It's holiday time. No school and the kids are home for a week. I try to keep it as normal as possible and not deviate from my usual routine. That includes the music. So this morning my oldest looks at the TV where my music is playing, asking: Dad? Who is this (tries to pronounce Agnetha Faltskog , but fails) ..that you're listening too? I explain it's the blond from ABBA, which gives me a slight hint of recognition. But? - she continues- This is not ABBA, it sounds like Swedish? I nod to confirm she is right and again explain this is music from the period before ABBA. I try to explain some more, but now she raises both eyebrows and proclaims; RIGHT Dad is listening to old Swedish music! ...and heads out the door. As if to neutralize her incomprehension, I just turn up the volume a bit and smile.
The album of choice this month? Drum roll... The Visitors. Don't know why it took me so long to have a proper listen, and appreciate this collection of songs for the pure genius musical masterpiece it actually is. I mostly love the futuristic title song "The Visitors" (Cracking up) where Frida's vocal lead is brilliant. Closely followed by "Should I Laugh Or Cry". The rhythm of "Soldiers" is stunning and Frida's angelic "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room" is heartbreaking, but in all honesty... It's Agnetha's "The Day Before You Came" that's the no. 1. After all, it's what started it all for me all those years ago. (red: See the start of this diary)
Yesterday my oldest came to me. "I need an English reading book for school, and I like it to be something musical".
"Sure", I said and gave her my English copy of "Bright Lights Dark Shadows". She looked at it somewhat suspicious.
"Is it like a documentary? I actually want a book about a musical"
"It's about Mama Mia" I replied, trying to turn the event in my favor.
"Yeah but it's not about Meryl Streep or Pierse Brosnan. This is old stuff about ABBA. "She continued. "Does it have a storyline?"
With a slide hesitation I nodded. "Yes..."
"But it doesn't end well. Right?", she shook her head and handed me back the book. "I think I'll go for Wicked this time"
When I hear "Mama Mia", I'm afraid the thrill is wearing off. I've heard that song so many times, especially as it's the one the kids seem to like. I don't like the feeling of not having the same strong response as I used to have on their music. It's like loosing someone dear. Then I hear "Chiquitita", and I'm back in the game. A game of balance. Not to over do it. So I try to switch between album's and playlists on a regular basis. So I won't be in danger of hearing a song to many times. Having said that. I listen to "Agnetha Fältskogs Bästa" album almost every day, and it never gets dull.
Two and a half years, and my Swedish is perfect. Oh, I still don't understand about 90% of what she is singing, but... When I sing along, I do it like a pro and my pronunciation is fluent ... I think. Of course, I put almost all the songs through Google Translate, so I kinda know what they're about, but that's not quite the same as understanding the language. I wonder if this is how they did the Spanish songs. Understanding the c oncept and meaning (as they were covers from the English originals) but not literally understanding the Spanish words they were singing.