Band bassist Rick Danko took the lead on this heartache country ballad full of the loneliness that comes after a breakup. Robbie Robertson, the band's lead guitarist and primary songwriter, explained the tune's meaning in a 1975 interview with Robert Palmer. "I thought about the song in terms of saying that time heals all wounds," he said. "Except in some cases, and this was one of those cases."
This was included on the soundtrack to The Last Waltz, a 1978 documentary about The Band directed by Martin Scorsese, named after the group's 1976 concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The group also performed the song during the concert, which was a basis for the film.
Solomon Burke covered this on the 2005 album Make Do With What You Got. Other covers include My Morning Jacket on the 2007 album Endless Highway: The Music of The Band and the 2012 album Love for Levon, and Over the Rhine on the 2013 album Meet Me at the Edge of the World.
ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson conceived "Dancing Queen" as a dance song with the working title "Boogaloo," drawing inspiration from the 1974 George McCrae disco hit "Rock Your Baby." Their manager Stig Anderson came up with the title "Dancing Queen."