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An Abba song, of course, which copyright prevents me (or my) quoting all of, but I’d just like to make a couple of comments about metonymy and/or English not being the native language of the lyric-writers. The line that rhymes with the title is "the loser standing small". Well that's not English. Standing tall, yes. But you can’t stand small as an opposite to that.

Then there's

The gods may throw a dice,
Their minds as cold as ice
Now 'dice' as singular is common enough (you and I know it's 'die'), but the problem is that literal things that are cold can be metaphorically as cold "as ice". You stroke my thighs; your hands are cold; I say they are "as cold as ice". But to say a mind is cold is already one extension: you can’t do it again and tack on the literal "as ice" extension.

They do it again in "Waterloo". History repeats itself: that's a commonplace. So you can say metonymically that "the history book" repeats itself. But you can't then tack on a literal physical qualification and say "The history book on the shelf / Is always repeating itself", as Björn and Benny (and at a guess Stig) do.

Don't get me wrong. I love "The Winner Takes It All". My favourite part is towards the end when Anna drops into Sprechgesang for just the words "but you see...". That moves me so much, that sends me, that makes me cry. Actually I have to say I was very disappointed with the musical Mamma Mia! at that point for not dropping into that heart-wrenching timbre at that moment, even though that song was when I got closest to outright crying for sadness and joy in the musical. The mother sings it to the man who hurt her most.

Another thing I love about this song, and which the musical did do though not to the degree that Agnetha did, is where her voice cracks on "I apologize...". Again, that makes me weep.

I love Abba and I have never hidden it or apologized for it.

What gives 'The Winner Takes it All' most of its emotional kick is the fact that both writers, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, either had been, or were in the process of divorcing the vocalists, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog. When Agentha sings 'Tell me - does she kiss, like I used to kiss you?', she is delivering words written by her ex-husband (presumably whilst standing in the studio, directly to his face). The effect is magnified in the video, which is both extremely kitsch, and almost painful to watch.

ABBA's perfect pop music often seemed cold and unemotional, and the group were not known for their naked displays of raw emotion - 'The Winner Takes it All' was particularly endearing, as it showed that, behind the close harmonies, stilted interviews, and impeccable production, they were human beings after all.

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