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"Does Your Mother Know" (working title: "I Can Do It") is a song recorded in 1979 by Swedish pop group ABBA and was the second single to be released from their album Voulez-Vous. The B-side was "Kisses of Fire", which was also taken from the album. The song is notable as for its emphasis on male vocals, performed by Björn Ulvaeus, in contrast to the female lead singing in most of the group's material.

"Does Your Mother Know"
Does Your Mother Know (Abba single - cover art).jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album Voulez-Vous
B-side"Kisses of Fire"
Released27 April 1979
Format7" single
Recorded6 February 1979 at Polar Music Studios
GenrePop rock, disco
LabelPolar (Sweden)
Epic (UK)
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Does Your Mother Know"
Music video
"Does Your Mother Know" on YouTube



"Does Your Mother Know" was recorded in February 1979 and released as a single in April of that year. Written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the song is something of a pastiche to 1950s/early 1960s-style rock and roll and touches on the subject of a man responding to the flirting of a much younger girl.

"Does Your Mother Know" deviated from the typical 'ABBA at their most famous' formula, in that the lead vocals were sung not by the female vocalists (Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad) as was usually the case, but by Björn Ulvaeus. This was one of the few ABBA singles to feature Ulvaeus as the sole lead vocal, along with "Rock Me".

The track originally featured a 30-second instrumental introduction which was ultimately cut from the recording. A session in late March 1979 saw the addition of Benny's characteristic synthesizer introduction, as well as work on the backing track that turned a boogie rock stomper into a disco track.


"Does Your Mother Know" was another sizable ABBA hit, hitting No. 1 in Belgium and reaching the top 5 in Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands. It was also a top 10 hit in Australia, Canada, Germany, Rhodesia and Switzerland.

Allmusic reviewer Donald A. Guarisco said in a review of the song that "ABBA's recording balances the song's rock elements with dance music touches to create an intriguing dance/rock hybrid" and that its "macho feel is enhanced by a rockabilly-styled melody that flowers into a swinging chorus".[1]

Chart performanceEdit

Cover versionsEdit

  • In 1997, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus recorded a cover of the song for their album ExtrABBAganza!.
  • In 1997, Australian indie band Smudge included a cover of the song on their album Mo' Poontang.
  • In 1996, Northern Irish rock band Ash recorded a cover which can be found on the compilation ABBA: A Tribute – The 25th Anniversary Celebration. A session version of that cover appeared on the compilation album Evening Session Priority Tunes
  • In 1999, Irish girl group B*Witched covered the song for the Abbamania tribute album. They also performed it on the TV special. On the subsequent 2004 ABBAMania 2 album, the song is covered by British actor Will Mellor.
  • In 2001, Swedish ska band Liberator covered the song on their album Soundchecks 95–00.
  • In 2002, Punk rock band The Restarts covered the song for their Slumworld album.
  • Canadian a cappella group Streetnix recorded a cover of the song.
  • In 2006, a cover of the song by Finnish a cappella choral ensemble Rajaton was included on their 2006 ABBA tribute album Rajaton Sings ABBA With Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
  • A hi-NRG/Eurodance by Boys & Girls was released as a single and included on compilations.

Live cover performances, appearances in other media, etc.Edit

  • "Does Your Mother Know?" was featured in the 2003 film Johnny English starring Rowan Atkinson, who lip-synched to the song in the bathroom, and also briefly sang "Thank You for the Music" earlier in the film.
  • The song is performed in the Mamma Mia! musical by the character of Tanya. In the 2008 film adaptation, it is sung by actress Christine Baranski, who plays Tanya. In the context of the musical, the song switches roles, as Tanya responds to a much younger friend of Sky, with whom it is implied she slept with at the bachelor/bachelorette parties. An instrumental version is used in both contexts: the film uses it as the credit roll ends, while the musical uses it during the final bows.
  • Eoghan Quigg gave a live performance of this song on The X Factor as a contestant in 2008, as it is his favourite song. The song was included in Quigg's critically vilified 2009 album. Eton Road performed the song in series 3.
  • UK rapper Dizzee Rascal performed the song on tour.


  1. ^ Donald A. Guarisco. "Does Your Mother Know". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  3. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W (1994). Cash Box pop singles charts, 1950–1993. Libraries Unlimited. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-56308-316-7.
  4. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Top Singles 1979". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 22 December 1979. p. 27.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.

External linksEdit