For those of us baby boomers who came of age in the 1970s, there was no way to escape the addictive melodies of the many ABBA songs that swept the world during that era.
“Mamma Mia” and “Dancing Queen” played in every disco-themed night club from here to Halifax. In 1975, the year “Mamma Mia” was released, I was backpacking through Europe with my college roommate, and I can remember how popular the Swedish pop group was. Their music was infectious; it soothed our young souls.
That summer was filled with dancing, from waltzing the night away along the streets of Paris to grooving to ABBA songs at a mountaintop discotheque outside of Salzburg. “Dancing Queen” came out the next year while I was still living in Austria and the song was everywhere. As a different song much later would declare, we danced “like nobody’s watching.” We were the dancing queens.
It’s no surprise that pretty much everyone in my age group found it mandatory to see the romantic comedy film “Mamma Mia!” when it hit movie theaters 10 years ago. And we’ve all herded ourselves to the cinema again recently for the sequel, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.” We tapped our feet, bounced in our seats and thoroughly enjoyed the lyrical ride down memory lane.
They’re the kind of movies that probably appeal mostly to baby boomers. I asked one of my daughters if she’d seen the first “Mamma Mia” movie and she had not.
“What’s it about again?” she queried. “Who was ABBA?”
A couple of years after the first “Mamma Mia” movie, a group of Whitefish ladies, myself included, who belong to the Whitefish Soroptimists, decided to enter a regional Soroptimist talent show with our choreographed rendition of “Dancing Queen.” We sought advice from one of our nimble members who has experience in choreography, and soon we were practicing our synchronized moves. Keep in mind we were all in our 50s, some were probably pushing 60 or better.
We hit the stage with our disco attire, and I’d like to say we nailed it, but the videotape revealed our unabashed amateur moves. We got plenty of applause from an audience that probably was secretly relieved none of us had stroked out during our high-energy performance.
That’s the last time I purposely danced to ABBA — in public, at least. What happens in the privacy of my own home is another matter.
ABBA’s music will always have the ability to transport me to that time and place when my adult life was just starting out, rolling out ahead of me like an endless road. And we danced — “ooh, see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen…”
Features Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.