The girl from down the road

I had my old school friend Lena in the kitchen just now, singing Silent Night. She was only present on the iPod, but that’s good enough. I decided for the umpteenth time that her voice is really very good. It was always great, even when singing American spirituals over the skipping rope, which isn’t the most normal thing for a twelve-year-old to be doing.

Lena Andersson was “discovered” in 1971 when she was fifteen, and was a star almost overnight, with hits and tours and the whole circus. Remembering what she used to sing before fame hit, I’m not convinced Lena was given the best songs to record.  Är Det Konstigt Att Man Längtar Bort Nån Gång was her first hit.

By 1972 we hoped she’d get to represent Sweden in the Eurovision song contest with Säg Det Med En Sång, but she didn’t quite make it.

A couple of years later some other Swedes became Eurovision winners, and as they had been involved in writing songs for Lena and producing her records, it’s not altogether surprising that her career didn’t do so well after this. They had other things on their minds.

As I’ve been reading in ABBA – The Story, Lena wasn’t the only victim of Abba’s success, but singing Abba covers in German isn’t one of the greatest things to end up doing, when two years earlier it was Abba singing back-up for Lena. Though she did get to go to Australia with them and you can almost catch a glimpse of her in ABBA – The Movie.

Though, looking at what happens to many child stars, maybe it was just as well. I don’t know. Lena found God at the age of thirty, and more recently she found love online, and married and moved to California. I worried a little when I read about this in a magazine, but a chance encounter with Lena’s best friend a while back, reassured me that she is fine and happy. And that’s what matters.

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2 responses to “The girl from down the road

  1. Well, we in the audience who heard her, never forgot her! I haven’t, for certain. I wish someone had helped her along, but even though her career did end, she did enough with those few songs to be remembered by everyone around at that time.

    Now I’m glad to hear she’s happy!

  2. Pingback: Lena – how she lives now | CultureWitch

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