"When I Kissed the Teacher"
Song by ABBA
from the album Arrival
Released11 October 1976 (1976-10-11)
Recorded14 June 1976[1]
GenrePop rock
Songwriter(s)Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson
Producer(s)Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson
"When I Kissed The Teacher" on YouTube

"When I Kissed the Teacher" is a song by the pop band ABBA. It is the opening track on their 1976 album Arrival.


The song's recording sessions began on 14 June 1976 with the name "Rio de Janeiro". Eventually, the track was renamed "When I Kissed the Teacher".[2] The song's light-hearted lyrics tell the story of a student who has a crush on her teacher, one day cannot restrain herself and kisses him.[3] The lyrics are set to spirited music.[4] Benny Andersson considered this one of his favorite ABBA songs.[1][3]

The video clip "goes from a female student longing for her teacher to her taking direct action by kissing him as he leans over her in class."[5] The actor playing the part of the teacher was Magnus Härenstam.[6]


The song was also released on the compilation album More Gold: More Hits and the video was included on The Definitive Collection.[7][8]


Lyrically and musically, the song is filled with "schoolgirl imagery".[9] Agnetha Fältskog is the lead vocal.[10]

Critical reception

Buffalo News describes it as "bouncy".[11] The Daily Telegraph lists the song as one of ABBA's hidden gems, offering it as an alternative to "Waterloo". It says the song "Starts off slow, but quickly turns into a surreal, pop homage to low level sexual harassment".[12] Robert Hilburn of the Malaysian Star said "My nomination for the best ABBA track that wasn't a hit in the U.S.: "When I Kissed the Teacher", a zestful number that recalls the teen passion of such Phil Spector productions as the Ronettes' 'Be My Baby'".[13] In a Voulez-Vous review, "When I Kissed the Teacher" is listed alongside "Dancing Queen" as an example of the group's "soaring female harmonies, uplifting melodies, and festive instrumental touches" in their earlier hits.[14] Chris Joens of the Chicago Tribune, in a review of the Mamma Mia musical, noted "A soundtrack has become a discography. I've even almost forgotten my favorite ABBA ditty, 'When I Kissed the Teacher', just because it's not in the show."[15] The Los Angeles Times said "'When I Kissed the Teacher' is the most convincing thing Abba has done because it injects some sly, mocking humor and passion that offsets the group seriousness".[16] Abba – Uncensored on the Record said When I Kissed The Teacher is an example of what was "expected of ABBA".[10] The Teacher in American Society: A Critical Anthology lists "When I Kissed the Teacher" with the Van Halen song "Hot for Teacher" and the Jethro Tull song "Teacher" as examples of "how teachers are viewed by [students] as sexual objects.[17]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again version

Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies and Celia Imrie recorded When I Kissed the Teacher, with a slightly changed lyric, as the first single from the soundtrack of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Their version was released on 8 May 2018 by Capitol[18][failed verification] and Polydor Records. It was produced by Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus plays one of the teachers in the clip.[19]


Chart (2018) Peak
Hungary (Single Top 40)[20] 15
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 38
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[22] 17
Scotland (OCC)[23] 31
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[24] 78
UK Singles (OCC)[25] 40


Certifications for When I Kissed The Teacher
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 400,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Other cover versions


  1. ^ a b Palm, C. (2005). Abba: The Complete Guide to their Music. p. 36. ISBN 1844495051.
  2. ^ "Rio de Janeiro". Abbaomnibus.net.
  3. ^ a b Scott, R. (2003). ABBA Thank You for the Music. p. 74. ISBN 1842227939.
  4. ^ "Arrival". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  5. ^ Roy Fisher; Ann Harris; Christine Jarvis (2008). Education in Popular Culture: Telling Tales on Teachers and Learners. Routledge. ISBN 9780415332422. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  6. ^ "Rafaels and Stefans pictures". Raffem.com. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  7. ^ "More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  8. ^ "The Definitive Collection". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  9. ^ Louise FitzGerald; Melanie Williams (2013-04-15). Mamma Mia! The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781848859425. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  10. ^ a b Tobler, John (2012-01-04). Abba - Uncensored on the Record. Coda Books. ISBN 9781908538239.
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ McNulty, Bernadette (9 July 2008). "Abba: take a chance on these". Telegraph.co.uk.
  13. ^ Hilburn, Robert (24 March 2009). "ABBA set reveals more than one-hit wonder". Articles.latimes.com.
  14. ^ Robert Hilburn (Jul 19, 1979). "Abba to start U.S. tour in Seattle". The Spokesman-Review.
  15. ^ "Review: 'Mamma Mia!' at the Oriental Theatre - Chicago Tribune". Archived from the original on 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  16. ^ "British Regress to Innocent '50s". Los Angeles Times. Feb 1, 1977.
  17. ^ Eugene f. Provenzo, Jr (2010-02-02). The Teacher in American Society: A Critical Anthology. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781412965934.
  18. ^ "ABBA's 'When I Kissed the Teacher' Receives Modern Makeover in 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again': Watch". Billboard. 27 July 2018.
  19. ^ Lenker, Maureen Lee (August 3, 2022). "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: Everything you need to know about the ABBA cameos". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  20. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  22. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 30, 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies & Celia Imrie – When I Kissed The Teacher". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  26. ^ "British single certifications – James/Keenan Wynn/Davies/Imrie – When I Kissed The Teacher". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 1, 2024.
  27. ^ "När jag kysste lärar'n". Svensk mediedatabas. 1982. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  28. ^ "Svensktoppen". Sveriges Radio. 1982. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  29. ^ "Jag sjunger för dej - Svensk mediedatabas (SMDB)". smdb.kb.se.
  30. ^ "Dej ska jag älska all min tid - Svensk mediedatabas (SMDB)". smdb.kb.se.