We see Agnetha living the days before ‘he’ came into her life. Life was a groove, it’s only afterwards that she realises how painful it was. You hear it in her voice. The song depicts a boring day, however sung with unbelievably great passion. The subtle variations catch and keep you. The tune tee-dom tee-dom-dom sounds the same ever, like the grey days. At first you don’t even notice the tune changes its starting point. It starts at the first beat or it starts at the third beat, in an almost unpredictable manner. This is one of those ABBA tricks that keeps the music absorbing.
When I heard this song for the first time, after the first verse I thougt: now it comes, the day he came, it will burst out. But no, the chorus which was expected to burst out, was delayed. The grey day went on in the second verse. The metro takes the last bridge before it enters the underground of Stockholm. Hardly noticeable the instruments in the second verse are different from the first verse. It’s as unnoted as everything in her life is unnoted. After the second verse is an instrumental piece, would it be the prelude to the chorus? The day he came? The grey day turned into a grey night in the third verse. A night like any other. The lyrics refer to Marilyn French. Is it a message? I kept longing to the chorus which was not to come. The longing to something which was not to come was contained in the composition itself! The melody and the lyrics express exactly the same feeling, the video clip is based upon it. Still the magic is deeper: even the structure of the composition is an exposition of this feeling. The melody tends to a chorus that never comes.
We see Agnetha sing. The story of the video clip has shifted to a theatre, where Agnetha is singing marvelously, while the other three ABBA-members are staring in front of them. They don’t look at each other, each one seems to be occupied by their own thoughts. Are they alienated from each other? Is this image meant to point out the end of ABBA? While the magic of their music has reached a culmination with this song, it becomes clear the magic between the four has vanished.
After the third verse the melody is partly rehearsed, slowly it becomes clear to me the expected chorus will never come. The instrumental piece emits another chord and I realise: the song is over, the chorus never came. The video clip shows an empty theatre meanwhile, the triumphal march of Waterloo is a memory now. ABBA is over.
Read 'Poetry' next month. To appear on january 1st, 2016. What song is best described by 'Poetry'?
© 2015 Reinhard Beskers