December 9, 2023
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‘It was beautiful and very romantic’ – Kilkenny inspires new ABBA song

Kilkenny features in a song on reformed super-group Abba’s new album.

Last Friday Abba released their first new album in 40 years, but local fans are particularly taken with one new song which mentions the Marble City.

When You Danced With Me, the second track on the band’s new album Voyage, is an Irish folk song complete with pipes and accordion and it tells the tale of a jilted lover being left behind in Kilkenny.

Speaking about When You Danced With Me, Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus (76) revealed that the song was indeed inspired by a visit to Kilkenny with his family, wife Lena Källersjö, whom he married in 1981, and their two children, in the 1990s.

“I drove around the coast from Limerick to Dublin with my family in the 90s and we stopped in Kilkenny. It was beautiful and very romantic, I thought. Castle, churches and the surroundings, County Kilkenny with its little, charming villages

“It has stayed with me. We drove through Cork as well and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that city but try to replace Kilkenny with Cork in When You Danced With Me!”

Abba only played Ireland once, performing at the RDS in November, 1978 but the band have long been fans of Irish music and sang Danny Boy at their Dublin gig.

Abba will perform digitally with a live 10-piece band, in a purpose-built ‘ABBA arena’ at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London in May 27 next year.


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