Thursday, August 18, 2011

How gay is ABBA?

I am a huge ABBA fan.  There, I said it.  I loved them since childhood (probably because they were at their peak when I was a fetus) and I never grew out of it.  I had the Readers Digest ABBA collection on tape as a teen and I have the same songs on my iPod today.  You know what my parents rented for me on my 16th birthday?  ABBA: The movie.  It was one of my best birthday's ever.  So to sum up, I really really love ABBA.

Problem is, the moment a guy (let's say me) declares their love for ABBA, other guys are immediately like "dude, that is sooo gay".  On that note, I have 3 things to say:
One, I really don't care what you think my taste in music says about me.  Judge me by my words and deeds and I will consider what you have to say but judge me by the music I enjoy and you can bite me.  I will enjoy the things I enjoy and you can love it or shove it.
Two, I may be heterosexual but I don't view gays as subhuman deviants so calling gay is probably not the sick burn you think it is.
Three, why exactly is ABBA gay?

Look I get it, I watched "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" too, I know a lot of people in the gay community looves them some ABBA.  Good for them, ABBA made great music!  I just don't quite understand how this particular Swedish pop band became the gay icons they are, that's all.  Not to rain on anyone's parade (see what I did there?) but I have to wonder if anyone bothered to actually listen closely to ABBA's song lyrics?  Check out these snippets from their song "People need love":

"Man has always wanted a woman by his side to keep him company
Women always knew that it takes a man to get matrimonial harmony
Everybody knows that a man who's feeling down wants some female sympathy"

"Flowers in a desert need a drop of rain like a woman needs her man
If a man's in love and his woman wants the moon
Then he'll take it down if he can"

Call me nitpicky but that sounds less "Gay Pride Parade" and a lot more "Focus on the Family".  This is quite typical of their music too, it's all about the agony and the ecstasy  of old fashioned hetero luvin'.  For crying out loud, they have a song called "One Man, One Woman" - which sounds like something James Dobson would play before railing against the evils of the homosexual agenda and lifting DOMA!

Again, not trying to denigrate anyone's musical choices here or to "take back ABBA" or anything like that.  I just really have to wonder how ABBA went from the most hetero band of the 70's to the gay icons they are today.  I'm genuinely curious!

Was it the outfits?  It was, wasn't it?


S.M. Elliott said...

Oh yeah, it was the outfits.
How can you not love ABBA? They have something for every age, gender, and orientation. "Waterloo" still makes me happy every single time I hear it, and my friend's baby loves to clap along to "Bang a Boomerang."

Eugene said...

The thing that always strikes me about ABBA is that their songs typically sound so incredibly happy, until you take a closer look at the lyrics and realise the song is actually very sad!

Back to the 80s said...

I found this very interesting. ABBA are true (gay) icons. I will definitely be back to check in with your website again.

Great Post.

Anonymous said...

I'm gay, and you are right. The music is not gay at all. The only reason it is considered "gay" is because it has been showcased in various gay productions (i.e. Priscilla, Muriel's Wedding it's gay because a girl that you didn't think would ever get married DOES..just like us gays, Mamma Mia--it's a musical, hello). But really, I think the gay icon thing has a lot to do with the songs Dancing Queen (queen was derogatory until we embraced it), which really has a lot to do with embracing ourselves and just being "out" and not caring who is watching and Madonna catchy song "Hung Up" which was an ultimate gay favorite (and sampled gimmie gimmie gimmie(stranger at midnight), but still beloved by all people( no matter how much they deny it!).