Björn contributes lyrics to Brightman’s Arrival

The Daily Abba’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have always been choosy about which artists they allow to use their tracks, just recently allowing Madonna to sample their hit Gimme! Gimme! Gimme (A Man After Midnight) on her hit Hung Up.

Now Sarah Brightman has received the honour of being the first act to be given lyrics by the Swedish legends.

Sarah, 48, has recorded Arrival, originally an instrumental track from the band’s 1976 album of the same name, after Bjorn gave her the unused lyrics for her new Christmas album A Winter Symphony, out now.

“It was such an honour to receive the lyrics to Arrival from Bjorn,” adds Sarah, 48. “The instrumental has always been one of my favourite pieces and, of course, I love Abba.”

UPDATE: Thanks to Paul Carter for the original source of this story, the UK newspaper the Daily Express.

UPDATE 2: The track’s lyrics were written for Mamma Mia! the stage show but the song wasn’t used. Björn has said he has no idea how Sarah Brightman got hold of the lyrics.


  • The article does seem to hint that the lyrics date from when ABBA recorded Arrival. But I dunno. There’s something about the lyrics that hints to me that they were written a lot more recently than 1976.

  • i totally agree with ian very cleverly the lyrics sit just all too closely with happy new year etc but i too feel are much more modern bjorn lyrics . I have particular doubts about the lines regarding the "song of sirens" and especially the "ray of hope" is this where madonna got her album title from?But the question i keep asking myself is why? either they did write lyrics at the time or not why would the pretend?

  • I believe this to be true; I have the Sarah cd and inside the booklet the song ‘Arrival’ is exclusively credited to Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus with copyright credits to Union Songs AB…

  • Gerard, I don’t think anyone’s disputing Bjorn’s authorship of the lyrics. Just whether they were written in 1976 (as hinted in the article), 2008 or sometime in between.

  • Hi!
    I do also have the recording and immediatly had the feeling that the lyrics seem to be quite "fresh". But as Arrival has been "put into words" before in the Abbacadabra musical as "Time" maybe this unused attempt comes from this production? Who knows? But: Does anyone know, if Sarah might think about releasing "Arrival" as a X-mas single??


  • Minnie Mouse on acid comes to mind when I hear this. Urgh!

  • madona’s is just a sample ,sarah is covering the song and in fact is a great honour to benny and
    bjorn contrarely to madona.though i must admit the madonna cover of like an angel (is it orbital arrgt?) is wonderful!
    as a crazy fan of agnetha and frida ,sarah is one of the few singers ,who i think ,equals them.
    with tina arena’s cover of the ‘winner’ and elaine paige,this is the ultimate circle of singers for
    even annsofie did butcher abba’s songs and the lowest point was with the corrs cover and the helen sjolom’s massacres (tortured hen)
    sarah covering abba was a dream cometrue (i wish there was a songbook!) this reminds me the big joy i had learning that agnetha sang jeff lynne’s!
    or the witney’s cover !!
    who else would be a candidate?
    for boys:
    tommy koberg is pure genuis
    the westlife cover a pure delight (almost better than the original!)
    michael ball did a great job (this is not too far from sarah)
    i forgot many i’m sure!

  • Aha! In today’s Aftonbladet article (Björn & Benny’s Best of 2008) it appears that Björn says the lyric was written for Mamma Mia!

  • Ive been trying to translate Petula Clarke’s version from French. My high school french got me to the stage of thinking it was about a war story and the lost sons who went into battle (ok laugh if Im way off). Now that Ive read these new lyrics, well they aer not that dissimilar in theme….Any response on this theory?

  • While Im at it does anyone have that translation and the french lyrics that Petula sang? I’d love to have a copy. Thanks

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