Eagle
by ABBA

Album: The Album (1977)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus wrote most of their songs with an eye on the singles charts, including this heavily produced orchestrated track, although it was not marketed as such in the US or UK. The album version runs to 5 minutes 51 seconds, and is the longest ABBA song ever released. There were various radio edits: in Japan, the 1978 single which was released on the Disco Mate label (backed by "Thank You For The Music") ran to 4 minutes 25 seconds and reached only #62 in the chart.

    The Spanish release, on Carnaby, ran to 3 minutes 36 seconds, and failed to chart. In Holland, it was released on Polydor, ran to 4 minutes 26 seconds, and reached #4.
  • The theme of the song is similar to that of "Paloma Blanca," "Skyline Pigeon" and countless other songs where birds feature in the title or the lyrics, though "Eagle" had a more specific inspiration. In Bright Lights Dark Shadows: The Real Story of ABBA it is revealed as the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, of which Björn said: "I was trying to capture the sense of freedom that I got from reading that book." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Although this song could not match the success of the majority of ABBA's hits, it managed to reach the Top 10 in Netherlands and West Germany and topped the charts in Belgium. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA

Comments: 9

  • Tim from Perth I always interpreted it as being a song about death / the after life . If I’m correct Viking culture describes birds of prey accompanying the souls of the recently departed on their journey to the afterlife?
    Also Move On which was the first song on the 2nd side of the album is about celebrating life .
    So I always thought that Abba had purposely done a song about death ( Eagle ) and life ( move on ) . What do other people think?
  • Samantha Smith from New Zealand Totally under rated song by ABBA, loved it as a child, the only song I want at my funeral, amazing song about freedom, flying free, love Abba
  • DanielaThe psychedelic vibe and the lyrics suggest that this song is about taking acid trips with your friends
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaThe beauty is that it's left to all of us to interpret it within our own frameworks of understanding. A beautiful song -- I myself don't try to derive a meaning -- it's just a super beautiful harmony of voice & instruments. Always lifts me up, to listen to the extended version. I'm inclined to agree with Mark from London that it's a love song -- I can feel the love while listening.
  • Mark from LondonIt is simply a love song. It speaks of an intimate connection to someone and how it makes them feel. The give-away lyric is "As all good friends we talk all night, and we fly wing to wing".
  • Tc from UkNo idea what this song is about! Aliens? But I think I want it played at my funeral. I see it as flying through the sky. Beautiful.
  • Crüe from Chelmsford, United KingdomInitially I thought it was about the bird but the more I hear it the more I consider it is about beings from another planet.
    Regardless...this song made my dad cry.
    I was considering having it as my funeral song. Beautiful.
  • Graham from St.helens, United KingdomThis must be one of ABBA's most under-rated songs, soaring harmonies, great guitar, leaves me relaxed and uplifted every time I hear it.
  • Jarod from Perth, AustraliaWhenever i heard this song, i always thought it was about a native to an un-industrialized nation that hears about stories from their colonizers about "Eagles" (aeroplanes), and dreams of flying around the world, just like they say.

    "They speak strangely but i understand them"
    "they came flying from far away"

    lovely song - just my interpretation...
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Michael Sweet of Stryper

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and glam metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Annie Haslam of Renaissance

Annie Haslam of RenaissanceSongwriter Interviews

The 5-octave voice of the classical rock band Renaissance, Annie is big on creative expression. In this talk, she covers Roy Wood, the history of the band, and where all the money went in the '70s.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

In The Cards

In The CardsSong Writing

Songwriters have used cards and card games to make sense of heartache, togetherness, and even Gonorrhea.