Swedish Language Blog

ABBA’s Comeback and Swedish Pop Hits via Svensktoppen Posted by on Oct 8, 2021 in Culture, Music

Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

ABBA’s comeback and sing-along pop hits penned in Swedish make this week’s Svensktoppen absolutely dreamy. Presented by Sveriges Radio, this top 10 chart show is the perfect way to learn what’s hot on the Swedish music scene right now and get some language practice in, too! And, the great news is that this week 8 out of 10 songs are performed in Swedish. We’ll run through each tune and peak at a couple lyrics. Ready? Nu kör vi!

Svensktoppen, the Chart Show from Sveriges Radio

Since 1962, Svensktoppen has been produced by Sveriges Radio to showcase the hottest of the hot in Swedish music. The programledare (show host) Carolina Norén has been counting down hits and interviewing artists for the show since 2007. Songs are ranked using a points system that takes into account radio requests, streams, and downloads each week. For more about Svensktoppen, visit my blog Svensktoppen’s radio chart show. Now’s let’s countdown to see which songs were the most popular during the week of September 27th, 2021.

10. Miriam Bryant & Victor Leksell – tystnar i luren

These trendy solo artists collaborated for Tystnar i luren. Tystnar is the verb for “to quiet” and then i luren is “in the receiver.” Enjoy a couple of lines from this break-up song:

          Du ringer bara mig när det regnar 
          Du ringer bara mig när du är full

          You only call me when it rains
You only call me when you’re drunk.

9. Albin Lee Meldau – Josefin

Most Swedes got to know this indie artist from the popular Swedish music meets reality television show Så mycket bättre. Known for soulful performances and honest lyricism, this week’s song is about Josefin:

               Hon dansar som en virvelvind 
              Vet precis vad hon gör när hon smeker din kind    

              She dances like a whirlwind
Knows just what to do as she caresses your cheek

8. Molly Sandén – Nån Annan Nu

Molly Sandén is the who’s who of Swedish pop. She’s got a knack for transforming despair into dance floor hits and is REALLY good at breakup songs. “Nån annan nu” translates to “Someone else now.”

             Det spelar ingen roll hur bra jag dansar när du tittar på nån annan
             Jag flyter runt i folkhavet och ni har redan drunknat i varandra

             It doesn’t matter how well I dance when you’re watching someone else
             I move around in a sea of people and you’re already drowning in each other

My prediction is that Molly’s new song “Vi ska aldrig gå hem (We will never go home) debuts on this coming chart show. Molly released the song this past week with a balcony performance in central Stockholm to onlookers below, coinciding with the first opening of Swedish nightclubs since the pandemic. For more Molly, see my post Learn Edith Södergran with Molly Sandén.

7. Veronica Maggio – SE MIG

Se mig” is command form for “See me”, a song about unrequited love. Listening to this song feels like running around in a 1980s music video with its upbeat synth-pop vibe. Veronica is a Swedish indie-pop songwriter and producer you have to look into if you aren’t already familiar with her music.

            Jag släpper styret och vill blunda i en evighet
            Vi kommer krascha men ikväll så är vi bra

             I let go of the handlebars and want to close my eyes forever
             We’re gonna crash but tonight we’ll be fine

6. Victor Leksell – Eld & Lågor

Victor collaborated with Miriam Bryant on the song in 10th place, too! It’s no surprise that this 24-year-old and former Swedish Idol contestant is on the charts twice this week – he’s been killing it since his debut release in 2018.

Och det eld och lågor, inga sorger 
Bara två hjärtan som brann 

And there were fire and flames, no sorrows
Only two hearts burning

5. Myra Granberg – Lose My Mind 

Myra Granberg is a singer-songwriter who produces a variety of pop and electronic music in both Swedish and English. This English song title is wedged into the rest of the Swedish text here:

Så if I lose my mind och vill hoppa från balkongen
Kommer du fånga mig då?

So if I lose my mind and jump from the balcony
Will you catch me then?

4. Miss Li – Instruktionsboken

Miss Li has only penned songs in English, until now. She released her latest album Underbart i all misär admitting that writing in her mother tongue made her feel vulnerable.

Det verkar så lätt för dom som hittat hem
Som funnit lösningen
Men jag kan bara Inte hitta den

It seems so easy for those who’ve found their way home
Who’ve found the answer
But I just can’t find it
The user manual

3. ABBA – I Still Have Faith In You 

Okay, were you waiting for the ABBA part? Me too. ABBA is back with their first release in FORTY years. Japp, fyrtio. Their 2021 album Voyage has had die-hard ABBA fans in a tizzy. The first two singles are also the next two songs on Svensktoppen, and the only ones in English this week. No Swedish lyric tidbits here, because the singing is in English. At least Agnetha and Anni-Frid gave us their best Swedish accents in these English recordings.

2. ABBA – Don’t Shut Me Down

1. Hanna Ferm – För Evigt

“Hanna Ferm knuffar ner Abba från förstaplatsen på Svensktoppen (Hanna Ferm pushes ABBA down from first place on Svensktoppen)” was the title of this week’s program. This 20-year-old has continued to gain momentum after her second-place finish in Swedish Idol in 2017, and participation in Melodifestivalen in 2019 and 2020. This song is your typical pop song; fun, catchy, and easy to sing along with:

           Jag kanske hittar nån som älskar mig för evigt
           Nån som är snygg och luktar gott och som är trevlig
           Men vad gör det när jag är helt ointresserad?
           För bara du kan få mitt hjärta å fungera

           I may find someone who loves me forever
           Someone who’s cute, and smells good, and who’s nice
           But what difference does it make when I’m totally uninterested
           ‘Cause only you can get my heart to work

Want to know more? You can stream the full program here and see all the songs listed here!

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.