17. Ambassadors, Merchants, and Masterminds: Swedish Popular Music Abroad



1. Alice “Babs” Nilsson, “Swing it, magistern”

From: “Swing it, magistern” (film), Schamyl Bauman (dir.), 1940, and “Regntunga Skyar”/”Swing It, Magistern”, Sonora Swing ‎516, 1940, 78 rpm.


Eckert Lundin’s Film-Orkester and The Song Birds (Sångfåglarna).






This was Alice Babs’ breakthrough role and the song became her signature song for some years. It was written by Hasse Ekman and Kai Gullmar and recorded in Stockholm, December 4, 1940. On the record label it is described as a slow-fox.


2. ABBA, “Made in Sweden” (film)


Lyrics (“So Long”)

Lyrics (“Mamma Mia”)

Lyrics (“I Do, I Do”)



The film was made for the 10th MIDEM Fair in Cannes on 23–29 January 1976 to present Swedish musical culture. ABBA perform “Mamma Mia”, “I Do, I Do”, “So Long”. The three performances were filmed in May 1975.


3. Britney Spears, “… Baby One More Time”

From: “… Baby One More Time”/ “… Baby One More Time” (Instrumental)/ “Autumn Goodbye”/ “… Baby One More Time” (Davidson Ospina Club Mix). Jive 7243 8 95642 0 4, 1998, Enhanced single CD.


Composed and produced by Max Martin and Rami.





Spears’ breakthrough single and one of Max Martin’s early hits. The lyric hook line, “Hit me, baby, one more time”, demonstrates what happens when non-native speakers like the two producers/composers do not quite grasp the full implication of their lyrics, in this case either sado-masochism or female abuse.