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Jim Colyer

I Am The City

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ABBA's identification with the city is complete. The city throbs, and so does the beat. They are singing about Stockholm. This island city extends its invitation.

Bjorn is obviously flying back to Stockholm and ready to land at Arlanda Airport. He is looking through the clouds at his sprawling city. It is a revelation, beautiful. It is constantly growing even if it is because of illegal immigration. The city is organic, a living thing. I came to live in bustling Nashville during the ABBA years and became familiar with crowded streets and never ending noise. I contributed to its melting pot, walking its streets and talking the language of country music. I have walked the streets of Stockholm also, and Nashville and Stockholm have much in common: people, cars, hotels, parks, cocktail bars and funny smells.

Stockholm is worthy of worship in "I Am The City." Its citizens shop at NK, the department store on Hamngatan. By night, they dance to ABBA music in local discotheques while grabbing pieces of the fatted calf.

This vision of Stockholm is very different from the one in the song "Tiger." In "Tiger" night life has its dangers. It could be alcoholism, prostitution or the loss of one's identity. The city becomes a jungle. Still, ABBA are city folk and cease to function without it.




I AM THE CITY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6PLBXCXGRQ

Coming through a cloud you're looking at me from above
And I'm a revelation spreading out before your eyes
And you find me beautiful and irresistible
A giant creature that forever seems to grow in size
And you feel a strange attraction
The air is vibrant and electrified
Welcome to me here I am, my arms are open wide

Somewhere in the middle of the neverending noise
There is a pulse, a steady rhythm of a heart that beats
And a million voices blend into a single voice
And you can hear it in the clamor of the crowded streets
People come and take their chances
Sometimes you win sometimes you lose a lot
Come make your own contribution to this melting pot

I'm the street you walk
The language you talk
I am the city
The skyline is me and the energy
I am the city
The famous hotels and the cocktail bars
And the funny smells
And the turmoil, the cars and the people
The air that you're breathing is me
Yes I am the city you let me be

People feed me with their lives I am a hungry soul
And they all worship me and pay their homage day and night
Every day I knew a lot of tired shopping feet
But come the night they will be dancing in the neon light
Dazzled by the crazy magic
They're grabbing pieces of the fatted calf
And in the wind if you listen hard you'll hear me laugh

I'm the street you walk
The language you talk
I am the city
The skyline is me and the energy
I am the city
The famous hotels and the cocktail bars
And the funny smells
And the turmoil, the cars and the people
The parks and the squares that you see
All the sounds that you hear
And the air that you're breathing is me
Yes, I am the city you let me be

I am the city
You let me be
I am the city

The famous hotels and the cocktail bars
And the funny smells
And the turmoil, the cars and the people
The air that you're breathing is me

Coming through a cloud
You're looking at me from above
And I'm a revelation spreading out before your eyes

I'm the street you walk
The language you talk
I am the city
Yes I am the city you let me be

And you find me beautiful and irresistible
A giant creature that forever seems to grow in size
The skyline is me and the energy
I am the city
You let me be

Somewhere in the middle of the neverending noise
There is a pulse, a steady rhythm of a heart that beats
I'm the street you walk
The language you talk
I am the city
Yes I am the city you let me be

And a million voices blend into a single voice
And you can hear it in the clamour of the crowded streets
The skyline is me and the energy
I am the city
You let me be

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