Did you have a great party? I hope you did. Did you hate the mess when you came downstairs this morning? What went through your mind when you saw the remains: empty glasses, leftovers and furniture out of place? Everyone knows the experience, the party is over and the morning seems so grey. Parties are fun if it wasn’t for the morning after. You are through the champagne, the fireworks have faded into a memory and there is nothing left but to clean up. You even might wonder if it all was worth it. Looking back to the party night, the contrast couldn’t be bigger, feeling lost and blue now. You remember the big laughter and everything seemed to be OK. Everything was OK then. It feels unreal now, like a big dream. The party is over and the future is now to come.
What will the future bring? Will it be the Brave New World of Aldous Huxley? Did we really want this world? Or were we fools to create science and technology? In the ever accelerating developments no one still has control. Have we created our own doom? The best wishes of last night seem hollow now, now’s the time you really need them. Will we renew our dreams? Will there be war or will there be a world where every neighbour is a friend?
When the dreams are dead and the hopes have flown, the dreams we once had remind us of the way we used to live, like the confetti on the floor reminds us of the party.
Looking back the years become decades. And ‘the end of the party’ becomes ‘the end of a decade’. The seventies were like a party. Never before in the history of man so many people gathered so much welfare. But dark clouds gathered as well, it was the top of the cold war. It was frightening to see what was happening and to imagine what could happen, especially for the people in Europe. The same technology that brought us our welfare might destroy us. Were dark years to come? Would the happy decade turn into a disastrous hangover? What would the world look like after another decade, in eighty-nine? The song is a monument of the spirit of the age, it’s a timestamp of the 1980 world.
I admire the way the lyrics express the parallels between the morning after a party and the disappearance of dreams and hope in one’s life are expressed. Both the music and the lyrics cover this wonderfully. Anyone will recognize the feeling, which is again beautifully depicted in the words confetti on the floor. The feelings at the morning after a party, the disappearance of dreams and hope in one’s life and the threats of the cold war are three themes in this poem. And all three are motives to wish you a vision now and then of a happy world and to keep your hopes and your will to try. (The video clip suggests that it’s about a relational break up. That’s the fourth one.) The contrast of the happiness and the hopelessness comes together in the chorus. It says ‘Happy new year’, but the chorus doesn’t sound happy at all. The video clip contains the contrast as well, the images of the party seem to interrupt the main stream images of the morning after. While we hear Agnetha singing in an after party mood, the clip shows us the night before with overwhelming laughter of Frida, Benny and Björn. It’s estranging, like an unreal dream. Music, lyrics and clip come together in one spot, it’s a unity.
I wish you all a happy new year.
© 2015 Reinhard Beskers