I Have a Dream (song)

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"I Have a Dream"
I Have A Dream.jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album Voulez-Vous
Released 7 December 1979 (1979-12-07)
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 15 March 1979
Studio Polar, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Pop
Length 4:45
Label Polar Music
  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"
"I Have a Dream"
"As Good as New"
Music video
"I Have A Dream" on YouTube
Spanish version single cover
Spanish title: "Estoy soñando" ("I'm Dreaming")
Spanish title: "Estoy soñando" ("I'm Dreaming")

"I Have a Dream" is a song by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was featured on the group's sixth studio album Voulez-Vous and released as a single in December 1979. The single became a big hit, topping the charts in many countries and peaking at No. 2 in the UK over the Christmas week of 1979. Twenty years later, Irish pop group Westlife released a version of the song which reached No. 1 in the UK over the Christmas week of 1999.


The song was written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and was taken from the group's 1979 album, Voulez-Vous. Anni-Frid Lyngstad sang the lead vocals. It was released as a single in December 1979 with a live version of "Take a Chance on Me" as the B-side. The recording is notable for being the only ABBA song to include vocalists other than the four band members; the final chorus features a children's choir from the International School of Stockholm. In the UK, "I Have a Dream" was held off the No. 1 spot by Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" which also features a children's choir. "I Have a Dream" is included on the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits album, as well as in the Mamma Mia! musical.

In the UK, the single was issued in a lavish gatefold sleeve, intended as a souvenir for UK fans who had attended the Wembley concerts (the live recording of "Take a Chance on Me" being from one of them). The inner gatefold made use of the pyramid/mountain/iceberg designs similar to those used in the inner sleeve of Greatest Hits Vol. 2. The inner gatefold was effectively an advert for ABBA's existing albums released in the UK, but the back cover featured a message from ABBA themselves regarding the Wembley concerts, together with their signatures. The front cover used the same live photo of ABBA as the worldwide release, but artwork and fonts were different. This was only Epic's second picture sleeve for an ABBA single.

The live version of "Take a Chance on Me" on the B-side was one of three mixes of the same recording to be issued. Released soon after the concerts, this version is thought to be the genuine recording. A very slightly extended version, featuring spoken introductions from the group, was used as the B-side in Australia. This extended version has been released internationally on the deluxe edition of ABBA: The Album. Finally, a third mix was included on ABBA Live issued in 1986.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1979/1980) Position
Australia (ARIA)[1] 64
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[2] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 1
Canada Adult Contemporary Chart[4] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[5] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[7] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[8] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 2

Westlife version[edit]

"I Have a Dream"
I Have A Dream Westlife.jpg
Single by Westlife
from the album Coast to Coast
Released 6 December 1999 (1999-12-06)
Recorded 1999
Studio PWL, London
Genre Teen pop
Length 4:06
Label BMG
Westlife singles chronology
"Flying Without Wings"
"I Have a Dream"
"Fool Again"
Music video
"I Have a Dream" on YouTube

Irish boy band Westlife released a cover of "I Have a Dream" in December 1999, twenty years after ABBA's original release. The song became the group's fourth UK number-one single. The release was a double A-side, also featuring "Seasons in the Sun", another cover. The release became the UK's Christmas number-one single of 1999, beating Cliff Richard's charity single "The Millennium Prayer" into the No. 2 spot. Westlife's version of "I Have a Dream" was later included on their second studio album Coast to Coast in 2000. It then extended its peak into January 2000 and spending seventeen weeks in the UK chart.[10] The song was the 26th best-selling single of 1999 in the UK and it was also the final number one single of the 1990s.

In 2001, as part of a UNICEF fund-raising campaign, the song was re-recorded with additional vocals by Indonesian child singer, Sinna Sherina Munaf. The song has received a Platinum sales certification in the UK for over 650,000 copies sold.[11]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the Westlife version of "I Have a Dream" features the band exiting out of a car and into a dark street where a group of children are. The children start singing with the band members and play with toys lying nearby before the band head back to the car and drive away.

As of 2017, the video has reached 23 million views on YouTube.[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I Have a Dream" (Single Remix) – 4:06
  2. "Seasons in the Sun" (Single Remix) – 4:10
  3. "On the Wings of Love" – 3:22

Chart performance[edit]

Country (1999-2000) Peak
Denmark (Tracklisten)[13] 11
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[14] 7
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[15] 10
Germany (Official German Charts)[16] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 10
Norway (VG-lista)[19] 10
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[20] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 15
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 18
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 1

End-of-year charts[edit]

End-of-year chart (1999) Position
UK Singles Chart 26
Preceded by
"Goodbye" by Spice Girls
UK Singles Chart Christmas number-one single (Westlife version)
Succeeded by
"Can We Fix It?" by Bob the Builder
Preceded by
"I Try" by Macy Gray
Irish IRMA number one single
18 December 1999 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Born to Make You Happy" by Britney Spears
Preceded by
"Kiss (When the Sun Don't Shine)" by Vengaboys
Scottish Singles Chart
18 December 1999 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Masses Against the Classes" by Manic Street Preachers
Preceded by
"The Millennium Prayer" by Cliff Richard
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Westlife version)
18 December 1999 – 8 January 2000 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Masses Against the Classes" by Manic Street Preachers

Other cover versions[edit]

  • In 1981, American country-gospel music singer, Cristy Lane recorded a cover of the song and released it as a single to the Billboard Country Chart, peaking at Number 17 that year.
  • In 1983, Greek singer Nana Mouskouri recorded a French cover of this song entitled "Chanter La Vie" for her album Quand on revient. She also recorded an English version, which was released as a single in 1986 and included on her 1990 album Alone,as well as a German version of the song, "Ich leb´im Traum" - "I live in a dream".
  • In 1985, Croatian singer Tereza Kesovija recorded a cover of the song entitled "Pronađi put" with lyrics in Croatian by Željko Sabol for her album of the same name
  • In 1987, a recording by the dansband Streaplers, with lyrics in Swedish by Ingela Forsman, "Jag har en dröm", was Number 1 on the Swedish Svensktoppen radio chart for 17 weeks from 31 May – 6 December of that year.[24]
  • In 1994, Hawaiian singers the Makaha Sons covered this song on their album Ke Alaulau
  • Swiss chef/singer Dan Daniell recorded a cover as a duet with original ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad for his album Lieber Gott[25]
  • In 2004, Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell covered the song for his double album Songs of Inspiration/I Believe
  • In 2005, Irish folk music duo Foster & Allen have covered the song for their album Sing The Number 1's
  • In 2005, a duet version was recorded by German celebrity Barbara Schöneberger and American singer Sydney Youngblood for the German ABBA Mania compilation, which coincided with a TV special
  • In 2006, Italian-American singer Al Martino included a cover of the song for his album Come Share The Wine
  • In 2006, German AC/DC tribute band Riff Raff recorded a cover in AC/DC style for their album Rock 'N' Roll Mutation Vol. 1: Riff Raff Performs ABBA
  • In 2007, Connie Talbot covered the song on Over The Rainbow
  • In 2008, the song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on the album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA[26]
  • The song is featured in the Mamma Mia! musical as a recurring musical theme sung by the character of Sophie. It is also featured in the trailer for the film based on the musical. At the beginning of the musical, the context of the song is interpreted that Sophie dreams about her real father coming to the wedding when she sends the invitations, to her potential fathers, away. At the end of the musical, Sophie sings this song when she and Sky set off the Island to go around the world. The context of the song is used in this case as Sophie, now knowing what she really wants, hopes to achieve her dream as she goes around the world with Sky. The song is included on the 2008 movie soundtrack and is sung by actress Amanda Seyfried.
  • The song features prominently in episode 2, season 1 of the British TV show "Black Mirror."


  1. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Abba – I Have a Dream". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 12 Jan 11.
  2. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Abba – I Have a Dream" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 30 Nov 10.
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – Abba – I Have a Dream" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 9 Sep 16.
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  5. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 2, 1980" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  6. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Abba – I Have a Dream" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 Nov 10.
  7. ^ "All there is to know". Irish Singles Chart. IRMA. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Abba – I Have a Dream". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 Nov 10.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 Nov 10.
  10. ^ "WESTLIFE | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  11. ^ "Westlife | Official Top 20". MTV. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  12. ^ westlifeVEVO (2009-10-03), Westlife - "I Have a Dream", retrieved 2017-09-04 
  13. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Westlife – I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun". Tracklisten. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". 2000-01-29. Retrieved 2014-04-01 – via Google Books. 
  15. ^ "Westlife: I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Musicline.de – Westlife Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ "Chart Track: Week 51, 1999". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Westlife – I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Westlife – I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun". VG-lista. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Westlife – I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Westlife – I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ Svensktoppen - 1987
  25. ^ Dan Daniell
  26. ^ [1] Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]