Can You Match the Lyric to the ABBA Song?



By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: Columbia Records

About This Quiz

Everything old is new again! At least, that's the case with Swedish pop group ABBA. Decades after their 1970s wonder years, they're recording new songs for release late in 2018. Meanwhile, a sequel to "Mamma Mia," the ABBA-inspired and -soundtracked film, is hitting theaters in mid-2018. 

The Swedish foursome broke through in the 1970s, winning the Eurovision song contest, and went on to be one of the most successful pop bands of the 1970s. The quartet's name is composed of the first letters of their names: Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid. Sadly, ABBA broke up in 1982, but not before making an indelible mark on the music world. Their music would be resurrected to feature prominently in 1990s films like "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert "and "Muriel's Wedding." (Not to mention the musical "Mamma Mia.")

Maybe you're Boomer or Gen-X fan who remembers ABBA from their 1970s heyday. Or you're a millennial who learned about their music from their '90s renaissance. But do you really remember the lyrics to the hit songs? Sure, everyone can sing along with "Dancing Queen" and "Take a Chance on Me," but ABBA produced far more singable, danceable hits than that. Test your ABBA recall now with our quiz!

"You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life..."

Of course, it's "Dancing Queen." The lyrics are famous: "You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen." Downer side-note: Given the song's release in 1976, the girl in the song is now 59 years old and has probably quit dancing due to bunions.


"No more carefree laughter/Silence ever after..."

This is a classic breakup song. The refrain goes, "Knowing me, knowing you/There is nothing we can do/Knowing me, knowing you/We have to face it, this time we're through." It's from the 1976 album "Arrival."


"And you're only smiling/When you play your violin."

"Dum Dum Diddle" came from the 1976 album "Arrival." The song's narrator wants to "be your fiddle," as she calls his violin.


"If you're all alone/When the pretty birds have flown ..."

Hey, this lyric is famous! Perhaps only "Dancing Queen" rivals the popularity and hum-ability of this 1977 hit.


"In my dreams I have a plan/If I got me a wealthy man..."

No, this isn't the famous song that played over the opening of "The Apprentice." ABBA's song was about a gold-digger's dreams.


"So let your arms hang down/And waddle all around/Like a dreadful might killer..."

"Like a dreadful mighty killer" is the tip-off here. If the opening lyrics are to be believed, the songwriter was inspired by seeing "King Kong" on TV.


"All I do is eat and sleep and sing..."

This track came off the 1980 album of the same name. The exhaustion suggested by the lyrics pretty clearly forshadowed the band's breakup, two years later.


"We had our chance/It was a fine and true romance ..."

Despite the word "chance," this lyric isn't from "Take a Chance on Me" but the later "Our Last Summer." This one's from the "Super Trouper" album.


"My friend Sam is a chauffeur, Annie goes to school ..."

The singer goes on to say, "Jerry works at the office, Sue lies by the pool." But all the friends get together to listen to rock-and-roll, which will fill the "hole in your soul."


"Baby by myself I sit and wonder about you..."

This line comes from an early ABBA song and album, "Ring Ring." The group's huge success was still a few years away.


"I've been angry and sad about the things that you do ..."

Yup, it's the song that gave its name to a hit musical! The song itself isn't that cheerful in topic -- it's about a lover who always takes her unreliable man back.


"So you fight to find your freedom ..."

This song came from the self-titled album "ABBA." It's about a woman striking out on her own after a divorce.


"But I know I don't possess you/So go away, God bless you ..."

This is another breakup song, as the lyric suggests. It came from the 1976 album "Arrival."


"Tread lightly on my ground ..."

In this track, the singer compares herself to her lover's "song," which he should play "andante." "Andante" is a musical instruction in Italian meaning, "at a gentle or walking pace."


"I'm Carrie not-the-kind-of-girl-you'd-marry ..."

"I'm Carrie not-the-kind-of-girl-you'd-marry/That's me." We're not entirely sure what the girl in this song is apologizing for. Being easy? Not being easy enough? Listen to it yourself and take a guess.


"Sweet sweet kisses so tender/Will always return to sender ..."

"Bang-a-Boomerang" -- just more of the deeply cerebral songwriting we've come to expect from ABBA, right? (Just kidding ... but really, it was probably best that they sat out the grunge era).


"Somehow we'll help each other through the hard times ..."

The verses to this song describe a relationship in trouble. But the chorus, from which the above lyric is taken, suggests a commitment to get through the troubles together.


"So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me ..."

As the title suggests, this is a distress call for a failing relationship. It comes from the 1975 album "Arrival."


"Love me or leave me, make your choice but believe me ...."

We imagine this 1976 song was played at more than one wedding reception. Frothy and light, the refrain goes, "I love you/ I do, I do, I do, I do."


"You want me to leave it there/Afraid of a love affair ..."

Yes, we put this one in twice, it's so famous! This is more of the female speaker's attempts at persuasion -- the man of her dreams is afraid of taking their relationship "to the next level," as people say nowadays.


"Hard as a hammer, not the kind of boss you double-cross ..."

What's this, a little bit of socially conscious songwriting? Strike us pink! This song condemned the rich man who has everything, but can't buy friendship.


"Baby, so don't stop doing it, don't stop doing it now ..."

More lyrics: "Rock me, give me that feeling/Roll me, rocking and reeling." Whatever could they *possibly* have meant by this? This song is just another reminder that the expression "rock and roll" was originally a slang term for sex.


"Leaning over me, trying to explain the laws of geometry ..."

The word "geometry" might have tipped you off here. The girl in the song did in fact kiss her teacher: "I held my breath, but he just smiled ..." These were more innocent times!


"Without a song or a dance what are we?"

This song, from 1977's "The Album," is a song of gratitude. The singer calls herself kind of a bore -- "If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before" -- except for the gift of song, which makes everybody happy.


"One look and you're hypnotized ..."

The man in the song is no one's brother! It's a warning to a young girl who is falling for a womanizer, by whom the singer has already been cast aside.


"I'm a bashful child, beginning to grow..."

This 1977 song has the speaker wondering if her new guy is playing a game. She's beginning to open up to him, as she does with no one else: "If I trust in you, would you let me down?"


"Like a doll, like a puppet with no will at all ..."

The lyric above makes it pretty obvious, eh? The singer complains of being viewed as "so free" when she feels that she's not free at all.


"You thrill me, you delight me/You please me, you excite me ..."

Pretty racy stuff, this song was. More lyrics: "I thought I would no more/Manage to hit the ceiling/You brought it back to me/That old feeling."


"In these old familiar rooms children would play ..."

Did the couple in this breakup song have children? Or were they only planning on it? The word "would" leaves room for interpretation.


"He said 'Keep on rocking baby, till the night is gone.' "

We're not sure what the point of this song is -- the lyrics start out serious, but end up advocating partying the night away. It does, however, remind us of our favorite 12-step group, the one for nonstop talkers: On and On and On Anon.


"Slightly worn, but dignified, and not too old for sex ..."

"Slightly worn, but dignified, and not too old for sex." Isn't this AARP's motto?


"Nothing more to say/No more ace to play ..."

Really, the title of this 1980 song could have been compacted to "Winner Takes All." It's like the scene in "Inglourious Basterds" when Christoph Waltz's character says "That's a bingo!"


"Leave them burning, and then you're gone ..."

She's "young and sweet," but a little bit of a tease. At least, that's what the lyrics to this smash hit suggest.


"Now I know what they mean/You're a love machine ..."

Someone really ought to do a mash-up of choices #2 and #3. Wouldn't you listen to a dance track called "Honey Honey Money Money Money"? (No? Fair enough).


"The city is a prison, you'll never escape ..."

"Welcome to the Jungle" it wasn't, but "Tiger" was ABBA's attempt at urban-grit rock. More lyrics: "The city is a nightmare, a horrible dream/Some of us will dream it forever."


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