ABBA’s “One of Us” Lyrics Meaning

Content-wise, ABBA’s “One of Us” is very-similar to “The Winner Takes It All” (which was released the year prior) in that it is sung from a female perspective and is centered on a character who is suffering from a breakup and acknowledges that her ex is doing better than she is.  In other words, the titular “One of Us” refers to herself, and she is basically lamenting over the fact that the relationship has dissolved largely due to her own actions.

Thus throughout the chorus she points out ways she is suffering which apparently her ex is not. For instance, she is sad and lonely. Her heart is also broken, and she is “waiting for a call” from him. But most-notable, she feels “stupid” and “small” and regrets terminating the relationship. 

Lyrics of "One of Us"

The woman had caused the dissolution of their romance, apparently by dumping the man. But now it has become obvious that she has made a mistake, as she is apparently in a much worse emotional state than he is. Owing to this, the track climaxes with her desiring to resuscitate the romance.

Facts about “One of Us”

  • “One of Us” was written by the male members of ABBA (Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus). The pair wrote this song shortly after their divorces from the female members (Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog, respectively).
  • Production of this song was also handled by the aforementioned pair.
  • This song came out in December 1981. It was released as the second single from the band’s 1981 album titled The Visitors. It is important to mention that The Visitors was the band’s eighth and final studio album ABBA released before separating.
  • In addition to appearing on The Visitors, this track also appears on some of the compilation albums of ABBA. For example, it can be found on the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits (which was released in 1992).
  • It is believed that this track is a reflection of the adversity that hit the band members during the period of their separation.
  • In 1995, American singer Joan Osborne released one of the biggest singles of her entire career titled “One of Us“. Despite the title of this hit single of hers being the same with ABBA’s, the two songs have nothing in common.

How did “One of Us” fare on the charts?

 It did very well on the charts. For instance, it topped the charts in several countries, including Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The track was equally successful in Norway, Spain, France, Switzerland, and South Africa. It entered into the top 10 in these aforementioned countries.

Which artists have covered “One of Us”?

Swedish artist, Pandora did a cover version of “One of Us”, which was released in 1995. In 1999, A*Teens also released their edition of this tune. A version of this track, which was done by Cher, also came out in 2018.

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