Mamma Mia (ABBA song)

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"Mamma Mia"
Mamma Mia Intermezzo No 1.jpg
Danish vinyl single
Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA
ReleasedSeptember 1975
Format7" single
Recorded12 March 1975 at Metronome Studio
LabelPolar (Denmark)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (Canada, US)
Carnaby (Spain)
Polydor (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland)
RCA Victor (Australia)
Disques Vogue (Belgium)
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Stig Anderson
Producer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Mamma Mia"
Music video
"Mamma Mia" on YouTube

"Mamma Mia" is a song by the Swedish pop group ABBA, written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, with the lead vocals shared by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It is the opening track on the group's third album, the self-titled ABBA. The song's name is derived from Italian, where it is an interjection used in situations of surprise, anguish, or excitement, which corresponds to the English interjection "my, my!" but literally means "My mother". The interjection "my my" can indeed be found in some lines within the song.

History and impact[edit]

The distinctive sound at the start of the song is the marimba.[2] According to biographer Carl Magnus Palm, the instrument was incorporated at the last minute, added after Benny Andersson found it in the studio and decided its "tick tock" rhythm was perfect for the track.[3]

"Mamma Mia" was written at the home of Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, and was the last track recorded for the album ABBA. It was one of four songs from the album to have a music video made to promote the album. Initially, however, "Mamma Mia" was never intended for release as a single.[2] Around this time, many artists were recording ABBA songs (such as "Honey, Honey" and "Bang a Boomerang"), similarly ABBA offered "Mamma Mia" to British pop group Brotherhood of Man, who turned it down.[4]

"I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" topped the Australian charts for three weeks; however, the promo clip for "Mamma Mia" proved the more popular after repeat screenings on Australian television, notably Molly Meldrum's Countdown. ABBA’s Australian record company, RCA, asked that "Mamma Mia" be released as a single but Polar Music refused.[5] However, Stig Anderson agreed to this; "Mamma Mia" was released in Australia in August 1975, where it spent 10 weeks at number one.[2]

After this success in Australia, Epic Records in the United Kingdom took notice of ABBA for the first time since their Eurovision Song Contest winner "Waterloo". From then on, Epic began to heavily promote ABBA's singles with the immediate result of "S.O.S." reaching the Top 10 in the British market, their first hit since "Waterloo". "Mamma Mia" soon followed, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart in January 1976, the second of ABBA's 18 consecutive Top 10 singles there.[2]

The B-side for the Australian release of "Mamma Mia" was "Hey, Hey Helen". In most other countries the B-side was the instrumental "Intermezzo Number 1". ABBA's British label Epic selected "Tropical Loveland" as the B-side for the UK release, feeling another vocal track, especially one showcasing ABBA in a different musical style, would better promote the parent album.

International single[edit]

1."Mamma Mia"
2."Intermezzo No. 1"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus

UK single[edit]

1."Mamma Mia"
2."Tropical Loveland"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Anderson


Charts and certifications[edit]

A-Teens version[edit]

"Mamma Mia"
A*Teens-Mamma Mia.jpg
Single by A★TEENS
from the album The ABBA Generation
Released30 April 1999
  • Jam Lab Studios (Gothenburg)
  • Hitsville Studios (Halden)
Length3:44 (Album Version)
3:42 (Radio Edit)
LabelUniversal Music Group
Songwriter(s)B. Andersson
S. Anderson
B. Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Ole Evenrude
A★TEENS singles chronology
"Mamma Mia"
"Super Trouper"
Music video
"Mamma Mia" on YouTube

"Mamma Mia" is the debut single by the Swedish pop group A★TEENS. It was released on 30 April 1999 by Stockholm Records as the first single from their debut album, The ABBA Generation. The song is a cover of the popular hit by ABBA.

Upon its release it became a smash hit in Sweden, where it peaked at number one and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks, earning a platinum certification.[24]

On initial pressings of the single, the name of the band appeared as ABBA★TEENS, but Stockholm Records thought it would be better to change the name of the band to A★TEENS, so new pressings of the single were made.

Commercial performance[edit]

The single reached the top twenty in almost every European country, reaching number three in Norway, number nine in Switzerland and the Netherlands, number ten in Germany, number twelve in the United Kingdom, number fourteen in Austria and Finland, among others. A Spanish version of the song was recorded for promotion in Latin America and Spain.

Despite the worldwide success, the song failed to attract the Australian public, peaking at seventy-two on the ARIA charts, although it did reach number thirteen in New Zealand.

In the United States the single peaked at sixty-three on the Billboard Hot Single Sales Chart, becoming the band's first single to chart in the country.[25]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Henrik Sylvén and was filmed in Sweden. It shows the A★TEENS as waiters at an art exposition, and they are suppressed by the manager; but soon they discover that one of the paintings transports them to a party where the manager and patrons he's helping also join in on the fun.


Chart (1999) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[26] 14
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[27] 10
Brazil (ABPD)[28] 36
Denmark (IFPI)[29] 1
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[30] 22
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[31] 14
France (SNEP)[32] 51
Germany (Official German Charts)[33] 10
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[34] 20
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[35] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[36] 7
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[37] 13
Norway (VG-lista)[38] 3
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[39] 10
Spain (AFYVE)[40] 6
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[41] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 12

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Position
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)[43] 51
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[44] 69
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[45] 59
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[46] 1

Track listing[edit]

European 2-Track CD Single

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:43
  2. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

International Edition

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:43
  2. Mamma Mia [Giuseppe Remix] – 5:35
  3. Mamma Mia [Jam Lab Remix] – 3:56
  4. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

U.K. CD1

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:45
  2. Lay All Your Love On Me – 4:04
  3. Mamma Mia [Karaoke Version] – 3:45

Video: Mamma Mia

U.K. CD2

  1. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48
  2. Mamma Mia [The Bold & The Beautiful Glamourmix Edit] – 3:46
  3. Mamma Mia [Trouser Enthusiasts' Undying Dub] – 9:20

U.K. Cassette

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:45
  2. Mamma Mia [Karaoke Version] – 3:45

U.S. CD Single

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:43
  2. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

Promo CD

  1. Mamma Mia – 3:43

12" Vinyl Promo

  1. A. Mamma Mia [The Bold & The Beautiful Glamourmix Edit] – 3:46
  2. B. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

Mamma Mia! version[edit]

"Mamma Mia" was recorded by Meryl Streep for the soundtrack of Mamma Mia!. Her version was released on July 8, 2008 alongside the rest of the soundtrack, by Decca and Polydor Records. It was produced by Benny Andersson.


Chart (2008) Peak
Norway (VG-lista)[47] 17
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[48] 55
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[49] 96
US Billboard Hot 100[50] 99

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again version[edit]

Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies recorded "Mamma Mia" for the soundtrack of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Their version was released on July 13, 2018 alongside the rest of the soundtrack, by Capitol and Polydor Records. It was produced by Benny Andersson.


Chart (2018) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[51] 49
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[52] 21
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[53] 54
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[54] 57

References and appearances in other media[edit]

  • In 1980, a Spanish version of "Mamma Mia" was included on the album Gracias Por La Música.
  • In 1999, a musical with the same name, Mamma Mia! (with an exclamation point to differentiate its name from the title track), opened in London's West End, featuring many of ABBA's songs and production has spread to many other countries, with more than 5,000 performances on Broadway alone. A film adaptation premiered in theaters in 2008.
  • ABBA perform parts of the song live in the film ABBA: The Movie (1977).
  • The song is featured in the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1993) which was made in Australia, the site of the single's greatest success.
  • The song can be heard in another Australian film Muriel's Wedding (1994).
  • The song can be heard in the That '70s Show episode "No Quarter". Jackie plays it trying to get to sleep, to the annoyance of Donna.
  • In a second-season episode of the television drama Boston Legal, the character Ivan Tiggs, performed by Tom Selleck references the song in reaction to his fiance's breaking into a line from Dancing Queen.[55]
  • The A-Teens cover is used as the opening theme of the German reality programme Frauentausch.
  • On 5 December 2010, on a British poll of the nation's favourite ABBA song, the song was placed at number 6.
  • Aus TV series sent up this video in their second season in 1990 with Jane Turner and Gina Riley in the roles of Agnetha and Anni-Frid, respectively.
  • Cher recorded the song for her ABBA cover album "Dancing Queen".


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External links[edit]