Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dancing Queen(s)

You've seen her before, this dancing queen, but today she highlights my post over at Vision & Verb where I talk about dancing queens.

What is it that we like about tomfoolery, monkey business, mischievious and silly behavior. Not all the time, mind you, but enough to break the monotony or serious drudgery of so much of our lives. Well, for most people, that is. If we didn't have someone breaking the ice, cracking the joke at the opportune time or just being happy-go-lucky, we'd all go crazy.

Why can't that someone be US!

Now I'll tell you something even I still can't believe. For all the music that surrounded me the last 20 years, I had never once heard of ABBA until I met Astrid. Actually, the same goes for Queen. Where was I????

So when I first saw the movie Mamma Mia back in 2008, I had no clue the music was ABBA music till Astrid told me. Actually, till she sang every song throughout the entire movie! Of all the songs, The Dancing Queen just grabbed me...and it still won't go away:

Supposedly in 2009 this song ranked #8 of all songs played in Great Britain for 75 years. That's saying something, of course. But do you wonder why? Is it the tune, the lyrics, the...what? The concept of anyone being a dancing queen, maybe?

I don't know about you but for this preacher kid who grew up not going to movies or dances, I would like to become a dancing queen for the rest of my life. Do you know that my second post on this blog, way back in January of 2005, was about Edgar Degas' 14-year-old dancer. That was back when I was finding my way...not only in the world of blogging but in my life, period.

Astrid and I dance after supper almost every night...sometimes only one song, but we dance.
Whether it's with her or all by myself, I would like to spend the rest of my days learning how to live with dancing abandon...and a bit of silliness.

Before the face of God.

It's a 'new-brand' year (as daughter Amy said when she was wee) and I have just started one of my goals for the year: to get involved with the Lindeborg activities here where we live. Every Friday afternoon the Rummikub group gets together to play. After Astrid taught me the game two nights in a row, I braved the group last Friday. The game itself is addicting. I love it. But to keep up to speed with these seniors and to do it all in Dutch was the challenge. I met it head-on. Not that I won points-wise but I did go out first (the goal) 4 out of 9 games with the two others at my table. Nothing competitive about me, of course!

Then, much to my surprise, after we played, from 1:30-3:30, they all invited me to join them for a drink. Not that we're all boozers, mind you, but it was such fun. The first round, I had an advocaat (a new thing for me since moving here) thanks to dear friend Gonny (top-right above). Then Arend (bottom-left above), whose 83rd birthday was the day before, did a second round for all 11 of us at the table: another advocaat. We were there till 5p, and since Astrid was working her late shift, till 7p, I had no care in the world.

This is what I want for 2011, in spite of the circumstances:

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen.

Sometimes don't you just feel you've paid your dues!


  1. Oh my... I get to be the first! So many things to say about this post... will wait until I've seen V&V in case I'd rather say something about dancing queens there... but about the other "Queen" you mention... one of the first dates Mike and I had was to see a movie that is just plain silly... Wayne's World (based on the SNL skits with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey)... it is the first time I'd heard Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and I absolutely fell in love with the song... some of the rest of Queen... not so much!

    As for missing both groups... who knows how we miss registering the music around us... in my case... the music of the 70's and early 80's was largely ignored (and is still not my favorite) due to personal things getting in the way of my paying attention to it.

    As for Rummikub... my brother and sister turned me on to that game... sometimes we play when we get together... my brother's partner doesn't join the fun and I've wondered (he's quite bright) if it's because he doesn't enjoy it unless he wins every time. (snarky me)

    One note about the lyrics to DQ... I have no idea which is correct (found both on a lyric search) but I did find an alternate version that includes ..."diggin' the dancing queen."

    As always... I love the collage! And I so enjoyed the story about playing Rummikub and sharing a drink or two afterwords... you are blessed with a lovely community! (and now I've gone on so long that I may not be the first to comment... competitive... not me!)

  2. Victoria: I am tickled to death by everything you responded to and that you still ended up first! :) I love it. And after you found an alternative to the lyric, I totally agree and have now updated my post. What I originally found ('dig in') never made sense but I didn't question it enough to pursue another option. THANK YOU for doing that for me. I have a feeling you and I have a LOT in common...more than we realize. Every post, mutually, we seem to cross more bridges to each other. This is what blogging is all about.

  3. Well I grew up in the 70's and 80's and I really didn't know Queen. It took my now 18 year old son to introduce them to me. Of course I recognized a few songs, but I didn't now that Freddy Mercury and Queen was the best rock band EVER! Loved Mamma Mia and didn't really know ABBA, eihter. So love that movie - saw it numerous times in one week. The first time I went to see it, I went with a girlfriend and her mother-in-law who was visiting from Italy. I was hesitant to laugh at some of the scenes afraid the MIL might think it was not appropriate. Do you know, she was the loudest person in the audience laughing. I loved that. (I was close behind). I think to REALLY fully enjoy that movie, a woman has to be 40+. And a little thought on family. People who are blessed with a tight knit, supportive family are LUCKY. I think most tolerate their family out of a sense of duty. One creates a circle, a family, of friends of people who care for us and share our lives. Sounds like you have done that. And if our immediate family is a part of this, well, that is an added blessing. Being true to yourself is what is important. (by the way, one of the CD's we sing to in the car when our family takes long rode trips is Mama Mia) Really enjoyed your article over at V&V.

  4. ABBA-this music doesn't speak to me, I am more a Queen-type:) I was a very young kid in 70s so Queen is more my childhood.
    You chose a perfect period for dancing-carnival is very proper period to do that:)
    I love the idea about playing with acquiantances and drinking advokaat:)

  5. I'm so glad that Astrid pulled you out from under the rock you've called home :) Never heard of ABBA? Or Queen?

    Those look like very generous servings of advocaat - I only have a small cordial glass at a time; so rich. I think Gonny must go to the same hair dresser that Koningin Juliana went to.

  6. Margaret: Queen is Astrid's favorite group of all time, hands down. I've learned a lot of their music through her. I love the story about your MIL and Mamma Mia. That is so funny. And yes, I am learning that we choose family and sometimes that family is the one that really counts the most. Sad but true.

    Ola: You and Astrid can relate because Queen is her favorite, though she also likes ABBA. Carnival also is something new for me...but I'm learning. :) And yes, playing a game and then sharing a drink is very special...another new thing for me. I'm loving it all.

    DB: Astrid has done wonders for me, as you can tell. :) Those advocaat glasses also had a layer of slagroom on top, so it was just perfect. Never worry. And Astrid is sitting here laughing about your comment about Gonny's hairdresser. :)

  7. When I came home on that Friday, I found you with sparkling eyes and in a very good are always in a good mood when I come home, let there be NO misunderstanding.
    You told me about the Rummikub and I knew once they let you play, you would give them a run for their money.
    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall!!!!!
    I am so glad that you feel at home with the people in the Lindeborg.
    About Mama Mia....we had a blast again when we watched it for the second time....we will see it for a thrird time too.
    You are my dancing Queen, lieve schat.
    Thank you for being yourself and thank you for showing all the joy you/we have in your/our life.

  8. I was tempted to say what Dutchbaby did! heehee!! I grew up listening to Abba and Queen. I will sing at the top of my lungs to Abba and will rock out to Queen!

    I love that you and Astrid dance every night! It's wonderful and romantic. You might even say "Wondermantic"! Or Romanterful! (Sorry, a digression. I've been watching reruns of a comedy tv show and they did a bit on combining 2 words and making it into another word).

    I wish you and Astrid a magical new year filled with beautiful music and dancing!

  9. I remember listening to Abba and Queen, it is now that I don’t listen to the music – mostly rap though. Dancing - I loved dancing and I danced many time, alone, as my husband does not like to dance. Unfortunately this past week-end my knee went out again where I had a previous injury. The last two days it has been ice on my knew 5 or 6 times a day – I can only dance in my mind and visualize your dancing in Holland - and that makes me happy.

  10. I was aware of Abba and the song dancing queen, but it all made way more sense after moving to Montreux! Yup, that statue of Freddy Mercury there that lights up the sky at sunset. Oh how to find out so much more history including that big thing called the Jazz Fest every July...

    That's wonderful that you are dancing nightly, you know practice makes perfection. :) And the advocaat, oh I want to have one some day!!!!

    Look how well you are fitting in too. I must know do they translate into English if you are very lost?

  11. Yay ABBA! This is such a happy song, and a happy post! Picturing you running in the wind, free, and dancing through life, free, is a supreme joy of my life, dear one. How perfect that Edgar Degas' dancing girl was your second post. Imagine.

    And now let me ask, do you know the band Heart? Ask Astrid and see if she does. They are an all-girl band from the '70s. And wonderful.

  12. Astrid: We are both lucky to have built so many friendships here. Do you think they love our youthfulness? :) But then, they also have their own. I am so thankful to have you as my dancing partner in life. It's something I always wanted...and now have. I could die right now and go to heaven happy! Hartstikke bedankt, mijn vrouw.

    Mad:C Some of you are just way ahead of me but I'm making up for lost time, trust me! I have always been a romantic at heart, and apparently so has Astrid, so we make a great team. Who would have thought it would take this long! Thank you for your best wishes for 2011. I wish them for you and Jimmy as well.

    Vagabonde: I wanted to dance my entire life but never did till now. I should have taken responsibility before but didn't. Now it's easy because Astrid, too, loves to dance. She always knows when it will be our salvation. All the tension in my shoulders falls off. She knows. Thanks for visualizing us and for the smile!

    ET: I'm not familiar with that statue of Freddie Mercury, Jen, so maybe we'll just have to go find it one your beloved Montreux. When the English/Dutch don't go far enough, we all just smile. But usually there are a couple who understand and/or speak English well. In that case I'm lucky!

    Ruth: I always wanted to dance, sister. I think it's somewhere in my blood/genes. Did Mom pass it on to me? No, I do not know the band Heart but have just Googled it. I will ask Astrid about them tonight. There's always something new to learn, isn't there! I love it.

  13. Just catching up on your posts, Ginnie. Your photography is spectacular as always. I found it interesting about the fireworks. We don't have that problem. Obviously there is all kinds of other vandalism to deal with, but we seem to have a healthy respect for fireworks. Do people really try to blow things up, or is it just overcautiousness, I wonder.

  14. Karen: Thank you for catching up, as always! Believe it or not, it really is a big deal. In fact, one of our collaborators at Vison & Verb is Dutch and you might want to see what she wrote today about this very thing: If you go back to my last post, you'll see our garage pay machines all boarded up so they can't be blown up. It's probably worse than I realize! :(

  15. You didn't know the music of ABBA? Really? or Queen? Until just recently?
    I'm gobsmacked, as we say in the aristocracy.
    You don't know what you missed!
    Last year I saw the stage rock musical, "We Will Rock You" featuring the music of Queen.... what a great show.

  16. Sham: I know, I know. I still can't believe it myself! Better late than never, right? :) I'm sure the We Will Rock You musical is wonderful! I love the word 'gobsmacked.' I've learned it from my British friends at Shutterchance.

  17. "The Dancing Queen" great music! Unfortunately, I'm not a dancer - don't have the rhythm or agility for dancing. :)

  18. Tim: I didn't grow up dancing, but the rhythm is inside of me...I've always wanted to. Now, finally. I wonder if you can learn the rhythm? Maybe you should try it? :)