ABBA lyrics reflect the Swedish pop invasion that
swept the U. S. in the 1970s and 80s and open the doors for many
other European bands. Selling over 370 million records, ABBA remains
one of the top selling bands of all time.
ABBA is actually an acronym formed from the first letters of the
first names of each of the band member, Agnetha, Björn, Benny
and Anni-Frid (Frida). Though many journalists call the band Abba,
the correct spelling is in all caps to keep the acronym in tact.
The band was made up of Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha
Fältskog, Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad and in fact
Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog were married when ABBA
was performing. The ABBA lyrics in "The Winner Takes All"
were written by Björn is said to be able the marital tribulations
between Björn and Agnetha as they were divorcing. The lyrics
are a very personal account written with a bottle of Scotch at hand.
The ABBA lyrics in "S.O.S." were also written by Björn
about trying to understand the breakdown of the marriage. The song
"S.O.S." by ABBA was the first palindrome song title recorded
by a band whose name was also a palindrome (same spelled forwards
The lyrics to "Dancing Queen" were written by Ulvaeus
and Andersson and were inpired by Queen Silvia of Sweden. She married
King Gustaf XVI in 1976 and ABBA performed the song for them before
they were married. This is evident in a couple of the lyrics, "Where
they play the right music, getting in the swing / You come in to
look for a king".
On the The Visitors, the album's title track by the same
name was about Soviet dissidents and secret meetings that were held
without the approval of the totalitarian government. Other ABBA
lyrics on this album reflect less political themes and are about
failed relationships, loss of innocence and other topics.
In the late 1990s there was a Broadway musical names Mamma Mia!
that was built around the music of ABBA. The musical became an international
smash hit. Interestingly, songwriters Andersson and Ulvaeus could
not write standard musical notation, so other musicians who did
read and write music had to be brought in to listen and transcribe
the music, delaying the project for months.
The ABBA lyrics are fun, pop tales of love found, love lost, dancing
and high spirits that can be found in other Schlager style of popular
music generally found in Northern Europe at the time. Unlike other
music or bands of this type, however, ABBA achieved worldwide recognition
on a scale not seen before in this region.