Dancing Queen – One of Abba’s Greatest Hits, Lyrics

Agnetha Faltskog dancing queen

‘Dancing Queen’s is one of the greatest hits of ABBA, released in August 1976. It is considered the band’s signature song,  having reached the number 1 position on popular music charts in as many as 13 countries. Dancing Queen is also regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time, and one of the most successful singles of the 70s.

Though the song was recorded in 1975, it became a part of the group’s 1976 album ‘Arrival’.  The song has also been re-released as a hit single in 1992 as a part of the compilation ABBA Gold – Greatest Hits.

Dancing Queen was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson and has vocal leads by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The demo track was called ‘Boogaloo’ and the band members found inspiration in the form of George McCrae’s disco  ”Rock Your Baby” and Dr. John’s Gumbo.

During the recording sessions, somewhere in August and September 1975, Benny Andersson got home a tape with the demo song on it and played it to his girlfriend and band member Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida) who started to cry.  She agreed that this was a song that was so beautiful, that it touch the heart right away.

Dancing Queen premiered in Germany and Japan on television in 1976, but the first ever live performance of the song was on Swedish TV on June 18 1976 as a part of honor for Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his bride to be, Silvia Sommerlath, who were to be married the next day.  All the band members were confident that Dancing Queen was destined to be a huge hit.  Agnetha Faltskog admitted,  ”It’s often difficult to know what will be a hit. The exception was Dancing Queen. We all knew it was going to be massive”.The first International Standard Musical Work Code was assigned in 1995 to “Dancing Queen”; the code is T-000.000.001-0.

As expected, Dancing Queen rewrote musical history. In April 1977, the song hit No.1 in US.   It was also No. 1 in 13 other countries like Australia, Belgium , United Kingdom, Ireland, West Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands,  Norway, New Zealand, Rhodesia , Sweden and South Africa.  It was among the top 5 hits of the year in Canada, France, Finland, Switzerland and Austria.  Dancing Queen reached no. 14 position in Italy, the only country in Europe where the band was not as big a hit.

Dancing Queen ended up selling more than 3 million copies.  Here are other records of the song

  1. No.4  position  in Channel 4 Television poll of the 100 best number ones (year 2000)
  2. Number 148 as 365 best songs in 100 years
  3. No. 171 in Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  4. 12th most successful song of the 70s in a list of 100 pop songs compiled by the Rolling Stone and MTV in the year 2000
  5. UK’s second favorite ABBA song, as per the result of a poll conducted by Britain’s ITV broadcast on December 5, 2010.
  6. Number 1 song of the 70s according to the listeners vote for 1970s-themed UK radio station Smooth 70s (August 2012)

Dancing Queen Lyrics

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance…

You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen

You’re a teaser, you turn ‘em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance…

You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen

Dancing Queen lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing

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