My Mama Said

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"My Mama Said" is a song by ABBA, released on their 1974 album Waterloo. It was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.[1]


The song is about a girl's grumbles over her overbearing mother.


The song has dual vocals by both Frida and Agnetha.[1] The song has an R&B feel, as well as a "sophisticated refrain and middle eight guitar solo", which were most likely influenced by the music of the time. The bass guitar links the vocal phrases in the verses.The chorus has a bass guitar and acoustic guitar playing the same notes an octave apart, while the keyboard is played in a chord-per-bar fashion. The verses have a "chant-like plea" while the choruses have a "defiant masculinity". The vocal lines are cut short so as to eradicate any vibrato, and the vocals have been treated in post-production[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Bright Lights Dark Shadows: The Real Story of Abba says the song has a "jazzy, almost funky feel, lending it an aura of coolness".[3] Said there is a "nice little intro to this one and a clever little bit of jazz playing from Janne Schaffer".[1] Don't Play with My Balls! says "My Mama Said has everything you could want in a tune" including "big fat bass" and "passive aggressive parenting".[4] The sound of the suburbs described the song as "oddly neglected", and added that one can almost hear the early signs of famous ABBA sound fall into place.[5] ABBA: let the music speak said the song is "unfortunately one of those ABBA songs that earned a reputation more for its lyrical triteness than its musical substance", arguing that the need to continue the rhyming structure ended up "belittling a track that succeeds on all other levels".[2]


  1. ^ a b c Tobler, John (2012-01-04). "Abba - Uncensored on the Record". ISBN 9781908538239. 
  2. ^ a b Tesch, Christopher Patrick ; editor: Matthew (2008). ABBA : let the music speak : an armchair guide to the musical soundscape of the Swedish supergroup (1st ed.). Fairfield Gardens, Qld.: Christopher J N Patrick. p. 16. ISBN 9780646496764. 
  3. ^ Palm, Carl Magnus (2008-09-01). "Bright Lights Dark Shadows: The Real Story of Abba". ISBN 9781847724199. 
  4. ^ Maxey, Emily. ""Don't Play with My Balls!" 100 Absurd Statements About "Big Fat Bass"". ISBN 9785518290013. 
  5. ^