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Does Your Mother Know about this settlement?

Let’s see if I can reference 10 ABBA songs, “Fernando,” (1) as I bring you news of a legal settlement reported by Reuters involving Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the male members of the ’70s Swedish pop group, and one of their plays.

Andersson and Ulvaeus have become “Super Troupers” (2) in the theater world since ABBA said “Thank You For The Music” (3) and disbanded more than 25 years ago. The duo’s most famous production has been “Mamma Mia!” (4), which has been performed all over the world since 1999.

Before “Mamma Mia!” however, Andersson and Ulvaeus wrote the music and lyrics for “Kristina from Duvemala,” the story of a 19th-century Swedish family that lacked “Money, Money, Money” (5), based on the works of noted Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg. The play premiered in 1995, not in “Waterloo” (6) but in the Swedish city of Malmo and was on track to come to Broadway.

On track, that is, until Andersson and Ulvaeus clashed with playwright Carl-Johan Seth as to who should receive credit as “Kristina’s” author, with the ABBA members believing it should be the play’s director Lars Rudolfsson, according to the Reuters article. So the duo decided to “Take a Chance” (7) with the legal system and won a lawsuit against Seth in Sweden last year. Seth was in the process of sending an “S.O.S.” (8) to an appeals court but will drop his claim as part of the undisclosed settlement, according to Reuters.

So while we may never know if “The Winner Takes It All” (9) in this case, what is clear is I made all 10 ABBA song references, which was, after all, “The Name of the Game” (10).

DANNY JACOBS, Legal Affairs Writer