"The Day Before You Came" as written by Benny Goran Bror Andersson and Bjoern K. Ulvaeus....
Must have left my house at eight, because I always do
My train, I'm certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial, no doubt I must have frowned
I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read, and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch at half past twelve or so
The usual place, the usual bunch
And still on top of this I'm pretty sure it must have rained
The day before you came

I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two
And at the time I never even noticed I was blue
I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day
Without really knowing anything, I hid a part of me away
At five I must have left, there's no exception to the rule
A matter of routine, I've done it ever since I finished school
The train back home again
Undoubtedly I must have read the evening paper then
Oh yes, I'm sure my life was well within it's usual frame
The day before you came

Must have opened my front door at eight o'clock or so
And stopped along the way to buy some Chinese food to go
I'm sure I had my dinner watching something on TV
There's not, I think, a single episode of Dallas that I didn't see
I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten
I need a lot of sleep, and so I like to be in bed by then
I must have read a while
The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style
It's funny, but I had no sense of living without aim
The day before you came

And turning out the light
I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
And rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
The day before you came


Lyrics submitted by Addıct

"The Day Before You Came" as written by Bjoern K Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Day Before You Came song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThis song is so sad! Here is my interpretation:

    The singer thinks back at how boring and meaningless her life was in the days "before you came". You in this setting is her lover. After her lover entered her life, it all changed and had meaning for the first time. All happy then? No, it is not the narrative but the music that gives it away. Her lover has left her. She lies in bed, depressed and listning to the rain as she has done so many times before. She thinks through her day and realizes she is back exactly where she was before she met her lover. And it is first now that she understands that she is depressed, now she realizes her life is without aim and meaning.
    Svinaldoon November 08, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentA truly great song - in my opinion Abba's best.

    The banal words and dodgy rhymes perfectly evoke life, going back and forth to work and watching tele, before her lover came and changed it all.

    And "I must have read a while/The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style" is a nice dig at the "all men are rapists" author.

    But the best bit is that she never says she is in love, or that love is wonderful and world changing. Nor that it is also sad, and disappointing, and rarely lasts. She never tells us that it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. She never even tells us that this is a love song. It's all unsaid. Philip Larkin would have approved.
    jimthornton164on February 06, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is SO sad, it always struck me that I don't think the "day he came" ever actually arrived. If you had met the love of your life, why would you sing such a heartbreaking song about a dreary past? To me it feels as if she hopes (almost beyond hope) that maybe the next day will be the day "he comes" - as in a constant daydream. Tomorrow never comes...
    Am I being too negative?
    phildesignon September 14, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningHi, I think she is telling the listener, that even though her life was boring and a matter of routine, she thinks this was the life her personality really fits in. She was not made for the stressful life which began, when she became a part of ABBA. The tours, the interviews, sleepness nights on stage with no time to eat or take a nap.. this is also described in the lyrics of Super Trouper for example. She sings "my life was well within it's usual frame", this is what tells me this is the life she would actually prefer to live. I think "You" in the line "The day before you came" means the other group members..
    sevenburnson May 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow I guess I'm the first one here! I love this song, even though I don't get it. I guess she's narrating a normal day in her boring life before her love came. And she also mentions the rain a few times...does that mean something? Great song, like any other from ABBA. They all have a weird hidden messege in them...
    priestpiloton October 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe beauty of the song is precisely that we don't know what happened next, and no clue is given. Someone came: maybe a lover, maybe a killer, who knows? So dark, and so sad. Kudos for Bjorn Ulvaeus who wrote such a dense text for an europop song.
    bJacobon August 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyrics leave the ending open, but the music gives it away I think. There's a morbid suspense in the music. Like something 'bad' has happened to the narrator. The voice is quite breakable, as if she's a mood of contemplation and accepted her grim destiny. The 'you' in the story is maybe her killer. Because eventhough it's an open ending, what the lyrics don't tell is said by the music. The answer is in the music this time, not in the lyrics...
    carenp26on August 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningA sad song.

    I think it is about a woman who has fallen in love with someone but for reasons unknown they are no longer together.

    She has experienced the feelings of love and is now reflecting that before she met him she hadnt even realised she was just going through the motions with no real aim to her life but having experienced love she now knows how her life changed for the better. Also her reference to the rain as if it is a depressing medium which she never experienced whilst he was around, he lifted her spirits, she must have felt miserable when it rained before she met him but not when he was around, nothing mattered.

    Now he is no longer around she reflects on her life and she feels sad that having experienced love she now can see the mundane reality she had been living.
    enlightenme3on February 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHas anybody read the book called 'The Bleeding Heart' By Marilyn French?
    The reason why I'm asking is that, in this song Agnetha says ' I must have read a while, the latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style.'

    It occurred to me that the book i mentioned above has relevence to this song. In the video for this song she smiles at a stranger on a train behind a newspaper, and in the book (without spoiling too much incase your interested in reading) The woman, Delores, meets a stranger on a train and the story escalades from there.

    Just wondering if anyone has any similar thoughts? Sorry if this is brief.
    JHDon August 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEver since I heard this song and saw the video for the first time in 1982, I have had a theory that it is about an abusive relationship. It's sung in such a sad way, I cannot believe this describes a happy relationship. Something has gone terribly wrong, but the protagonist is trying to convince herself that things are not that bad. Because nobody can help her. And after all, her life was no good 'before' either.

    In the video - at 3.03 when Agnetha steps out on the scene all alone and nobody else is even looking at her, the protagonist (which is not Agnetha herself, I don't think this has anything to do with her personal life or with ABBA for the matter) feels all alone. She is walking around among people who don't care, or don't know. Being alone - but in a relationship. In the video she also looks sad when she is with 'him' (apart from the beginning when they start flirting on the train, but that was before she knew him).

    Some years ago, Benny actually had a similar interpretation of the song in an interview: dn.se/kultur-noje/musik/med-vemodet-som-standig-foljeslagare/

    "Men det är nÃ¥got som inte stämmer. I stället för att vara en glädje­sÃ¥ng om avslutad ensamhet sÃ¥ drivs lÃ¥ten framÃ¥t av ett överväldigande vemod. Den enda slutsats som gÃ¥r att dra blir därför: När hon träffat mannen blev allt ännu värre. Rädsla, instängdhet, misshandel — vi vet inte vad det rör sig om, men livsläget blir om möjligt än mer outhärdligt."

    Translation: "But something is not right. Instead of being a song of happiness and the end of loneliness, the song is chased by overwhelming sadness. The only possibly conclusion: when she met the man everything turned worse. Fear, unfreedom, abuse - we don't know what it is all about, but her life turns even more unbearable"

    That is about how I have always looked upon the song myself. But it seems like Benny does not KNOW. Mabye just Agnetha knows what's in the protagonists thoughts.

    Sorry for crappy English!
    Adalinon July 04, 2013   Link

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