As you may remember, I’ve written about Desert Island Discs before. It’s a fairly recent obsession of mine; I’ve always known of its existence, but I had never really listened to it before April of this year when the one and only Mr Martin Sheen featured as a castaway. I am now obsessed, having to both listen on a Sunday morning whenever I can, and also having to check the website each week to see which old broadcasts have been added to the downloadable archive. I’m still waiting for Hugh Laurie’s 1996 appearance to become available, but I did find Donald Sutherland, Quentin Blake and Shirley Hughes on there recently, so they have all been downloaded. I’ve also just found Michael Morpurgo’s appearance.
Anyway, so I thought, to tie in with my new fanatical love for Desert Island Discs, I’d pick my eight discs, one at a time, that I would take to a desert island. Radio 4 ran a survey earlier this year (that I forgot to complete), asking the nation for the discs they would take with them. They then collated the results into various lists, including, of course, the top eight tracks, along with top artists and top Beatles tracks. You can see the results here.
So here’s my first pick. I always thought that Waterloo was my favourite ABBA track, because it’s a feel good song that will always get me up dancing. However, I’ve discovered recently that I actually love Super Trouper a lot more. We sang it in junior school for an end-of-year musical production we put on that was called “WorldVision Song Contest”, and of course, this was used for Sweden. Back then, I didn’t really know much about ABBA, and this song didn’t really mean much to me, except that it made me think of lorries and their headlights.
Now, though, of course, I realise it has nothing to do with lorries or their headlights. What I love about it, aside from a brilliantly catchy melody, and some great harmonies (“Su-p-per, Trou-p-per”), is the sadness in the song. I really love the way that ABBA manage, so often, to imbue a song with so much emotion.
I also love Donna and the Dynamo’s performance of the song in Mamma Mia!, where it is performed as a party song at Sophia’s hen night. However, the emotion is still there to see, as Donna looks at her daughter as she sings “Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you.”
It’s not my favourite song in the world, but it’s up there, and it would definitely be on of my eight to take to a desert island with me!
Until next time