Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Meme-a Mia!

I've done first lines.

I've done last lines.

I've done middle eights.

But when I started thinking about an Abba-themed quiz for the blog it rapidly became clear that all those approaches would be just far too easy. While I still feel I've only managed to crank the difficulty up to moderate, here is my challenge. Twenty-five phrases snipped out of twenty-five different Abba songs. Some were singles, some were album tracks. There are no tricks, and the difficulty ranges, I would say, from ludicrously easy to really surprisingly tough. Each phrase appears in only one song so far as I can tell. And you wouldn't be cheating by using Google now, would you?

OK, here you go.

1. No respect
2. Nothing I can do - My Love, My Life (guessed by Lisa)
3. Waiting for a call - One Of Us (guessed by Phil)
4. To live is to be free
5. I'm in no hurry - Take A Chance On Me (jointly guessed by Phil and Lewis)
6. Maybe I should walk right up to her - Angel Eyes (guessed by Lisa))
7. I'm not ashamed - Fernando (guessed by Lewis)
8. The world stood still
9. I don't believe in fairy tales
10. I can see you are beginning to care
11. A single episode of Dallas - The Day Before You Came (guessed by Phil)
12. Like King Kong
13. The sun that follows every rain
14. The spotlights of the city nights - Tiger (guessed by Lisa)
15. Early this morning I drove in the rain
16. The anguish of humiliation
17. Now and then become entwined
18. The brave new world
19. All your generous love
20. I let my feelings take over
21. Staying alive though the city is dead
22. I'm falling apart
23. Sub luna saltamus
24. A thousand butterflies - Andante, Andante (guessed by Lisa)
25. A blown out candle - Chiquitita (guessed by Lisa)

Answers in the comments box please. As I get correct guesses I shall annotate the list above.

Good luck.


At 06 August, 2008 23:48, Anonymous Phil said...

Allow me to leap in.

5 Not a clue
8 Absolutely no idea at all
2 Nope
4 Nuh-uh
13 No, you've definitely lost me there

I'll look again in the morning (when I'll be sober, or at least that's the plan) but I think this could be the music meme that defeats me.

At 07 August, 2008 00:30, Blogger Persephone said...

Not being an ABBA fan, I probably should just shut up, but the only one I'm reasonably sure about is #2, which should be from Knowing Me, Knowing You (uh huh...).

At 07 August, 2008 00:57, Blogger Rob said...

Gosh. this is the first meme where Phil hasn't hoovered up most of the goodies on his first pass. Still, there's always tomorrow.

Peresphone: nope, sorry. You're thinking of "There is nothing WE can do (uh-huh...)".

Perhaps I should add as a hint that four of the quoted songs appear in the stage version of Mamma Mia!, and three of them appear in the film.

OK, so I am an Abba fan, but I'd thought there were about half a dozen that would go in a flash, and I'd guess about five or six that will sort out the die-hards. Obviously I'm guessing here, but I would have expected to get slightly more than half of them myself pretty quickly if I came to them cold on someone else's blog with a few more later and half a dozen or so I'd have given up on (though as I said, no trick questions here).

At 07 August, 2008 10:24, Anonymous Phil said...

For the last hour and a bit I've had The singles: the first ten years [sic] on in the background - that's everything from "Ring ring" to "Under attack", by way of "So long", "Summer night city" and one or two more famous ones.

As a result of this shameless piece of extra homework, I've got... two. (In a flash, eh? H'mph.)

3 One of us
11 The day before you came

Some of those later songs are pretty brutal, aren't they? I can't bear to watch the video of "Winner takes it all" - if the lyrics were a bit better it'd be an absolute classic. (I think it's the bit about the fence that lets it down.)

At 07 August, 2008 11:23, Blogger Rob said...

If you really have listened to the first ten years' worth (sic, indeed) of singles then you need to listen more attentively as there are several you've missed (including a couple of major hits). There are quite a few album tracks though.

It handn't occurred to me when I came up with the notion, but this meme requires much closer listening to lyrics than first lines, or even last lines. A line is a line, but phrases flash by.

I agree with you about the bleakness of late Abba. Every time I listen to "The Visitors" I think it's my favourite of their albums. Mind you, then I listen to "Arrival" and change my mind.

At 08 August, 2008 15:42, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

OH, I'd have to agree with Phil's first post. Maybe I should go see Mama Mia.

At 08 August, 2008 18:04, Anonymous Lewis said...

I'm Phil's son, I saw this page and thought I might have a shot. I've played through a few ABBA songs and I've got one of them:

7. Fernando

I'm not a hardcore ABBA myself, but they do have some good early singles. And this meme does need REALLY careful listening.

At 08 August, 2008 19:35, Anonymous Phil and Lewis said...

5 Take a chance on me

At 09 August, 2008 20:40, Blogger Rob said...

Phil and Lewis: yes, and yes. Persistence rewarded.

Incidentally I tried some of them out on my own children who are fans but not obsessive sbout it. 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10 went very quickly (5, 6 and 10 the instant I stopped speaking) with some others coming after a little thought (including 16 which rather impressed me).

There are still a couple of kick-yourself big hits left to get and plenty of pretty familiar numbers.
So plenty for non-members of Phil's family to play for as well!

At 11 August, 2008 10:50, Anonymous Phil said...

I'm not sure about the pretty familiar numbers - I've googled all 21 of the remainder & only found two or three that I had any chance of getting. I think you might need to recalibrate your obscuritometer!

At 11 August, 2008 12:56, Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Okay, yesterday my comment obviously didn't get through! ARGH! I got four more I think:

2 - My Love My Life (from Arrival?)

12 - King kong (no really, it's from Waterloo album and it always stuck in my mind)

14 - Tiger (because i love tigers!)

24 - Andante, Andante ("come closer to me now" - one of my dad's favourites!)

Okay - that is a really quick reply! Still not eaten my sarnie yet! Used to do Abba performances with my neighbour - though that was EARLY ABBA. Still, do/did love 'em and did a major learning of lyrics. heck I should know more!

At 11 August, 2008 13:15, Blogger Rob said...

Lisa - three out of four ai't at all bad!

Funnily enough the wrong guess is "King Kong". I'd actually forgotten about that one (I don't own the "Waterloo" album) and had a moment of panic that I'd set a line that wasn't unique. However, a revisit to Goog;le (and a check on the King Kong lyrics) reassured me. No, #12 is from Abba (The Album) if that helps. And yes, "My Love, My Life" (one of my all-time faves) is on "Arrival".

At 11 August, 2008 13:51, Blogger Rob said...

Phil - as Lisa has, I think, just shown, it's not how obscure the tracks are but how well their lyrics stick in the mind. I will freely admit that numbers 15 & 21 have the obscurimeter at full scale deflection (though they were both released as single B sides). # 4 was on the very first Greatest Hits album (the one all my generation had as students) though it seems to have dropped out of later anthologies. For the rest, I wouldn't like to say that any of the other album tracks are more intrinsically obscure than "Andante, Andante" or "Tiger". And I'm sorry, but #1, #6, #19, #22 and #25 are all very well-known songs. What with Mamma Mia! and the re-release of Abba (The Movie) (which contains several of these, BTW, including the admittedly rather obscure one one Lisa guessed wrong) I don't think I had a major miscalibration: I intended to have a spread of difficulty.

It has however been extremely interesting to see which oddball ones have fallen and which well-kent classics have held out. I might try something similar with Dylan, or Lennon & McCartney, some time, now I've seen how this works.

At 11 August, 2008 15:11, Anonymous Phil said...

it's not how obscure the tracks are but how well their lyrics stick in the mind

Yabbut I've never actually heard a non-compilation ABBA album, owned an ABBA single or seen Mamma Mia! (although Lewis qualifies on that count) - so remembering the lyrics to album tracks and B-sides would be a bit difficult!

#1, #6, #19, #22 and #25 are all very well-known songs

Three of those are the three I should have got. I've heard of one of the others.

I might try something similar with Dylan, or Lennon & McCartney, some time, now I've seen how this works.

Now you're talking.

At 12 August, 2008 15:16, Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Oh yes please I would certainly like a Dylan and Lennon/McCartney one!

I've come by as I think I have two more!

6 - Angeleyes ("I was taking walk along the river... and the look that he gave her made me shiver...")

25 - Chiquitita ("You and I know that the heartaches come and they go...")

A blast of light suddenly hit me.

I'm still moderately hacked off though about mis-guessing the King Kong song! I can recall nothing much about it except that it existed! (and my old neighbour got custody of the Abba albums when she moved away).

At 13 August, 2008 21:29, Blogger Rob said...

Yay! Two more correct guesses!


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