Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This Week: ABBA
This week I thought we should have a little chat about one of the greatest pop-groups of our time, ABBA!
ABBA meant the world to me and my friends while we were growing up.
I can still remember when they won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1974. I was 8! And my life changed then. ABBA had come to stay!
I thought they were so cool-looking and that “Waterloo” was the best song ever!
And for all the little girls in my second grade class a new era had started---THE ABBA era!
We were lip-synching to ABBA songs! We were drawing and designing ABBA stage clothes! We were making ABBA paper dolls! We were pretending that our Barbie dolls were Anni-Frid and Agnetha.
We did not care so much for the boys in ABBA, Björn and Benny. No, we found them quite un-interesting. Ha, ha what a joke! But what did we know back then as 8 year olds?
And the years passed and ABBA remained. As soon as an album was released we took off to Vällingby , or Stockholm City, to purchase the treasure. When we got home we played it until we knew every song by heart, and then we played it some more. Over and over and over again.
This was the 70’s and you can bet that it was not cool to like ABBA everywhere. NO ABBA was glamour and glitz in an era that was full of prog-music, radicals, and left party free-thinkers. But, in a way, I think most people liked ABBA. You could just not admit it. But for us kids it was zero problems, we could bubble about them until our hearts were content.
SO, we tortured our parents, in having ABBA concerts in the living room. They had to sit down while we were lip-synching song after song. Dresses up, of course. AND! WE ALL WANTED to be Agnetha. The thing is, if you had dark hair, like me, you automatically became Frida. If you were a lucky blondie, well then you were set—Agnetha!
Every Friday in school we had the so called “Roliga timmen” (the fun hour). That was the time for us students to come up with things we wanted to do, like singing songs, act out little skits and lip-synch…to, yes---ABBA!! Sometimes people were having SWEET or Queen or Björn Skifs “concerts”, but we girls thought that was quite boring, of course. When the "ABBA girls" took the stage two guys from the class had to act like a Björn, with a tennis racket as a guitar, and then as a Benny in front of the classroom organ.
The other day Peter and I were watching Lasse Hallström’s movie from 1977---ABBA, THE MOVIE. Shot during the group’s tour in Australia. Part documentary, part fiction. Kind of fun to watch it, and kind of fun to feel the buzz again. Not that the movie itself was that great, but it was still fun.
Now, what are your favorite ABBA songs? I can tell you mine:
"Does Your Mother Know" "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" and "That’s Me". And yes, I know every single ABBA song by heart, and so do many, many with me! I think you can ask almost any Swedish woman of a certain age about any given ABBA song and she could sing it to you. Just give a try next time you meet a Swede :-)