Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Abba Thing

Last night when I was getting ready for bed, I turned on the TV. I like to have something to entertain me while brushing my teeth.

I flipped through the channels and came across The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I stopped here because I had heard this is a very important Aussie film. I wanted to get to bed so I didn't see all of it. But I saw enough to know that I really like it and hope to see more of it again.

The movie had some ABBA connections and it made me wonder what's up with Australia and ABBA? Muriel's Wedding is full of ABBA songs. Now I find out this Priscilla movie has it as well. And at the National Archives in Canberra there was a little ABBA exhibit.

I also have my own personal ABBA-Australia connections. The main one being that I watched Mamma Mia on our plane voyage over. It kind of became my own personal soundtrack for our holiday.

I have some stuff in the past as well.

For awhile, I was really into editing videos for my family. In the first video I did, one of the songs I used was "I Have a Dream". Then my sister requested the same song when I made her life-synopsis video for her wedding. I used the song for the montage of her teen years. I ended up videotaping their whole wedding weekend as well. I used that song for the scene in which the bride and bridesmaids are waiting nervously in a boardroom.

How does that connect to Australia? Well, my sister and her husband went to Australia last February!

Then in another video, I used the song "Take a Chance on Me". In that montage, my cousin has Jack sitting on her lip. She's feeding him berries. And guess what? That cousin moved to Australia!

Oh! Here's another one. Well, kind of..... When we were in Port Stephens, the only other family, besides us, who were not from New South Wales were from Sweden. And hey.....Abba is Swedish.

Then when I was at the Double Bay playground I met this couple. The wife was from Sweden. We talked about how we love Australia. She said the first time she came over she was in the Perth airport. Without even leaving the damn airport, she knew she loved it. She called her mom and told her she wanted to live here someday.

So, there you go.

The ABBA-Australia connection.


  1. Love ABBA. Love, love, love.

    My favourite ABBA song is Fernando.

  2. Stephen,

    I love ABBA too!

    I don't know what my favorite song is. It changes everyday.

    Right now I think it's "What's the Name of the Game?"

  3. A. I LOVE Muriel's Wedding.
    B. I LOVE Abba. I made Randy listen to Mama Mia for an hour on our road trip.
    C. British people love Abba too. They were obsessed with Abba when I lived in London in 98-99. Weird.

  4. Andrea,

    I wonder when the peak of the Aussie obsession with ABBA was. Maybe it was the same time as London's. Were Americans ever as obsessed? I wonder about the Swedish. Is it as popular there--or were they more of an overseas sensation.

    Maybe you can play ABBA songs at your wedding!!! You can have a Muriel's Wedding theme--well, without the marrying for citizenship part.

  5. ABBA was HUGE in Oz, MASSIVE doesn't begin to describe it.
    Don't forget ABBA wrote Boomerang and there was ABBA: The Movie which was aired again recently on pay tv here and it went off like a frog in a sock ratings-wise.

  6. ABBA was more successful and popular in Australia in the 70s (and since) than anywhere in the world, except maybe Sweden--bigger than in the UK or US by a long shot. That's why their music is so prevalent in Australian pop culture, movies, etc.

    Sorry to have missed you when you were in Sydney.

  7. Jayne: I really never realized how popular they were. I kind of thought the Muriel's Wedding thing was a fluke.

    Misrule: I'm sorry I missed you too. We'll try for next time!

  8. Björn Ulvaeus credits the popularity of ABBA in Australia with their later worldwide success. Originally, ABBA weren't that successful in other national markets, but because they were going gangbusters in Oz record execs took note and decided to promote ABBA in their own markets.

    The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

  9. Muriel's Wedding is pure and sheer joy. Love that film.

  10. I just love ABBA! takes me right back to being 17 again, going to the disco every friday night... their music is such a strong association with that time of my life, I think I know the words to every song!

  11. Louise,

    I love hearing all these ABBA stories. I wasn't really familiar with their music until recently. I mean I heard of a few songs, but that's it.

    I guess in the last few years with seeing Muriel's Wedding and hearing Mamma Mia Soundtrack, I became more familiar with it.