Among their many songs, the Swedish group made up of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Agnetha Fältskog gave us Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Winner Takes It All, and my personal current favorite, Take a Chance On Me. And now, the 70's/80's group has invaded my summer of 2008 from three unrelated directions:
1) Mamma Mia, the movie. I highly recommend seeing Mamma Mia, a musical based on the songs of ABBA and starring the fabulous Meryl Streep along with an ensemble cast that includes my Pride and Prejudice boyfriend, Colin Firth. Now ... this post is about ABBA, I know, but really ... could there have been a better Mr. Darcy? I think not. *Sigh* Okay.
Mamma Mia is simply fun ... fun and lively and funny and feel good and, did I mention fun? I was entertained, impressed with most of the singing, and slightly uncomfortable listening to Pierce Brosnan sing S.O.S. Oye! Pierce needs to stick to those "I'm the coolest British [spy, thief, mystery man] you'll ever meet" roles.
2) The Grand Rapids Symphony Picnic Pops - ABBA, The Hits. If you've never attended a Grand Rapids Symphony Picnic Pops concert, you're missing one of the many things that make Grand Rapids a wonderful place in which to live. The concerts take place outside at the Cannonsburg Ski Area. You grab food, drink, friends, and lounge under the stars while the symphony plays. I took my stepmom to the July 31st concert based on ABBA songs. Surrounded by people of all shapes, sizes, and ages, we enjoyed an evening of ABBA songs that began rather mildly yet ended with an all-age MOSH pit for lack of a better description. I cannot begin to describe the level of people watching that these events supply. I had tears in my eyes and smile-pained cheeks by the end of the night.
3) The Murder Trial. Finally, on a more somber yet just as insane note, ABBA again entered my summer through a trial in which a man was convicted of first-degree murder for killing his estranged boyfriend by shooting him five times and beating him with the boyfriend's metal crutch. What caused this man to snap? To lash out in such a vicious way? An unfulfilled promise that the boyfriend would "hold" him after they were intimate.
Defendant claimed that this was a murder committed in the heat of passion and not worthy of a first-degree murder conviction. This man went down to a basement, grabbed a loaded gun, went back upstairs to the bedroom and unloaded that gun into his sleeping boyfriend. He then went back downstairs to reload the gun, went back upstairs, and attempted to shoot the victim again but the gun jammed. Did he then stop? No. He grabbed a crutch when the gun jammed and proceeded to beat the boyfriend until he stopped crawling and the crutch broke. I say that these events took enough time for a reasonable person to think about what they were doing; that's first-degree murder. And, let's face it, the thought of cuddling after sex as a reasonable basis for a murder to be deemed committed in the heat of passion should frighten all men, gay or straight, young or old.
The ABBA connection? After murdering his friend, defendant went into the living room and proceeded to listen to the same ABBA song, "their" song, over and over again for 3 hours before calling anyone to the scene. What song? It is rumored to be Fernando; however, the officers responding to the scene have apparently blocked the specifics of the blaring music out because they are now not certain. So, we only know that it was ABBA.
After all of this, could I help myself digging out my ABBA Gold CD from the depths of my unused CD collection? Of course not. How else can I listen to "my" song over and over again on repeat? Share the insanity. It is the summer of ABBA!