When ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Benny compared ABBA's music to the blues born in the Delta region of Mississippi, the foundation for rock music, to ABBA's roots, which has no connection to Mississippi at all.
The Delta region of Mississippi offers lots of sun and warmth (fucking hot as balls actually), but crushing poverty and inequality for black and poor people. It still does, but it was far, far worse 100+ years ago when blues was created as an expression of sadness and anger.
Sweden has much more equality but lacks sun and warmth for six to nine months out of the year. Benny said the melancholy sound in ABBA's lyrics and music are borne from that cold darkness, which can be heard in the folk songs of Scandinavia and Russia.
So I went looking for this folk music, curious how similar it is. I'm wondering what aspects of folk music appear in ABBA's music: Harmony? Catchiness? Musical composition? Instrumentation? Lyrics (I can't know this as I speak only English)?
I don't know much about folk music outside of the U.S., but I'm learning. If you know about Northern European folk music, by all means add to the conversation. Educate us.
" by Angelin Tytöt: this is a joikh (or joik, unsure of the proper English spelling), a style of singing in people who live in the Arctic Circle, and it has a frostiness about it that reminds me of the yodeling in "People Need Love":
"Roselil' og hendes moder
" (Rose and her mother) a folk song from Denmark accompanied by flute (or tin whistle), fiddle, and accordion (the instrument Benny grew up playing). On listening a third and fourth time, a hurdy gurdy might be in here instead of a fiddle, not sure.
"Tiese, tiesa, ne meliņi
" by Skandinieki has a very interesting choir sound that uses close harmony
to create a single voice, very similar to the way Agnetha and Frida harmonize.
" by Leiko, a traditional Estonian choir. Traditional wedding song with similar elements.
"Polska efter Mats Wesslén
" a Swedish folk song that has a catchy melody.
" by Alf Proysen, a Norwegian singer: Frida's Aunt Olive said the first time Frida heard an Alf Proysen record, she said she wanted to become a singer. Not sure what the title of that song was, but this was released in 1950 when Frida was 5 years old.
"Fjorton år tror jag visst att jag var
" (I was 14 years old, I believe), was the first song Frida performed in public when she was 11. It was from her favorite record at the time by her favorite singer Ingeborg Nyberg, but that version is not on YouTube. I'm hoping this is a similar version.
But here's Ingeborg Nyberg singing "Aftonklockor
" (Evening chimes), originally by English composer Albert Marzian, here given Swedish or Norwegian lyrics. Singers often imitate their idols, so you might be able to hear some of Frida's singing inspiration here.
" by Thory Bernhards was the first record Bjorn remembers hearing. It's about a duck that dies and he was broken up about the sad lyrics. Bjorn was seven years old when this record was released.
Another of Bjorn's favorite songs as a child was a version of "Mockin' Bird Hill" that had been released in the U.S. in 1951 by Les Paul and Mary Ford (Patti Page too, but I'm partial to Les Paul and Mary Ford -- FYI Les Paul is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). Here's the Swedish version by Alice Babs
. And Les Paul and Mary Ford's version
"Mockin' Bird Hill" is based on two Scandinavian folk songs: "Livet i Fonnskogarna
" recorded here by Carl Jularbo and "Norsk Bondvals
", sharing similar melodies.
"Där näckrosen blommar
" (Where the water-lily blooms) here recorded by Carl Jularbo again, was the first song six-year-old Benny learned on the accordion, which he played with his grandfather.
"Du Bist Musik
" (You Are Music) by Caterina Valente was the first record Benny bought. Not really a folk song, but a schlager (which often has folk influences, so folk-ish).
" was the first song Agnetha performed in public when she was five. I don't know who recorded this originally in Sweden. This is just one I found in Swedish, and it is remarkably similar to American country music (which is remarkably similar to folk music).
Here's "My Boy Billy
" sung by Alfred Deller who concentrated on traditional English songs. This is the forerunner of the song Agnetha sang. FYI (if necessary), one of the main elements of folk music is how songs change from one performer to the next, through generations.
And for fun, Jerry Lee Lewis' version
And a bonus, another song called "Evening Chimes
" totally unrelated to anything else in this post, but which I found by accident compiling these songs. Very laid back and modern trip hop. I am into it. Enjoy.
Moi! Here is a little text about Hunger Games- If you could correct me, I'd really appreciate it! Kiitos paljon.:)
Minä luen kirjaa Nälkäpelit. Se on erritäin hauska kirja. Nälkäpelit on tytöstä. Tytön nimeni on Katniss. Katniss asuu kanssa hänellä sisko ja äiti maassa Panem. He ovat erritäin huono. Joka vuosi, Panemessa on suuri pelit. He ottavat kaksikymmentäneljä tytöt ja pojat. He taistelevat, ja yksi kuka lopulla elää, voitaa. ja Tämä vuosi, he valitsevat Katnissin sisko, mutta Katniss sanoo. "Olen vapaaehtoinen!", ja hän menee plelata. Kakki tytöt ja pojat menevät iso alueen. Aluessa on suuri järvi ja monta puut. Pelit aloitaa. Katnissella ei ole vesi monta päivät. Lopulla hän löytää pieni virta, ja hän juo. Hän tavata nuori tyttö - Rue ja he tulevat ystäviä. Mutta Rue kuolee. Sitten, Katniss löytää Peeta, kuka rakastaa häntä. Katniss auttaa Peetaa, koska hänellä on vamma. Minä en tiedä kirjan loppuun vielä. Mutta kirjalla on toinen ja kolmas kirjan osat, niin minusta tuntuu että Katniss voitaa :)