Rich Wilhelm

Late Night Thoughts on Listening to a Swedish Country Band Play ABBA Songs

In Writing on March 15, 2013 at 3:05 am

I have the time it takes for me to listen to ABBA Our Way by Nashville Train to explain what I’d like to do here.

ABBA Our Way is a delight, by the way. It is a collection of ABBA songs, all done up nice and country-style by a Swedish band. The album was released in 1978 on RCA Records. Here are the brief liner notes, as penned by Lasse Westmann in Stockholm, sometime in 1976:

Special thanks to Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson. They are a fabulous songwriterteam and without their songs this record wouldn’t exist. It was a hard job to pick twelve songs out of the rich production of great ABBA hits. We’ve tried to give the songs the shape of Country style and we hope you will enjoy this album. I would also like to mention the boys behind the instruments and the girls in the choir. In my opinion the best you can get in Sweden today, so I’m very pleased that they’re all here on this record. During the sessions we’ve had a fantastic help from ‘Brumme,’ who served us coffee, other refreshments and helped us with almost everything. We had a great time while we recorded, so I hope you will have a good time when you listen.

I have owned the ABBA Our Way LP for many years, though back in the late ’70s, I was entirely unaware of its existence. This is a shame: a country-inflected album of ABBA covers would have been an intergenerational sensation in my family, though at the time I probably would have scoffed at the notion of countrified ABBA tunes.

But, at 47, I’m just too middle-aged to worry about what is or is not cool. Versions of Swedish pop tunes that would sound just right on Hee-Haw work fine for me these days.

I was a kid when the cream of Sweden’s country music players and singers hit the studio to record ABBA Our Way. Even in those days I considered myself a writer but I wrote strictly for fun. I filled up “write your own book” blank books with my goofy poems and extremely short stories and I drew pictures of the Richie Rich-styled mansion I’d live in when I was a grown-up famous writer, because, of course, all writers were fabulously wealthy and lived in homes with diamond-encrusted monograms on their gates.

As it happens, I am still a writer. I have worked for the same organization for 23 years, spending the last decade in a position the requires quite a bit of writing.

Make no mistake: I am grateful for making a living the way I do. Recently though, I’ve reached the conclusion that, one way or another, the writing for fun needs to happen again, if only for the sake of my sanity.

I know that many people don’t find writing to be very much fun and I get that. I think we can agree that certain activities are almost universally considered to be fun and some are not.

There is certainly no fun consensus on writing.

For me though, this seems like a good time to locate the fun in writing again. Since I’ve enjoyed the concept of writing a weekly column before (originally back in college, then 13 years ago when I first began blogging), I’m thinking I’ll try it again.

This is my first week. When I’m not writing, I’ll be drawing pictures of the mansion I’m going to live in when I grow up.

That’s the plan. So, as Nashville Train closes out ABBA Our Way with a down-home take on “Waterloo,” I’ll say good night. Hopefully, you’ll find me here again next week at this time.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Patrick F. O'Donnell

writer, editor, general wordsmith and scribe

A. Panda's Tiki Lounge

A resource for all things Polynesian and Tiki

Sons of Saxer

"For Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Championships"

WeBetterThanThat

Talkin' Shit, Bein Dope and Keepin it Real

talking points

Started as a political blog. Added sports. Now it's just what I feel like writing about.

Yeah, Another Blogger

An Arts-Filled And Tasty Jaunt Through Life

Good Music Speaks

A music blog written by Rich Brown

RetroRoadmap.com

Vintage, Retro & Cool Old Places worth visiting!

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

45spins

A creative guy, looking for a few good records

Reading & Writing With Teacher Corey.

Philadelphia Teaching Adventures.

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Retro Roadmap

Rich Wilhelm's Weekly Journal

504ever.net

a writer with a camera, living in new orleans

Listen Up!

Listen Up! airs live on G-Town Radio (www.gtownradio.com) every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm EST

1 Picture, 217 Words

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Music for the Hard of Hearing

Trust me. It's good for you.

%d bloggers like this: