"I Have a Dream" is a song by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was featured on the group's sixth studio album Voulez-Vous and released as a single in December 1979. The single became a big hit, topping the charts in many countries and peaking at No.2 in the UK over the Christmas week of 1979. Twenty years later, Irish pop group Westlife released a successful version of the song which reached No.1 in the UK over the Christmas week of 1999.


 [hide*1 Overview


The song was written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and was taken from the group's 1979 album, Voulez-VousAnni-Frid Lyngstad sang the lead vocals. It was released as a single in December 1979 with a live version of "Take a Chance on Me" as the B-side. The recording is notable for being the only ABBA song to include vocalists other than the four band members; the final chorus features a children's choir from the International School of Stockholm. In the UK, "I Have a Dream" was held off the No.1 spot by Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" which also features a children's choir. "I Have a Dream" is included on the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits album, as well as in the Mamma Mia! musical.

In the UK, the single was issued in a lavish gatefold sleeve, intended as a souvenir for UK fans who had attended the Wembley concerts (the live recording of "Take a Chance on Me" being from one of them). The inner gatefold made use of the pyramid/mountain/iceberg designs similar to those used in the inner sleeve of Greatest Hits Vol. 2. The inner gatefold was effectively an advert for ABBA's existing albums released in the UK, but the back cover featured a message from ABBA themselves regarding the Wembley concerts, together with their signatures. The front cover used the same live photo of ABBA as the worldwide release, but artwork and fonts were different. This was only Epic's second picture sleeve for an ABBA single.

The live version of "Take a Chance on Me" on the B-side was one of three mixes of the same recording to be issued. Released soon after the concerts, this version is thought to be the genuine recording. A very slightly extended version, featuring spoken introductions from the group, was used as the B-side in Australia. This extended version has been released internationally on the deluxe edition of ABBA: The Album. Finally, a third mix was included on ABBA Liveissued in 1986.

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (1979/1980) Position
Australia (ARIA)[1] 64
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[2] 1
Canada Adult Contemporary Chart[3] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[4] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[6] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 2

Cover versions[edit]Edit

  • In 1981, American country-gospel music singer, Cristy Lane recorded a cover of the song and released it as a single to the Billboard Country Chart, peaking at Number 17 that year.
  • In 1983, Greek singer Nana Mouskouri recorded a French cover of this song entitled "Chanter La Vie" for her album Quand on revient. She also recorded an English version, which was released as a single in 1986 and included on her 1990 album Alone
  • In 1987, a recording by the dansband Streaplers, with lyrics in Swedish by Ingela Forsman, "Jag har en dröm", was Number 1 on the Swedish Svensktoppen radio chart for 17 weeks from 31 May – 6 December of that year.[8]
  • In 1993, The St. Phillips Boy's Choir (now known as Libera) Libera_(music) covered this song on their album Angel Voices
  • In 1994, local Hawaiian singers the Makaha Sons covered this song on their album Ke Alaulau
  • In 2001, an electronica cover version by H-Hustler can be found on the compilation The Electronic Tribute To ABBA
  • Swiss chef/singer Dan Daniell recorded a cover as a duet with original ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad for his album Lieber Gott[9]
  • In 2004, Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell covered the song for his double album Songs of Inspiration/I Believe
  • In 2005, Irish folk music duo Foster & Allen have covered the song for their album Sing The Number 1's
  • In 2005, a duet version was recorded by German celebrity Barbara Schöneberger and American singer Sydney Youngblood for the German ABBA Mania compilation, which coincided with a TV special
  • In 2006, Italian-American singer Al Martino included a cover of the song for his album Come Share The Wine
  • In 2006, German AC/DC tribute band Riff Raff recorded a cover in AC/DC style for their album Rock 'N' Roll Mutation Vol. 1: Riff Raff Performs ABBA
  • In 2007, Connie Talbot covered the song on Over The Rainbow
  • In 2008, the song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on the album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA[10]
  • The song is featured in the Mamma Mia! musical as a recurring musical theme sung by the character of Sophie. It is also featured in the trailer for the film based on the musical. At the beginning of the musical, the context of the song is interpreted that Sophie dreams about her real father coming to the wedding when she sends the invitations, to her potential fathers, away. At the end of the musical, Sophie sings this song when she and Sky set off the Island to go around the world. The context of the song is used in this case as Sophie, now knowing what she really wants, hopes to achieve her dream as she goes around the world with Sky. The song is included on the 2008 movie soundtrack and is sung by actress Amanda Seyfried.
  • The song was featured on the fifth series of The X Factor when covered by all of the audition contestants from the last 5 years.
  • The song was sung by the Olivers on the BBC TV show I'd Do Anything.

Westlife version[edit]Edit

"I Have a Dream" / "Seasons in the Sun"
Single by Westlife
from the album Westlife
Released 19 December 1999
Format CD singlecassette single
Recorded PWL Studios, London January 1999
Genre Teen pop
Length 4:06
Label BMG
Writer(s) Benny Andersson / Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s) David FosterPete Waterman
Certification Platinum (UK)
Westlife singles chronology
"Flying Without Wings"


"I Have a Dream" / "Seasons in the Sun"


"Fool Again"


Westlife released a cover of "I Have a Dream" in December 1999, twenty years after ABBA's original release. The song became the group's fourth UK number-one single. The release was a double-A-side, also featuring "Seasons in the Sun". The release became the UK's Christmas number-one single of 1999, extending its peak into January 2000 and spending seventeen weeks in the UK chart.[11] The song was the 26th best selling single of 1999 in the UK.

In 2001, as part of a UNICEF fund-raising campaign, the song was re-recorded with additional vocals by Indonesian child singer, Sinna Sherina Munaf. The song has received a Platinum sales certification in the UK for over 650 000 copies sold.[12]

Music video[edit]Edit

The single's promotional video features the band exiting a car into a dark street where a group of children are who start singing with the band and play with toys lying nearby before the band go back into the car and drive away.

Track listing[edit]Edit

  1. "I Have a Dream" (Single Remix) – 4:06
  2. "Seasons in the Sun" (Single Remix) – 4:10
  3. "On the Wings of Love" – 3:22

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Country (1999-2000) Peak


Denmark (Tracklisten)[13] 11
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[14] 7
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[15] 10
Germany (Media Control Charts)[16] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 10
Norway (VG-lista)[19] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 15
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 18
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 1

End-of-year charts[edit]Edit

End-of-year chart (1999) Position
UK Singles Chart 26
Preceded by

"Goodbye" by Spice Girls

UK Singles Chart Christmas number-one single (Westlife version)


Succeeded by

"Can We Fix It?" by Bob the Builder

Preceded by

"I Try" by Macy Gray

Irish IRMA number one single

18 December 1999 (5 weeks)

Succeeded by

"Born to Make You Happy" by Britney Spears

Preceded by

"The Millennium Prayer" by Cliff Richard

UK Singles Chart number-one single (Westlife version)

18 December 1999 – 8 January 2000 (4 weeks)

Succeeded by

"The Masses Against the Classes" by Manic Street Preachers

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