"close your eyes, clear your heart...cut the cord."

Sweden is the world's third largest exporter of music. Pretty major thing in relation to the size of the country.
You can feel how and why when you know Swedes, whether you're here or with them on the other side of the world.

Just as when I was in Uganda in June and witnessed how clearly the people there were born with dancing in their soul, so it is with Swedes and melody. You already know about the dinner and drinking songs... but I want you to have a clearer feeling for their love of music.

If Swedes love a song they really really love it and it's on playlist after playlist and most seem to know all the words. They watch Swedish Idol in droves, along with all the other singing performance and competition shows that come on so frequently. It was Swedes that taught me how to appreciate house, which is something that has given me a whole new way of experiencing music and dancing. There have been so many Swedes singing alongside my growing up years, unbeknownst to me back then, in the form of Ace of Base and The Cardigans and Eagle Eye Cherry and Robyn and then in older years, as I was aware of their background, Jose Gonzalez and The Knife and so many many more.

It's hard to explain how the musicality of Swedes goes a bit deeper in some contexts compared to the States, because some music experiences I've had at home will remain beyond comparison. But I can only really come closer to describing it by recounting a scene from here in Sweden, perhaps last Friday night... the crowd is jostling each other on the dancefloor and singing along and as the DJ plays the Killers, he cuts the music at the key line so you can hear everyone at the top of their lungs asking, "Are we human... or are we dancer?" Pumping their fists in the air, closing their eyes...I smile widely since I'm still not over that song and I'm so glad they aren't done with it here, and I shout the question just as loudly along with them. And then as the night winds down, a song comes on that I haven't heard in so many years but that you can't forget the chorus to, and I laugh to hear it played now. Then before we know it my friend and I have been grabbed by some guys we don't know, and dipped and spun around, and all of us sing along to this American classic that I know will from then on only ever remind me of nights out in Lund...

"Then I'm walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel..."

And it's not as if the same thing would never happen at home... but something is different about it here. More heartfelt, a bit more innocent, more classic. I never stood a chance of not falling in love with Sweden.


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