New York City Revisited & My favourite ABBA songs



I paid my second visit to New York City as an extension to the family trip to my commencement ceremony in Buffalo. Me and my brother have been there once, in 2007 and 2008 respectively: I with a group of friends from my parish and my three-years-younger brother by himself. As for me, it was an eye-opening trip. I was dazzled by the countless neon lights in the Times Square and the affluent shops lined along the Fifth Avenue. 

The most anticipated attraction was Broadway musical. We waited over an hour in the endless line to secure tickets for Mamma Mia!, one of my mother’s favourites.

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There were many songs that have not been included in the film version. I was delighted to hear Knowing Me, Knowing You, one of my favourite ABBA songs. During my past romantic mischief, I found the lyrics so well resonated with my then feelings. After the trip, I went back to the ABBA Gold album and counted for my favourite songs among the stellar hits.

1. Knowing Me, Knowing You

Knowing me, knowing you (ah-haa)
There is nothing we can do
Knowing me, knowing you (ah-haa)

In the musical, it  is sung by Sam to Sophie who has just quarreled with Sky. The obvious interpretation of the song in such context is of course to know your own desires and live your own life. In my context, it was the dreadful buffering time that I took to actually “know” someone I had feelings for. In the end, I never got to know the person. Well, I am not the kind of person who could easily enter a relationship with someone I just met; I had to stop and needed the “time” to get to know each other, but he did not wait. He and I had essentially different views on relationships. I listened to this song and found the words I wanted to say to him. Without the lyrics, it’s still a beautiful song.

2. Chiquitita

Chiquitita, tell me the truth
There is no way you can deny it
I see that you’re oh so sad, so quiet

I love this song purely for its melody. I love the way it starts from the sad mood and gradually transforms into cheery. I used to be the one with a face “so sad, so quite” and listen to those words from my lovely friends.

3. Money Money Money

In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball.

I think the onstage and onscreen adaptation of this song is just perfect. I daresay it was one of my favourite segments of the Broadway performance.

4. S.O.S 

So when you’re near me, darling can’t you hear me
S. O. S.
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
When you’re gone
How can I even try to go on?

It was my favourite track in the Mamma Mia! soundtrack of the 2008 film version. Then it was soon overshadowed by other vivacious tracks in ABBA Gold.

5. Fernando

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando

It was one of the few songs not featured in the musical, but I was quickly enchanted by its sweet tune and murmuring lyrics when I heard it from ABBA Gold.

6.  Lay All Your Love On Me

I wasn’t jealous before we met
Now every woman I see is a potential threat

The duet of Sophie and Sky in the musical was so fit to the sentiment of this song. Without this song, the character of Sky is only a minor. This song, too, is a number that shines more with the chemistry between the two lovers onstage.

The reason why ABBA’s songs have been not forgotten was not only for their catchy and dancey tunes but also their beautiful lyrics. I wonder how the songwriters derived their inspirations to write such diverse and universal lyrics. I am sure those quality lyrics have contributed to the making of this global hit musical that made ABBA the most wealthiest copyright artists of the world.

On my way home, I used to think of the artists who were known for their memorable lyrics. What if Taylor Swift’s narrative songs made into a musical? That’s an idea.


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Filed under Music, Outdoors

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