Does Your Mother Know
by ABBA

Album: Voulez-Vous (1979)
Charted: 4 19
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song is one of ABBA's very few to feature a male lead vocal; the band usually used a female lead or a double lead.
  • "Does Your Mother Know" which has no questionmark was written by the team of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Running to 3 minutes 16 seconds, with Björn doing the singing and backed by "Kisses Of Fire," it was released in April 1979; overtly commercial even for ABBA, this had hit single written all over it, and it was hardly surprising it made #1 in the Belgian chart and the Top 10 in several other countries.
  • "Does your mother know you're out?" or "Does your mother know that you're out?" as in the song, is an expression sometimes used by a worldly wise older man to ward off the advances of Jailbait. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

Comments: 12

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenFunny how this song plays like a reply to their earlier hit:

    Underage Girl: "Take a chance on me."
    Guy: "I can't take a chance on a chick like you."
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenWhen this came out, I was glad to hear the men finally giving themselves a chance to shine, vocally.
  • Melinda from AustraliaThe topic of this song is far more controversial today than it was in the 1970’s. No one cared back then. Though I think a good topic. For a change, from a man’s point of view. And legal position.
    I think women rarely think about how much temptation, and a problematic risk men face with underage girls. Who are out on the town way too young.
    We don’t think about it cause we’ve never had that problem. It’s men who go to jail historically for fooling around with underage girls. Not women.
    I always wondered did Bjorn and Benny the ABBA musicians and singers, write about this problem because their fan base were extremely young. I loved ABBA and I was what, 14 when this came out. They were hugely popular. It seemed everything they brought out was a hit.
    They were good clean fun. But I’ve no doubt Bjorn and Benny got plenty of ‘offers’. That they refused. Flatly.
    They seem to sing about the topic with experienced understanding. Or ...are all men on top of the problems with these ‘flirty Jailbaits’. It’s seems very tricky.
    ABBA were at least a class above Led Zeppelin in that area. Jimmy Page should have been jailed and thrown out of the band for continually sleeping with a 14 year girl called Lori.
    Oh the 1970’s. We look back nostalgically. But a lot of lines were crossed. Cause of the 60’s sexual revolution.
    The reality is today tho. Takin liberties with females of any age now. Harassing them in that way is enough to land guys in court. Lose their job. Let alone sleeping with them.
    But maybe we need to get things back to a new era of safe and respectful.
    Think R Kelly. Lock him up forever!!! And anyone else like him.
  • Larry from Trinity AlpsA tidbit on the lyrics: In the 90s I spent time in Scandinavia, where English is commonly spoken very well. One frequent exception was the use of "funny" when the speaker meant "fun". Of course "fun" wouldn't have rhymed with "honey", so it works in that sense, but doesn't really mean "funny ha-ha".
  • Nancy from Baltimore, MdI love this song. It's kinda sexy and has a great beat.
  • Dion from Millom, United KingdomThis song has a real beat to it and a male voice a good one at that!
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvThis song is so great. I love this song, especaly the begining beat.
  • Carrie from Roanoke, VaThis is one of my favorite ABBA songs. The women harmonize very well with Bjorn.
  • Peter from Bathurst, Nb"Does Your Mother Know" was definitely not the only ABBA hit with a male lead vocal. "Summer Night City" featured Bjorn Ulvaeus's vocals, along with other songs that may have not been released as a single in the United States, but were definitely released in other parts of the world as singles. "Rock Me", "Another Town, Another Train", "He Is Your Brother", "Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)", and "People Need Love" all had male lead vocals. The only ABBA albums that didn't have at least one song containing male lead vocals were "ABBA-The Album" and "Super Trouper", and oddly enough these were among ABBA's best selling albums. Coincidence? Personally I always thought Bjorn had a rather weak set of pipes, and Benny and Bjorn wrote songs/lyrics that were much better suited to female vocals while their attempts at trying to write 'male' lyrics were a little less than thrilling.
  • Shamomo Apolo Onono from Liverpool, OhAwwww...jeez, I just LOVE this song!
  • Mark from London, EnglandThis wasn't the only Abba song with a male lead but it was the only Abba SINGLE with one.
  • Patrickman from Makati City, Otheri love this song! this is one of my favorite Abba songs. very catchy lyrics and danceable music. :D
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Second Wind Songs

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Ed Roland of Collective Soul

Ed Roland of Collective SoulSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Shine," "December," "The World I Know" and other Collective Soul hits.

Emilio Castillo from Tower of Power

Emilio Castillo from Tower of PowerSongwriter Interviews

Emilio talks about what it's like to write and perform with the Tower of Power horns, and why every struggling band should have a friend like Huey Lewis.

Yacht Rock!

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.