In 1945, Europe was in ruins, America had won the war, and, if the Continentals weren't exactly promising to love the Yanks forevermore, they knew that their fate was to be with them, and they couldn't escape even if they wanted to. The US security umbrella and the Eurovision Song Contest both date back to the immediate post-war period. The idea was to help build a continent in which you could sing "Waterloo" rather than fight it, and, if in their excessive generosity the Americans accelerated the Europeans' inclination to softness and decadence, well, it's not their problem, and the Euros might have seen it coming. As Abba's lyric shrewdly anticipates:
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself.
After winning Eurovision in 1974 Abba bestrode the world like a colossus - if you can imagine any self-respecting colossus going out in public in velveteen knickerbockers, silver boots, pearl kimono and tricorn hat. And that was just the boys..