes and joy to the elderly.

At Eurovision 2013, Emil, then 95, became the oldest person ever to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest at the time. He proved that age does not have to limit one’s enthusiasm or zest for life.

He was, in many ways, the star of Takasa’s music video for “You and I”, which sees the group traveling in a small car. At times Emil is in the driver’s seat, at times he’s in the back smiling as his younger bandmates clap and sing and dance. But throughout all of it, his bass violin is seen attached to the back of the vehicle — a symbol of their journey through Eurovision and the centrality of music in their life. 

The live performance in Malmö was particularly poignant. Emil, bright-eyed and in awe of the stage, scans left and right, and at times his female bandmate places her hand on his right shoulder. On the final note he forgets to raise his hand in time with the others, but eventually lifts it — adding quirkiness and authenticity to the sweet and touching performance.

The lyrics of their Eurovision entry take on renewed poignancy now that he is gone. As friends and family remember him through his actions and music, they will no doubt feel his spirit and legacy around them. 

When the times are getting rough gold and silver turn to dust

People build their barricades out of jealousy and hate

But there’s one thing they could never, never ever separate

Ah, let it hear from near and far

This is how it’s meant to be, we’re together you and me

Ah, nothing can tear us apart

Sailing on a stormy sea, we’re together you and me

Our thoughts are with Emil’s friends in family during this difficult time.

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There is a light guiding my way
There is a light guiding my way
3 months ago

Takasa’s song was called “You and Me” tho, not “You and I”. You might want to edit that… What is also a great shame is that the Eurovision channel STILL haven’t re-uploaded the video of their 2013’s performance in a full corrected version. What was stopping them to at least do it now after Mr. Emil Ramsauer has passed away as a way to commemorate him? Am I missing something here? Do they have the performance at all? Cause if they do, I really can’t see what’s the problem to just do it. Unfortunately I have just found out about… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by There is a light guiding my way
Addie
Addie
4 months ago

Oh my goodness, this is so sad! Rest in peace, dear Emil, and I hope that his family and friends can get through this hard time. He was so adorable in Eurovision 2013. What a long (and fulfilled) life he had!

rainer1
rainer1
4 months ago

Alles gueti, liebe emil und e gueti reis. Ich han dech e paar mol dörfe träffe und ich ha jedes mol dänkt: was für en tolle, inspirierende und positive mänsch. Ich weiss, du hesch e langs und schöns läbe gha.
Viel spass im esc-himmel, ciao emil.

Jonas
Jonas
5 months ago

He was born in 1918, in a totally different world. What a long life. I wonder what world today’s babies will be living in 103 years from now.

Jesper Hjellnes
Jesper Hjellnes
5 months ago

RIP Emil
I love You and Me and I still have it in my top 10 of ESC 2013

Heartbeater
Heartbeater
5 months ago

Omg Rest In Peace legend the oldest Eurovision participant ever

Daniel
Daniel
5 months ago

I can’t even remember that performance

Zisk
Zisk
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel

What a charming thing to say in response to an attempt to memorialize somebody’s legacy

Colin
Colin
5 months ago

For a brief moment I thought that he was reselected to represent Switzerland in 2022, and that would’ve been awesome. 103 is a long lifespan, even if I agree with the proverb that nobody who is loved is too old not to live one day more. R. I. P., Emil, and thank you for happy memories.

Andrea
Andrea
5 months ago

RIP Emil.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
5 months ago

Rest in peace Emil. You’ve earned it after all.

Fellow ESC fans, be grateful he could live to 103 because we cannot say the same about other people.

esc_fl
esc_fl
5 months ago

Godspeed Emil <3

Alex
Alex
5 months ago

RIP
One of my favourite entries from 2013.
Simple, melodic, uplifting and warm.
Glad people really liked it voted for it.

Last edited 5 months ago by Alex
Jack Popfield
Jack Popfield
5 months ago

RIP Emil <3 "You and Me" is my favorite Swiss NQ

Joe
Joe
5 months ago

RIP Emil. Unlike a lot of stuff regarding the Salvation Army (which I won’t get into here because that’s beside the point), you seemed like a sweet guy who really did throw himself into making people’s lives better your entire life. A noble man with a noble cause who we’re glad brought his spirit to the Eurovision stage.

Dani
Dani
5 months ago

It is still unbelievable to me. There were amazing days he will experience no doubt. This was so timeless and yes i know every death is early in its own way. But this one was too early Uncle Emil. I couldn’t make it to funeral since im covid positive right now but today i went to your home which everybody cried their heart out at

Thanos
Thanos
5 months ago

Rest in peace Emil!!!

Ukraine stan
Ukraine stan
5 months ago

Rest in peace

Whisker
Whisker
5 months ago

RIP and thank you for the music!

Lil Krumpy
Lil Krumpy
5 months ago

Rest in peace, Emil. A true part of history.

meri
meri
5 months ago

RIP, Emil <3

Last edited 5 months ago by meri