"Cassandra" as written by Benny Goran Bror Andersson and Bjoern K. Ulvaeus....
Down in the street they're all singing and shouting
Staying alive though the city is dead
Hiding their shame behind hollow laughter
While you are crying alone on your bed

Pity Cassandra that no one believed you
But then again you were lost from the start
Now we must suffer and sell our secrets
Bargain, playing smart, aching in our hearts

Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood
Now the last day is dawning
Some of us wanted but none of us would
Listen to words of warning
But on the darkest of nights
Nobody knew how to fight
And we were caught in our sleep
Sorry Cassandra I didn't believe
You really had the power
I only saw it as dreams you would weave
Until the final hour

So in the morning your ship will be sailing
Now that your father and sister are gone
There is no reason for you to linger
You're grieving deeply but still moving on

You know the future is casting a shadow
No one else sees it but you know your fate
Packing your bags, being slow and thorough
Knowing, though you're late, that ship is sure to wait

Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood
Now the last day is dawning
Some of us wanted but none of us would
Listen to words of warning
But on the darkest of nights
Nobody knew how to fight
And we were caught in our sleep
Sorry Cassandra I didn't believe
You really had the power
I only saw it as dreams you would weave
Until the final hour

I watched the ship leaving harbor at sunrise
Sails almost slack in the cool morning rain
She stood on deck, just a tiny figure
Rigid and restrained, blue eyes filled with pain

Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood
Now the last day is dawning
Some of us wanted but none of us would
Listen to words of warning
But on the darkest of nights
Nobody knew how to fight
And we were caught in our sleep
Sorry Cassandra I didn't believe
You really had the power
I only saw it as dreams you would weave
Until the final hour

I'm sorry Cassandra
I'm sorry Cassandra


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Cassandra" as written by Bjoern K Ulvaeus Benny Andersson

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

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Cassandra song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis beautiful and tragic song is about the Fall of Troy. Its title is the name of the Trojan princess and prophetess, Cassandra. She was the sister of Prince Hector, and the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Apollo fell in love with her once and gave her the gift of prophecy. But she spurned his love, and to punish her (since he could not take back his gift) Apollo decreed that no one would ever believe Cassandra's predictions.

    The result was that Cassandra could always foretell the future, but she was doomed never to be believed. People thought she was insane, because whenever she had a vision of the future, she went into a "divine frenzy" or fit. She warned her people not to let the Trojan Horse inside the city but no one listened to her. I'll try to explain the lyrics.


    "Down in the street they're all singing and shouting
    Staying alive though the city is dead
    Hiding their shame behind hollow laughter
    While you are crying alone in your bed"

    The Greeks came out of the Trojan Horse and burned the city at night. It is early morning now and the massacre of Trojan soldiers is over. Perhaps this describes the Trojan women who are left alive to be taken as slaves by the Greeks.

    "Pity Cassandra that no one believed you
    But then again you were lost from the start
    Now we must suffer and sell our secrets
    Bargain, playing smart, aching in our hearts"

    "Lost from the start" because of Apollo's curse. "Suffer, brain, playing smart" means they must sell themselves to the Greeks hoping they will end up with a kind and civilized master. (In Euripides' play, one woman wishes to go to Athens.)

    "Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood
    Now the last day is dawning
    Some of us wanted but none of us could
    Listen to words of warning"

    No one believed her. And "the last day is dawning" because on this same day, they are going to sail aboard the Greek ships that will take them to slavery.

    "But on the darkest of nights
    Nobody knew how to fight
    And we were caught in our sleep
    Sorry Cassandra I didn't believe
    You really had the power
    I only saw it as dreams you would weave
    Until the final hour"

    See, the Greeks fell on the Trojans in the night when they were asleep.

    "So in the morning your ship will be sailing
    Now that your father and sister are gone
    There is no reason for you to linger
    You're grieving deeply but still moving on"

    She will be boarding Agamemnon's ship. He is the most powerful of the Greek chiefs, and the brother-in-law of Helen. Her "father and sister" are Priam, the father of Hector, and Polyxena. The latter was supposed to have been Achilles' bride, but Achilles died long before this day. And the Greeks sacrificed the girl on his tomb.

    "You know the future is casting a shadow
    No one else sees it but you know you're fate
    Packing your bags, being slow and thorough
    Knowing, though you're late, that ship is sure to wait"

    She sees her own death is coming soon. Agamemnon will take her home as his prize of honor. There he will ask his wife to honor Cassandra as a captive princess. But Clytemnestra (Agamemnon's wife) will murder them both in cold blood during dinner. Cassandra will warn the king about his fate, but again she will not be believed.


    "I watched the ship leaving harbor at midnight
    Sails almost slack in the cool morning rain
    She stood on deck, just a tiny figure
    Rigid and restrained, blue eyes filled with pain
    Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood...."

    So the day ends and the ships sail. A fellow Trojan woman is speaking. She describes Cassandra, the prophetess no one would believe.

    There are so few songs like this. It is one of my favorites by the great Abba.
    GloriousDayon May 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about the war as well, it is about a woman leaving the country after the war because the "city is dead" and she is leaving now the war is over to start a new life.
    bigdave69on December 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti swear if i have a daughter shes getting the name Cassandra.
    MayorMenleyon December 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful song. I accidently played it at 33 rpm and I must say, I quite liked it that way, too.
    TLRon September 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is amazing! It has beautiful lyrics! It's about Cassandra of Troy somewhere in the Iliad.
    AutumnLeaves34on December 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy 4 boys were dancing on this song today.
    BeckyWebon August 21, 2014   Link

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