Last night BBC viewers voted Waterloo the greatest Eurovision song of all time. Of course, I’m afraid there’s no contest.
Inspired by the nation’s appreciation for ABBA, and my conviction that there is an ABBA song for pretty much every occasion, I’ve compiled a list of five relevant ABBA songs that can get us through this period.
1. Our Last Summer
We’re all feeling nostalgia for happier times when we could do things like — well, go somewhere that wasn’t the supermarket. This fabulous hit was brought to prominence by Mamma Mia and Colin Firth’s overly anglicised ‘walks along the Seine’, and evokes strong images of an idyllic romantic summer in Paris.
“Paris restaurants…morning croissants, living for the day, worries far away”.
2. If It Wasn’t For The Nights
On a less cheery note, this poignant song has an upbeat jaunt that disguises its deeply sad message: the pain of a break up. So many people in isolation right now will be able to relate to its sentiments: you can distract yourself during the day but when night falls and those distractions are over, the loneliness and emptiness hits you.
“Even I could see a light if it wasn’t for the nights; somehow I’d be doing all right if it wasn’t for the nights”.
3. Dancing Queen
After that sobering message, it’s time to cheer ourselves up. Why not go for a classic? The beauty of this period is that you really can dance like nobody’s watching — because that’s probably true! It’s time for all of us to inject a bit of fun into our lives and take our moment to be dancing queens.
“You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life!”
4. I Have a Dream
Like ‘If It Wasn’t For The Nights’ this classic comes from ABBA’s 1979 album Voulez-vous. The lyrics really do speak for themselves: all of us can get through this and other tough times if we keep dreaming.
“I have a dream, a fantasy / To help me through reality / And my destination makes it worth the while / Pushing through the darkness still another mile”.
5. Hasta Manana
This period will pass. Until then ABBA has reminded us of the tools that can get us through: nostalgia, reflection, fun and dreams. But the final one is hope. The Queen reassured us a few weeks ago that “we will see our friends again; we will see our families again; we will meet again”. We cling to that hope, and in the meantime we say with ABBA “hasta manana until then”.
“Where is the spring and the summer that once was yours and mine?
Where did it go? I just don’t know. But still my love for you will live forever.
Hasta Manana ’til we meet again
Don’t know where, don’t know when…
Hasta Manana, baby, Hasta Manana, until then”