ABBA's Super Trouper Glasgow reference explained as they mark 50 years since Eurovision win

ABBA photographed in 1974 - the year they won Eurovision
ABBA achieved 48 hit singles throughout their successful career -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

It's nearly been a whole five decades since ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with one of their biggest hits of all time.

The winner in 1974 was Sweden, with the hit song Waterloo performed by ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and written by Stig Anderson. This weekend will mark 50 years since the iconic moment, as a new winner will be crowned.

And whilst the Swedish pop group have plenty of huge tracks over the years, as well as becoming the beloved soundtrack to Mamma Mia!, we take a look through some of their biggest dancefloor hits. One of those was Super Trouper, which came out in 1980.

The very start of the song makes reference to Glasgow, with the iconic line: "I was sick and tired of everything....when you called me last night from Glasgow." But what was the meaning behind it?

ABBA are widely regarded as one of the biggest pop bands of the 20th century. When the Mamma Mia! musical was originally proposed, Bjorn Ulvaeus set one condition: "You cannot change the lyrics... the story is more important than the song."

ABBA performing in 1974, which is the year they won the Eurovision Song Contest.
ABBA performing in 1974, the year they won the Eurovision Song Contest. -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

Saxophonist Ulf Andersson, who toured with Abba during the late 1970s around the time Super Trouper was penned, revealed in a 2020 interview that mentioning Glasgow was a secret love message from Bjorn to wife Agnetha Faltskog.

At the time, their marriage was teetering – mere months after the song's release, they would indeed file for divorce – yet the track was penned during a period of reflection on the brighter days.

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In an exclusive with the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Ulf revealed that the line about Glasgow "was a personal thing between Bjorn and Agnetha".

He explained: "Bjorn was in Glasgow for some Abba promotion. It was around the time they were about to separate. He wrote the lyrics and Agnetha sings it, but really it was meant to be from him.

"Even though things were not so good for them, Bjorn found comfort knowing he'd soon reunite with Agnetha."

Abba graced Glasgow with their presence just twice, once in 1977 and again two years later, yet the city left a lasting impression on the band members.

"A lot of the songs were little stories within themselves," Bjorn has said recently. "They're good to illustrate different situations in life."

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