Soldiers (ABBA song)

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Song by ABBA
from the album The Visitors
ReleasedNovember 29, 1981 (1981-11-29)
LabelPolar (Original release)
PolyGram (1992 - 1997)
Universal Music (1998 - )
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Andersson and Ulvaeus
The Visitors track listing
Side one
  1. "The Visitors"
  2. "Head over Heels"
  3. "When All Is Said and Done"
  4. "Soldiers"
Side two
  1. "I Let the Music Speak"
  2. "One of Us"
  3. "Two for the Price of One"
  4. "Slipping Through My Fingers"
  5. "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room"

"Soldiers" is an ABBA song, released on their 1981 album The Visitors. Its working title was "Peasants".


The song is a critique of militarism.

Billboard explains "emphasizing that although there seems to be so little one can do to prevent the machinations of soldiers and those who control them, we must "not look the other way/taking a chance/cos if the bugle starts to play/we too must dance".[1] The Telegraph describes the premise of the song as "how warmongers convince themselves they are noble men".[2]


The entire song rests upon a "simple two-note" statement". The song has a "string-ensemble synth arrangement". Agnetha uses a "subdued yet stoic vocal", and "the chorus vocals, while typically multi-tiered, are somewhat 'murkier' and less liberated in texture".[3]

Critical reception and analysis[edit]

ABBA's ABBA Gold describes the song as "bleak-yet-catchy".[4] Billboard notes its "simple yet ominous metaphors that envision impending nuclear holocaust". It goes on to explains "the offbeat cadence of the drumming holds dark, somber verses and the sing-song quality of the chorus together", and concludes by saying "certainly very few groups can effectively handle a subject as serious as this, and still imbue it with all the qualities of a great pop song".[1] Billboard listed the song under the "Best cuts" section of an album review, along with four other songs from the album.[5] ABBA: Let The Music Speak says the song has an "unsettling caution" and also "heart and humanity". The synths "gently inflame the sense of yearning throughout, driving along a backing track which features ...bass courtesy of Rutger Gunnarsson".[3]

Cover Versions[edit]

Scottish singer Barbara Dickson covered the song on her 1985 album Gold


  1. ^ a b Billboard. 1982-02-13. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  2. ^ Personal View. "How do you follow up a blockbuster like Mamma Mia?". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  3. ^ 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. 79. ISBN 9780646496764.
  4. ^ Abba's Abba Gold - Elisabeth Vincentelli - Google Books. 2004-03-31. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  5. ^ Billboard. 1981-12-12. Retrieved 2013-09-25.