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Slipping Through My Fingers: Get To Know The Story Behind The ABBA Song

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

More than 40 years after its release, this song by the Swedish group still resonates with parents all over the world.

Released in 1981, “Slipping Through My Fingers” became a classic from ABBA, and the perfect song for mothers and fathers to listen to as they see their kids growing up. The song, which was featured on the album The Visitors, tells the story of a parent slowly letting their child go as they get older and more independent. 

As we all know, ABBA was a Swedish group formed by two couples, and their lyrics often showed parts of their own private lives. This one is no different, written by Björn Ulvaeus the song was inspired by his life as the father of a then seven-year-old who he shares with Agnetha Fältskog, the performer of this track.

The two verses set different pictures of little moments they shared with their daughter, that will be kept in their memory forever. The first one talks about their kid going to school in the morning, and the sadness that comes when she waves goodbye. In the second, Ulvaeus writes about their breakfasts together and a feeling of guilt thinking he should enjoy these little moments more.

However, the song hits its emotional peak in the pre-chorus and the chorus. They express very clearly the feeling of a parent watching their kid slowly distancing themselves, getting more independent, and choosing to spend less time with their family, as if they’re slipping through their fingers: “The feeling that I’m losing her forever/ And without really entering her world.”

Related: Growing Up and Getting Old

The song is also very popular because it was featured in the musical Mamma Mia, sung by Donna as she helps her daughter, Sophie, get ready for her wedding. The scene fits perfectly with the lyrics since it shows a mother watching her kid start a new life with her husband.

Even though it was based on a personal experience of the group, the lyrics can touch any parent’s heart, after all, it is the normal circle of life, kids grow up and create their own families. As Björn himself said:

Every parent knows that feeling, even if you were with them every waking hour you’d still feel that you were missing something

Björn Ulvaeus


The article above was edited by Duda Kabzas.
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Maria Esther Cortez

Casper Libero '25

Journalism student. Passionate about culture, movies, art and music. I love to travel and explore different parts of the world.