Meaning of “Waterloo” by ABBA

Waterloo is a song by the noted Swedish pop group ABBA. The lyrics of the song are about a woman who compares the way she has surrendered to a man she is in love with to the way the famed French military leader, Napoleon’s surrender at the legendary Battle of Waterloo in 1815. She refers to the man as her “Waterloo”.

Waterloo lyrics

Facts about “Waterloo”

  • The lyrics of Waterloo were written by Swedish lyricist Stig Anderson and the music of the song was composed by the principal songwriters of ABBA Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, with the latter two handling the song’s production.
  • ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with this song. The win helped in launching ABBA’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most successful pop groups of all time.
  • In 2005, on the 50th anniversary of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, Waterloo was voted as the greatest song in the entire history of the competition.
  • Waterloo sold almost six million copies worldwide, thereby making it one of the most successful singles ever released.
  • The song was initially titled Honey Pie.
  • The song was officially released on March 4th, 1974 as the first single from the group’s second studio album titled Waterloo.
  • The song topped the charts in many European countries, including Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. In the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number 6.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Waterloo”

Q: Did the song win a Grammy Award?

A: No, it did not.

Q: Which recording acts have covered Waterloo?

A: Since Waterloo came out in 1974, it has been covered several times by recording acts such as the British girl group Bananarama in 1998, the Swedish band Black Ingars in 1998, the American comedy band The Dan Band in 2005 and the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest winning Danish rock/pop music duo in 2010.

Q: Which films/TV shows have used “Waterloo”?

A: The song has featured in such films as the 1977 documentary film about ABBA titled ABBA: The Movie, the 1994 comedy drama film titled Muriel’s Wedding and the 2015 hit science fiction film The Martian.

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