When ABBA crooned, “Mamma Mia”, they could never have imagined that their feelgood song would take on a life of its own. Here’s how it has evolved from an Italian interjection sung by a popular Swedish band to a Broadway hit and US musical that put Skopelos on the map as a wedding destination… to ABBA-licious Greek-inspired cuisine!
Mamma Mia! Here are some of the pit-stops:
1.The ABBA original
The song, recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA topped the charts in 1975, heralding the start to ABBAmania. Written by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson with lead vocals shared by Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
Swedish pop music group A*Teens were created in 1998 as a tribute band to ABBA (initially named ABBA Teens until the original band members asked them to change their name to avoid confusion). Their first single, Mamma Mia, enjoyed success in 1999 and became a worldwide success, topping the charts in more than ten countries. The version deviates from the original by leaving out the second refrain:”Mamma Mia, even if I say, Bye bye, leave me now or never; Mamma Mia, it’s a game we play, Bye bye, doesn’t mean forever.”
3. Mamma Mia Musical
From a song based on an Italian interjection to show surprise, the hit suddenly got a Greek edge when the hit musical, “Mamma Mia”, was launched in 1999. The hit musical’s film adaptation in 2008 was filmed on Skopelos with a star cast led by Meryl Streep, and also starring Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Julie Waters and more. Skopelos in the Sporades island cluster benefitted from the boost in tourism.
4. Ancient Greek Mamma Mia
There are many remixes of the hit song, but this version by the University of Auckland, New Zealand, is one of a kind. Students of the Association of Classical Studies interpreted the song in Ancient Greek, with the byline “Μα τον Δία” (But Zeus!)
Not to be outdone, the Latin students gave their versions. Which do you prefer?
6. Internet Parody
Iulia Grama sings the feel-good dance song with lyrics concerning internet addiction for the University of Bedford.
7. The Gonnorhea version
Prepare to be grossed out… Here’s the Gonnorhea version by Med Schol students who claim that their views are in no way affiliated with Albert Einstein College of Medicine. They used the popular song to get through an important message.
Prepare to be grossed out… oh, those meatballs!
9. Sydney Youth Orchestra
No words are necessary. Enjoy the instrumental.
10. Mamma Mia-inspired Greek cuisine
The Swedish pop foursome got together at the start of 2016 to endorse a new Greek restaurant in Stockholm, created by none other than former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus. Mamma Mia! The Party aims to transfer the dancing-in-the-aisles party atmosphere conjured by the song to Stockholm’s dining scene. Diners enjoy Greek dishes in an atmosphere inspired by the musical while enjoying ABBA hits. The group got together for the opening… They ate together, but no, they didn’t sing!