Happy New Year! (Featuring Morbid, 'Political' Lyrics by ABBA!)
Welcome to 2010 (that is "twenty ten," by the way, and NEVER "two thousand and ten)! By now we're sure you're at least partially recovered from last night's revels and this morning's Bloody Mary brunches, and are thus ready to enjoy the best song ever written about New Year.
In January 1980 Bjorn and Benny from ABBA rented a house in Barbados and got to work, Protestant-ethic-style, writing songs for their upcoming albums. According to ABBA expert abbafanglosuk (very possibly an ABBA fan from Gloucestershire in the UK),
On the plane they had the idea of writing a musical based on New Year's celebrations. Benny recalls "We thought it would be a good framework, a few people in a room, looking back on what has been, thinking about the future, that sort of thing". They met British comedian John Cleese, star of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers which they were huge fans of, at the holiday resort and asked him over dinner if he would be interested in writing the story for their proposed musical. Cleese turned them down however, and the idea of an Abba musical was abandoned - until Mamma Mia appeared 20 years later! They finished writing Happy New Year anyway, as a song with a message for the future. Bjorn says "I feel that one of the biggest problems in the Western world today is the lack of confidence, and the way of looking negatively at the future. So 'Happy New Year' is about trying to set up positive goals for the future. That's a political message in itself." Happy New Year was recorded on April 9 1980 and released on the Super Trouper album on November 3 1980. Its the closest Abba came to recording a traditional Christmas song, wth the original working title being the more festive and humurous: 'Daddy Don't Get Drunk On Christmas Day'.
Here it is--morbid lyrics about dying and all--ABBA's fantastic "Happy New Year":
BONUS VIDEO: Another version, around a piano and with further ABBAtastic outfits, after the jump.
Says our ABBA informant:
This performance of Happy New Year was recorded in Stockholm on November 27 1980 and is known as "Abba Around the Piano". It became the official tv version of this song and was sold to numerous countries. Abba wished viewers a Happy New Year in several languages prior to this performance. It was broadcast at midnight on New Year's Eve 1980 in Sweden and France to bring in the New Year and has since been shown in Sweden on every New Year's Eve at midnight!
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