The day before you change…

I’ve been posting, on my general blog about music and politics: how the two intertwine, and how sometimes it is easier to communicate a complex political sentiment through the simplicity of music.

One last song, though, is worth mentioning for its personal associations.

I’ve always loved it: but recently, refocusing the lyrics ever so slightly, it feels as though it speaks to me very directly.

Is it the same for other trans women? Let’s see.

The song is: “The day before you came”, by Abba. Its not one of their successes: not abject failure; but as general releases go, it didn’t make a great impact. My suspicion is its too clever.

Its about living a life without life: going thru the motions, just waiting for the day when something happens. In the song, that’s the arrival of a lover.

Bu-ut…if you’re trans, maybe it’s the day before you change. Life is just as it is according to Abba: a catalogue of chores that you undergo, each one following the other, a succession of necessary tasks; little joy.

The song loses out, almost certainly, because our happy clappy record buying generation don’t like the fact that it stops just at the point when a more commercial record would get happy.

It’s a sort of musical coitus interruptus, and the public, as general principle, likes to go all the way.

In future, though, if anyone wants to understand the before transition bit, this is very much it. One lives. One exists.

Until the day before you change…



1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Lucy Melford said,

    One of my favourites, too. I hadn’t put a trans slant on it, but I see what you mean.

    It was from Abba’s last album, ‘The Visitors’ in 1982, and they had been famous since 1994: the public wanted a fresh sound, and they knew it. But ‘The Visitors’ contains some of the most perceptive lyrics ever written. On a different planet from what was coming up – Wham! for instance, although I admire George Michael’s more mature offerings.


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