Bobby S. Murphy created an Abba-themed website as a way of showing appreciation for a group of musicians who have played a special role in his life. It is AbbaUpdate.com. Here are some of his memories.
“I believe my appreciation for ABBA and their music will become clear as I share a couple of personal stories”
I am an American coming from a long line of professional soldiers. My father was frequently stationed overseas, and we moved a lot. As a young teenager I finally found what felt like a home in Hovik, Norway, where I met one of my best friends, Don. Not a day goes by that I do not remember the many bike rides, places we traveled, and adventures in the North – and one particular time we sneaked into Sweden to see a young artist named Agnetha Fältskog sing near her hometown of Jönköping. I also met Frida in downtown Oslo, Norway after I watched that good-looking girl sing on TV a couple of days earlier. I later saw Bjorn and Benny when they had their own bands traveling around Sweden.None of them knew each other back then, but I knew they had talent and I watched them perform and finally meet and form ABBA. Music has been my lifelong hobby and passion, and I knew back then they would be something special. Their music takes me back to a treasured and peaceful time in my young life.
A Promise Kept
My family left Noway, but as sometimes happens, life’s experience brought my friend Don and me back together during the Viet Nam war, old friends now “battle buddies.” We reflected back on the good times in Norway, and we promised each other that should we survive the war, we would go back to Sweden and soak our feet in a lake near where Agnetha lived as we did when we went to see her for the first time years earlier. We would tell Agnetha what her voice meant to two young Americans.
Don didn’t make it, and coming to grips with the loss of his life took many years. Again, the music of ABBA touched deep memories.
In the spring of 2007, I kept my promise to Don and visited Ekerö island in Sweden and soaked my feet in a lake nearby. It was a moving experience, but my promise was fulfilled. November of 2007, I visited the Viet Nam memorial in Washington, D.C. and placed a CD autographed by Agnetha at the wall for my Battle Buddy.
I am a soldier and a teacher by profession. I have been all over the world doing what I do best and helping those who have less than me and my men. Life is short, and I know that better than most as I have lost so much of my youth and my friends defending others. In every corner of the earth that I traveled I carried ABBA’s music with me. And when I left one place to travel to another, I left behind the music I enjoy the most for those I became good friends with. Many times those friends never made it home or traveled with me ever again. I move on in life, but they are never forgotten. At each funeral, I play “The Way Old Friends Do” to remember.
I can turn on my ABBA music and those voices of the “North Countries”, and find my past any time I wish! That consolation for me is priceless.
My efforts with [my] site are in part a dedication to the friends of my past, in particular Don, Rudy, and FJ.