When I Kissed the Teacher

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"When I Kissed the Teacher"
Song by ABBA
from the album Arrival
Released October 11, 1976
Recorded June 14, 1976[1]
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:01
Label Polar
Songwriter(s) Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
Producer(s) Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
Arrival track listing

Side A:

  1. "When I Kissed the Teacher"
  2. "Dancing Queen"
  3. "My Love, My Life"
  4. "Dum Dum Diddle"
  5. "Knowing Me, Knowing You"

Side B:

  1. "Money, Money, Money"
  2. "That's Me"
  3. "Why Did It Have to Be Me?"
  4. "Tiger"
  5. "Arrival"

"When I Kissed the Teacher" is a song from ABBA. It is the opening track on their 1976 album Arrival.


The song's recording session's began on June 14, 1976, with the name "Rio de Janeiro". Eventually, the track was renamed "When I Kissed the Teacher".[2] The song's light-hearted lyrics tell the story of a student who has a crush on her teacher, one day cannot restrain herself and kisses him.[3] The lyrics are set to spirited music.[4] Benny Andersson considered this one of his favorite ABBA songs.[1][3]

The video clip "goes from a female student longing for her teacher to her taking direct action by kissing him as he leans over her in class."[5] The actor playing the part of the teacher was Magnus Härenstam.[6]


The song was also released on the compilation album More Gold: More Hits and the video was included on The Definitive Collection.[7][8]


Lyrically and musically, the song is filled with "schoolgirl imagery".[9] Agnetha is lead vocal.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Buffalo News describes it as "bouncy".[11] The Telegraph lists the song as one of ABBA's hidden gems, offering it as an alternative to "Waterloo". It says the song "Starts off slow, but quickly turns into a surreal, pop homage to low level sexual harassment".[12] Robert Hilburn of the Malaysian Star said "My nomination for the best ABBA track that wasn't a hit in the U.S.: "When I Kissed the Teacher," a zestful number that recalls the teen passion of such Phil Spector productions as the Ronettes' 'Be My Baby'".[13] In a Voulez-Vous review, "When I Kissed the Teacher" is listed alongside "Dancing Queen" as an example of the group's "soaring female harmonies, uplifting melodies, and festive instrumental touches" in their earlier hits.[14] Chris Joens of the Chicago Tribute, in a review of the Mamma Mia musical, noted "A soundtrack has become a discography. I've even almost forgotten my favorite ABBA ditty, 'When I Kissed the Teacher', just because it's not in the show."[15] The Los Angeles Times said "'When I Kissed the Teacher' is the most convincing thing Abba has done because it injects some sly, mocking humor and passion that offsets the group seriousness".[16] Abba - Uncensored on the Record said When I Kissed The Teacher is an example of what was "expected of ABBA".[10] The Teacher in American Society: A Critical Anthology lists the song with Van Halen's Hot For Teacher and Jethro Tull's Teacher as examples of "how teachers are viewed by [students] as sexual objects.[17]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Indie Cincinnati music artist Fungobat (Mike Hagen) covered the song. It was included on his Greatest Hits Vol. 1 compilation, released through the Old 3C Records indie label.
  • With lyrics in Swedish by Ingela "Pling" Forsman, as När jag kysste lärar'n (meaning the same as the song title in English), the song was recorded by the in av Growing Girls in 1982.,[18] charting at Svensktoppen for two weeks between 18–25 April 1982.[19] and with these lyrics the song was also recorded by Leif Bloms, acting as a B-side of the 1991 single Jag sjunger för dej (I Write You a Love Song)[20] and also appearing on the 1993 album Dej ska jag älska all min tid.[21]
  • Ann Christy recorded the Flemish rendering "Toen ik Leraar kuste" for her 1977 album Bravo: Christy also recorded "When I Kissed the Teacher" with its original English lyric for her 1977 album My Love, My Life.
  • On the 1995 New Zealand tribute album Abbasalutely, the song is covered by The Magick Heads.
  • In 1977, Tina Arena and John Bowles recorded a version for their album "Tiny Tina and Little John".
  • The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus recorded a cover of the song for their 1997 album ExtrABBAganza!.
  • Studio 99 released a version on their Studio 99 Perform a Tribute to ABBA, Vol. 2 in 2006.
  • Russian metal band Boney Nem recorded a cover of the song.
  • The ABBA Tribute band Arrival from Sweden slowed down the song for their "Live Music of Abba by the Arrival from Sweden" concert.[22]


  1. ^ a b Palm, C. (2005). Abba: The Complete Guide to their Music. p. 36. ISBN 1844495051. 
  2. ^ http://www.abbaomnibus.net/songs/titles/riodejaneiro.htm
  3. ^ a b Scott, R. (2003). ABBA Thank You for the Music. p. 74. ISBN 1842227939. 
  4. ^ "Arrival". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  5. ^ Roy Fisher; Ann Harris; Christine Jarvis (2008). "Education in Popular Culture: Telling Tales on Teachers and Learners". ISBN 9780415332422. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  6. ^ ABBA Related Places – Magnus Härenstam
  7. ^ "More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  8. ^ "The Definitive Collection". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  9. ^ Louise FitzGerald; Melanie Williams (2013-04-15). "Mamma Mia! The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon". ISBN 9781848859425. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  10. ^ a b Tobler, John (2012-01-04). "Abba - Uncensored on the Record". ISBN 9781908538239. 
  11. ^ http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article18386.ece
  12. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/3556073/Abba-take-a-chance-on-these.html
  13. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/24/entertainment/et-backtracking24
  14. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=9E5OAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Iu4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4817,1902245&dq=when+i+kissed+the+teacher+abba&hl=en
  15. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-25/entertainment/ct-ent-0126-mamma-mia-review-20120125_1_chiquitita-mamma-mia-lyngstad
  16. ^ https://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/doc/158281518.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Feb%201,%201977&author=&pub=Los%20Angeles%20Times&edition=&startpage=&desc=British%20Regress%20to%20Innocent%20%2750s
  17. ^ Eugene f. Provenzo, Jr (2010-02-02). "The Teacher in American Society: A Critical Anthology". ISBN 9781412965934. 
  18. ^ "När jag kysste lärar'n". Svensk mediedatabas. 1982. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Svensktoppen". Sveriges Radio. 1982. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Information at Svensk mediedatabas
  21. ^ Information at Svensk mediedatabas
  22. ^ http://www.thestar.com.my/story.aspx?sec=central&file=%2f2011%2f1%2f1%2fcentral%2f7703550