“Ode to Freedom” by ABBA

To note, as written, this song is not actually an “ode to freedom”. Rather it centers on the vocalist conceptualizing, if she did in fact accept the challenge to pen such a piece, what it would consist of.

Behind this postulation, if you will, is the selfsame narrator coming to the conclusion that freedom is such a universal concept that ultimately any attempt on her behalf to define it would prove wanting. 

And this would not due to her lacking understanding of the concept per se. But being that ABBA are in fact extremely wealthy celebrities, if they got to talking about freedom, us laymen would likely presume that such their understanding is being relayed from a lofty perspective. Or at least that’s what Björn believed when putting these lyrics together.

And ultimately such subjectivity is one of the reasons why, at the end of the day, there may never be a comprehensive “ode to freedom”. Or put more simply, ABBA’s understanding of freedom may prove different than your own – and so on and so forth.

But in the meantime, the vocalist still longs for the day when someone would come along and in fact drop an “Ode to Freedom” that we could all appreciate. And going a bit out on a limb, perhaps what she is more macrocosmically speaking to is something like a day when the entirety of mankind actually feels free which for now, since freedom is “elusive” and “fleeting”, is more akin to a fantasy.

ABBA's "Ode to Freedom" Lyrics
ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus talks about "Ode to Freedom"

Facts about “Ode to Freedom”

This is the closing track on the ten-song playlist of Voyage. Voyage is the first studio album that ABBA has put out since 1981’s The Visitors. And such was made possible by the Universal Music Group and one of its subsidiaries, Sweden-based Polar Music. The song and album’s official date of release was date of 5 November 2021.

It has been put forth that this song was musically inspired by Swan Lake. Swan Lake is a ballet dating back to 1877 that was written by legendary Russian musician Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). 

However, by the looks of things, said piece is not officially acknowledged as a sample, interpolation or anything like that. And to note, the Stockholm Concert Orchestra participated on “Ode to Freedom”.

This song was written and produced by Björn Ulvaeus alongside Benny Andersson, with the two of them being the male members of ABBA. 

And to note their female bandmates, i.e. the vocalists, are Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

Ode to Freedom

Below are some other notable tracks from ABBA’s “Voyage”:

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