When I Kissed the Teacher
by ABBA

Album: Arrival (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • Four years before The Police recorded a song about the attraction between a teacher and a pupil, ABBA released a more lighthearted number about a student who is besotted with her tutor. Recorded as the opening track of their 1979 album Arrival, co-writer Benny Anderson has cited "I Kissed the Teacher" as one of his favorite ABBA songs.
  • The song originally had the working title of "Rio de Janeiro" before being renamed "When I Kissed the Teacher."
  • The music video saw Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in school uniform over two decades before Britney Spears' famous schoolgirl look in "...Baby One More Time." The teacher was played by Swedish TV host Magnus Härenstam, who is best known in his native country for presenting their version of Jeopardy.
  • "When I Kissed the Teacher" is the opening song in the 2018 motion picture Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which uses the music of ABBA. It is sung in the film by a young Donna Sheridan (Lily James), during her Oxford University graduation ceremony. Producer Judy Craymer told Entertainment Weekly that she, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus chose it to kickstart the movie as "there's a sense of irony and wit in the lyrics, and it's such a high-energy number."
  • The lyrics were tweaked for the Mamma Mia version to reflect these more PC times. ABBA's original makes clear the female student is infatuated with her male teacher:

    One of these days, gonna tell him I dream of him every night
    One of these days, gonna show him I care.
    Gonna teach him a lesson alright.


    The film version changes the teacher's gender and makes the pupil appear less predatory:

    What a mad day, now I see everything in a different light
    What a mad day, I was up in the air
    And she taught me a lesson alright
  • The song entered the UK singles chart for the first time in 2018 when following the release of the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again movie, the soundtrack version debuted at #44. It was credited to Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Celia Imrie.

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