For Stig Anderson’s 80th birthday

Stig Anderson, ABBA manager, co-lyricist on many early hits, and driving force behind the group’s international push, would have turned 80 today. ABBA recorded ‘Hovas vittne’ (Hova’s witness) as a gift for Stig’s 50th birthday in 1981. The music was written by Benny and Björn, with the humourous lyrics contributed byAgnetha, Frida, art designer Rune Söderqvist, recording engineer Michael B. Tretow, Benny and Björn. The song was recorded on January 18th, and the above video was filmed at Berns Restaurant in Stockholm on the 24th. 200 copies of a red 12 inch single were pressed and given as gifts to everyone attending Stig’s 50th birthday party. The single is now one of the most valuable and sought-after ABBA collectibles. 

Från Hova kom
det en bonnläpp det svängde om
släpa och slet och snodde
och sen så småningom
på dur och moll
blev han rikare än ett troll
nu är hans dagar fyllda
utav tunga beslut
Lucas ska ut
backen ska saltas
korven ska kokas
Lucas ska ut

Hovas vittne knallarnas röst
Västergötlands stämma på jorden
sångarhjärtat klappar i ditt bröst
pennan glöder, upp flyga orden
raska klackar slå ännu
som ett jehu är du
Hovas vittne ger aldrig upp
Hovas vittne
full fart framåt flaggan i topp

Hos dig på fest
när man sitter och trivs som mest
hör man någonting som surrar
din dammsugareprotest
från din parnass
tar du flyget i första klass
Djurgården – Honolulu
och om du kommer fram
enligt program
är ditt bagage i Rom
och Gudrun i Amsterdam

Hovas vittne knallarnas röst
Västergötlands stämma på jorden
sångarhjärtat klappar i ditt bröst
pennan glöder, upp flyga orden
raska klackar slå ännu
som ett jehu är du
vi och du är långhalm och ler
full fart bakåt
Hovas vittne, vad som än sker

Sticket, Stikkan
det är befogat denna gång
trots att du tycker att låten
blir för lång
sticket, Stikkan
det har vi skrivit i den tron
att du blir glad om vi höjer
en halv ton

Hovas vittne knallarnas röst
Västergötlands stämma på jorden
sångarhjärtat klappar i ditt bröst
pennan glöder, upp flyga orden
raska klackar slå ännu
som ett jehu är du
Hovas vittne ger aldrig opp
Hovas vittne
full fart framåt flaggan i topp

Hurra!

(English translation)

From Hova came a country bumpkin with a beat
he struggled and then in major and minor (key) became richer than a gnome
Now his days are filled with tough decisions
Lukas must be put out (Lukas is Stig’s dog)
The sausage must be cooked (Stig’s favourite food)

Hova’s witness, Knallarna’s voice (nickname for a county salesman)
The voice of Västerergötland on earth
A singer’s heart beats within you
The pen is glowing, “The words fly up” (line from a Swedish poem)
“Quick heels are still beating” (proverb: you’re still young)
You’re like a Jehu (a fast-moving object)
Hova’s witness, raise the flag (on the flagpole he got for his birthday)

At one of your parties
when the people are feeling their best
they suddenly fear something buzzing
your vacuum protests (Stig cleans up when a party is too loud or messy!)
From you parness, you take a first-class plane
Djurgården to Honolulu (where Stig lives in Stockholm)
And if you get there as planned
your luggage is in Rome and Gudrun’s
in Amsterdam! (Gugrun was his wife)

Hova’s witness, Knallarna’s voice (nickname for a county salesman)
The voice of Västerergötland on earth
A singer’s heart beats within you
The pen is glowing, “The words fly up” (line from a Swedish poem)
“Quick heels are still beating” (proverb: you’re still young)
You’re like a Jehu (a fast-moving object)
You and we are straw and clay (we stick together)
Full speed backwards, no matter what happens

The “Stick”, Stikkan (key signature change)
It has a right to be there this time
Even though you think that this song’s to long (to be a hit!)
we’ve written it because we believe you’ll be pleased if we change the key (another element Stig considers necessary for a hit)

Hova’s witness, Knallarna’s voice (nickname for a county salesman)
The voice of Västerergötland on earth
A singer’s heart beats within you
The pen is glowing, “The words fly up” (line from a Swedish poem)
“Quick heels are still beating” (proverb: you’re still young)
You’re like a Jehu (a fast-moving object)
Hova’s witness, raise the flag (on the flagpole he got for his birthday)

Hoorah!

Music: Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus. Lyric: Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Rune Söderqvist, Michael B. Tretow, Björn Ulvaeus.

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4 Responses to “For Stig Anderson’s 80th birthday”

  1. Lisa Howard Says:

    I love Abba

    • Ian Cole Says:

      So do I, Lisa! 🙂

      • ANGELA Says:

        Abba were great I would have been 12 years old when I first saw the film clip of Mamma Mia on countdown when I fell in love with them, Whenever they were in the paper or magazines I kept their pictures.
        It’s so good they are still popular today.

  2. Willie Says:

    I love the harmonies in this song. Those girls could do anything with those voices.

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