I saw two great movies yesterday – Mama Mia, which I saw so many times on tv and I think two or three times in the theater when it came out in 2008. And the Absolutely Fabulous movie. I had never seen that before. I enjoyed that.
At the very end of AbFab, during the credits, they play this song that I loved, I looked it up. It’s called, “Where Do You Go To My Lovely,” it’s by Peter Sarstedt.
The lyrics are so great. It was released in 1969 and hit number one in the UK, where it stayed for four weeks. It only hit number 61 in the US, which is surprising.
It’s about a girl named Marie Claire who grew up in poverty in Naples, Italy and then became the height of jet set society, speaking many languages, jetting around the world, being the “it” girl. People thought it was about Sofia Loren because she grew up in poverty in Italy and became a famous jet setter, but Sarstedt claimed he had no one in mind when he wrote the song. Year’s later he claimed it was about his wife.
Mama Mia always makes me feel sort of how the Sarstedt song does – melancholy. Not because of the story, but because of the music. The Abba songs being back so many wonderful memories, starting, I think when I was in junior high school. When I hear the song “Waterloo,” I can picture myself in my mother’s car, with the song playing on the radio, like it was yesterday. That song was released in 1974, so it was 1974 I am remembering.
Other songs from later years remind me of being out in the clubs, when I was young and it was my first experience going out, so the memories are special for that reason. So as I listen to the songs in Mama Mia, I can almost remember where I was during certain periods of my younger life, it’s like going back in time. It’s exactly in my head like one of the Abba songs in the movie, Slipping through my fingers, which says, “Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture, And save it from the funny tricks of time.” When I hear the music in the movie, I can almost see a photograph in my mind of that time period. Weird.