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Promotional song “Written by ABBA Everywhere”

Promotional song “Written by ABBA Everywhere”


Photo: Ole Lindborg/TT News Agency

Kim Jong Un.

Photo: Evan Vucci/AP TT News Agency

Last month, a propaganda song was released regarding North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un opening newly built housing in the capital, Pyongyang.

The song is titled “Friendly Father” and is about how Kim Jong Un will lead the country to a “brighter future.”

In the music video, people are seen jumping up and down while giving a thumbs up excitedly. Words contain lines like:

“Let us sing about Kim Jong Un, the great leader,

Let us be proud of Kim Jong Un, our good father.”

An image from the music video for “Friendly Dad”, the propaganda song about Kim Jong Un.

“The song was written by ABBA”

North Korea's latest propaganda song, which TV channel KCTV described as “upbeat,” has become an unexpected hit on Tiktok.

“It's as miserable as it is compelling.”“, writes one person.

Another wrote that the promotional song “deserves a Grammy Award.”

“Okay, Taylor Swift.”He writes in the third person.

North Korea expert Peter Moody says North Korea has used propaganda songs for the past half-century.

– In this case, the song that Abba wrote for himself. “It's exhilarating, it couldn't be more affecting, and the sumptuous orchestral sequences couldn't be more outstanding,” says Moody.

“Used to send a message”

Alexandra Leonzini researches North Korean music. The goal, she says, is to create songs that stick in people's minds.

– The idea is that they want to motivate people to pursue a common goal for the benefit of the country, says Leonzini.

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But it suggests that there's a darker subtext behind the upbeat pop tune. Artistic freedom is a foreign concept in North Korea and Leonzini stresses that it is important that the song uses expressions such as “the great” and “the father” about Kim Jong-un.

– Propaganda songs are used to send a message about the direction the country is headed and to draw attention to important events and political changes. Leonzini says a propaganda jingle in North Korea is more like a daily newspaper.

Read more: The dictator is portrayed as a “friendly father” in a new song