One of my favorite groups was ABBA. I openly admit it. I was, STILL AM, a proud ABBAholic. When I eventually came out, I was a true Dancing Queen! I bought every vinyl record of theirs that came out, eventually converting them to CD when the technology advanced.
I was devastated when they broke up.
I tried to follow the careers of the individual members but it seems they had more success in Europe, than here. I remember stumbling across Frida's LP, Something's Going On, in 1982, just post break-up. It was a bit disappointing; it lacked the ABBA-ness I was used to and therefore expecting. But, it was an impressive solo effort, I thought. And then she disappeared from my radar. Later, I would google them periodically to see what they were up to. There was talk of reunions, of movies, of all kind of appearances, but none came to fruition. The rumor was, one member had become very reclusive and wanted to recuperate from that time in her life. It had been so overwhelming for her, Agnetha just wanted to hide.
(Note, the four band members were eventually photographed at the Mamma Mia movie premiere in Stockholm, Sweden on July 4, 2008. This was the first time they had appeared together in ten years.)
Agnetha has returned. I recently discovered two newer CDs of hers. My Colouring Book, (2004), and A (2013). She had released others since the break-up, but these two seemed to garner the best reviews. I downloaded both of them. Both are wonderful CDs showcasing her beautiful voice. Both have a variety of songs, some slow, some fast, some happy, some sad. The songs she has chosen reach deep into the listener and her rendition shows her vulnerability as an artist. I was not disappointed.Yet, there is one song I can't listen to without tearing up periodically, depending on my mood.
Past Forever from A is a reminder of who I am: a hopeless romantic.
It goes on:"If I could give what you gave me,Your beating heart, unselfishly,The kind of love that lastsPast forever."
"And that's a long long time,
That's a long long time
What can't be broken
The kind of love that lasts
"And I should thank you endlesslyFor the way you made me seeIt's not the destination,It's the journey."
The past tense of the song makes me think this is being sung on the singer's deathbed. It's the kind of love that lasts beyond death; the love where two lovers give of themselves so unselfishly, it transcends death. Or perhaps, a looking forward into a relationship just beginning, with the singer very cautiously optimistic, yet still unsure of what she (or he) is able to bring to this relationship.
The opening lines of the song,
"If I could leave one thing behind,also suggest this duality; someone either dying and wishing his or her life would touch the hearts of others and make a difference in his or her own time. Or, letting go of his/her fears and making a difference in someone else's life by living by the example of letting go and moving forward.
Let it touch the hearts of others,
Make a difference in your time."
I'm leaning toward the more positive imagery, though both are very powerful and moving.
And that's the kind of love I'm looking for. And yet, I'm not convinced I'll find it. I am beginning to think today's society is stacking up against romance and commitment. I mean, if people are calling it quits after a mere fifty-five hours of wedded bliss, what is the point? Maybe I'm just jaded at the moment, maybe it's too early in my new journey to be thinking this way. But, now that I've identified what it is I am looking for, maybe I just need this song to remind me. And not to settle for less, this time.
After all, it's not the destination, it's the journey.
"And that's a long long way, It's what we live for."
Tak så mycket, Agnetha!
Both My Colouring Book and A are available on iTunes.