ABBA – Dancing Queen (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

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“Dancing Queen” is one of those songs that has passed through the generations. The song was released in 1976 and is still a well-known and highly acclaimed song to ever be produced. ABBA scored their only #1 track in the United States with this song, although the song made top charts and music sales in many other countries. The song is taken from ABBA’s fourth studio album, “Arrival”.

“Dancing Queen” was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson. Benny and Björn also produced the song. The song is about emotional content derived from the feeling of liberation when dancing. The song recorded platinum and gold sales in the UK and US respectively.

“Dancing Queen” is widely acclaimed as a genre-defining song as it is the first of the Europop tracks to be recorded.

Watch “Dancing Queen” by ABBA


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Although quite simple and straightforward, we’re going to launch into an analysis of the song’s lyrics.

Introduction

You can dance, you can dance
Have the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig the dancing queen

The song is essentially about a disco-dance setting where everyone is immersed in their own dances. “Jive” is a dance form that originated in the United States by African Americans in the early 1930s.

The singer compliments the dances taking place in front of them. In the music video, ABBA performs “Dancing Queen” in front of a crowd of people dancing the night away.

The singers make a teenage floor dance queen, who is young and beautiful and has the time of her life dancing to the music. She is engrossed in her dancing, but the entire dance floor is staring at her. Everyone loves girls dancing.

Verse 1

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking for the place to go
Where they play the good music, get into the swing
You come looking for a king

ABBA describes a typical 70s Friday night. You go out for dinner, then go to a disco bar to dance the night away. Hopefully, you’ll find your king for the night (or life) there as well.

Listen to this amazing pop cover of Daecolm’s “Dancing Queen”

Anyone could be that guy
The night is young and the music is loud
With a little rock, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance

In the open disco, anyone could be your king. The night is young and the music is loud. Everyone is in their own zone on the dance floor. It’s a fusion of rock and disco and ABBA says the stage is set for a good dance.

And when you have the chance…

When the dance floor calls you, when your king calls you for a dance, when the music calls you for a dance, take it and let the dance free your soul.

Chorus

You are the dancing queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
dancing queen
Feel the rhythm of the tambourine, oh yeah

Again, the singers focus on the girl on the dance floor who is absolutely lost in the dance. She is only seventeen and young and sweet. Watching her dance is intoxicating to say the least.

You can dance, you can dance
Have the time of your life
Ooh, look at that girl, look at that scene
Dig the dancing queen

This is again a recurrence of the intro of “Dancing Queen”.

Listen to an acoustic cover of “Dancing Queen”
Verse 2

You’re a teaser, you light ’em up
Let them burn and then you’re gone
Looking for another, anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance

This girl in the song is a teaser. I doubt she knows she’s a tease. She is lost in her dance. But her youthful innocence intoxicates everyone around her.

Or she might deliberately tease people by looking for her king. She lights a fire inside these people on the dance floor and leaves them when she can’t find her king.

The chorus repeats once more and the song draws to a close. It’s one of those songs that you can listen to at any time of the day and at any stage of your life. The song has stood the test of time for over four decades and will continue to do so.

We loved breaking down ABBA’s song “Dancing Queen” for you. If you enjoyed reading this annotation, leave a comment below.

If you have a different opinion on the meaning of the song’s lyrics, leave a comment below and we’ll discuss it.

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