The day before you came

It is almost six minutes long. It doesn’t have a distinctive chorus. The arrangement and melody doesn’t give the listener a lot of variety. Still, I class this song as pure brilliance and the lyric is probably my absolute favourite lyric of all time. Which song am I talking about? The last ever single released by ABBA; “The day before you came”.

 
Growing up in Finland you could say ABBAs music more or less came to me via the mother’s milk. It was everywhere and since then I have followed and enjoyed everything written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. The duo really can’t do anything wrong in my opinion, but the haunting sound of their last single before ABBA split up, I think reaches extraordinary heights.

 
The first interpretation I think of when hearing the lyric is the one of a woman telling us the story of how she was before the love of her life came into her life, but it can mean many other things too. Personally, I could dedicate these lyrics to the people who have nudged or, sometimes, pushed me quite violently onto the path I’m supposed to be on, because it was needed to get me out of my comfort zone. Some of these very special friends are still with me today and some are now a part of my past. Even though with some old friends, we’ve now outgrown each other I still feel the same big gratitude towards them when they cross my mind.

 
I belong to the highly sensitive people of this world, so I do need a lot of routine to function and the story told in this lyric mirrors my own life in so many ways. That can sometimes make me sad, because the words really paint a very dull existence. Still, deep down I know a big part of my life has to be routine. I need to more or less hibernate until it is time for me to step into a livelier period of living once more.

 
During the last six months it has felt the same way as it has done in the past, when a big change is about to happen in my life and my routine existence will be uprooted yet again. Maybe that is why the haunting melody of “The day before you came”, has been a constant in my playlists lately. Almost a calm before the storm sort of thing.

 
Whether you are an ABBA fan or not; if you are a lyric- or a song writer I do recommend that you take time to read these lyrics and listen to the song. It takes the listener totally outside the box, and I will stick my neck out for it any day and call this a song of pure brilliance. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus as always, on top of their game.

 

Take care until next time and Happy Writing!
Åsa

 

The day before you came

I must have left my house at eight because I always do
my train, I’m certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
and having gotten through the editorial no doubt I must have frowned

I must have made my desk
around a quarter after nine
with letters to be read
and heaps of papers waiting to be signed

I must have gone to lunch
at half past twelve or so
the usual place, the usual bunch
and still on top of this I’m pretty sure it must have rained
the day before you came

I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two
and at the time I never even noticed I was blue
I must have kept on dragging
through the business of the day
without really knowing anything
I hid a part of me away

At five I must have left
there’s no exception to the rule
a matter of routine
I’ve done it ever since I finished school
The train back home again
undoubtedly, I must have read the evening paper then
oh yes, I’m sure my life was well within its usual frame
the day before you came

 

I must have opened my front door at eight o’clock or so
and stopped along the way to buy some Chinese food to go
I’m sure I had my dinner watching something on TV there’s not, I think, a single episode of Dallas that I didn’t se

 

I must have gone to bed
around a quarter after ten
I need a lot of sleep
and so I like to be in bed by then
I must have read a while
the latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style
it’s funny, but I had no sense of living without aim
the day before you came
And turning out the light
I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
and rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
the day before you came.

 

 

 

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