Yet another iconic track by the Swedish pop group ABBA, “I Have a Dream” has a deep rooted meaning than what meets the eye in a glance. The song seems to be singing of angels and streams and beauty and positivity, but there could be a little more depth than this in this 1979 hit.
“I Have a Dream” was released in ABBA’s sixth album ‘Voulez-Vous’ released in 1979. The song was released as a single and topped many charts around the world. It was only beaten to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” at #2 on UK singles chart. However, ABBA did manage to score #1 ranks in Austria, Canada, Switzerland and Belgium with the song.
“I Have a Dream” is complete with a choir by a group of children and has paved the way to many choirs covering this song throughout the 40 years of its existence so far. Much like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” this song, too, has achieved immortal status in the music industry.
Listen to “I Have a Dream” by ABBA
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “I Have a Dream”
I an overall sense, this song is about a dream of a beautiful life in this world. It is inspiring and motivating and filled with positive vibes. The song motivates you to take on the future, and have positive thoughts about everything that happens around us.
If we dwell a little deeper into these lyrics, we do find several annotations that could link up to a more profound meaning than what meets the eye.
ABBA sings of angels and crossing streams. We know for a fact that angels are supernatural creatures, not visible to the naked eye. Something that we do not see, is very difficult to believe in. However, the singers say they do believe in angels. The interpretation of these lyrics are two-fold. Angels symbolize ‘good.’ So, on earth there could be instances which make us believe that angels do exist in the form of humans. We often hear heroic and kindest acts by humans on this earth. So, ‘something good in everything i see’ and ‘angels on earth’ do go together. On the flipside, ABBA could really be talking about the paranormal–about the heavens–about the afterlife. The singers also speak of ‘crossing the stream’ when their time comes. This is quite a straightforward metaphor for death and afterlife. In Greek mythology, we do hear about The River Styx that separates the human world and the afterlife.
In the second verse of “I Have a Dream,” ABBA sings of reality and fantasy. They could be referring to afterlife as ‘fantasy.’ In this sense, their daydream is of the afterlife and this helps them cope the real world-which obviously is quite painful. ABBA further sings of a ‘destination’ that they wait for. And to get to this destination, they have to push through the ‘darkness’ one more mile after another. It is quite clear that ABBA is referring to the real world as a dark journey, and that they cannot wait till they reach the destination-afterlife-heaven.
So, did ABBA really sing about death in the most sugarcoated fashion? Did they conceal the pain and despair of the real world in a ‘dream’ and sing about the destination?
What do you think these lyrics mean? Let us know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this article, do share it with your friends.
Complete Lyrics to “I Have a Dream” by ABBA