Let's get this out of the way immediately: If you are a music buff or if you are deeply ingrained in Swedish culture, this is not a list for you. Rather, it's a list for your friends. Your family. Your enemies, even.
This is a list for those people who, when they hear the words "Swedish music", say "Oh, Abba, yes, I love Abba. Is there anything else, though?"
Well of course there's something else. Abba was just so big the rest all got overshadowed.
So, we suggest having a little listen to these songs, each sung by Swedes (in English), and see how many you didn't realize were by Swedish musicians.
For every song you knew was by a Swede, you get 1 point. Feel free to share your scores below.
1. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe
Take yourself back to 1994. Remember that smash hit, Cotton Eye Joe? Of course you do, you couldn't escape it. It was number one in eight countries, and stayed top of the charts in Norway for 15 weeks. 15 weeks! Poor Norway. Trivia: In 2007, the Swedish band tried to sell itself on eBay.
2. Icona Pop – I Love It
We don't care… that you didn't know they were Swedish. We love it. Best buds Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo may be based these days in the US, but they grew up in Stockholm.
Today folks call them Icona Pop. Their break-out hit I Love It reached number 1 on UK charts, number 7 in the US, and number 2 back home in Sweden.
3. The Final Countdown
Almost 80 million YouTube viewers can't be wrong – this is an amazing anthem. Have a listen to that intro. BUT, did you know that the lads from Europe are actually from the town of Upplands Väsby, making The Final Countdown the most interesting thing to come out of Upplands Väsby. Note, the lead guitarist is Norwegian.
4. Peter, Björn and John – Young Folks
This song has, perhaps, the catchiest whistling known to man. Join almost 50 million YouTubers and have a listen. But did you know they're Swedish? They may have caught you out by spelling their name without the ö in Bjorn. This tune has a guest singer, Victoria Bergsman, who's also Swedish.
5. Ace of Base – The Sign
Tokyo girl? No sir. The Sign, which spent six weeks at number one on US billboards, was written by Swedish siblings Linn, Jenny, and Jonas- aka Ace of Base.
The family hails from Gothenburg, and stirred up the charts with their other single Don’t Turn Around – said to be the inspiration for Lady Gaga’s Alejandro.
6. The Hives – Hate to Say I Told You So
Well…we told you so. The Hives are as Swedish as it gets. The boys of Tick Tick Boom fame are from Fagersta, a town in central Sweden. Their music has since featured in Spiderman films, Lego video games, and Guitar Hero. Now that's a career.
7. Basshunter – Now You're Gone
156 million YouTube clicks. That is insane. That's the population of Bangladesh, which is incidentally the 8th most populous country in the world. This song topped the charts in the UK and the US. Basshunter, also known as 29-year-old Jonas Erik Altberg from Halmstad, has had success with this song in Swedish too with "Boten Anna".
7. The Cardigans – Love Fool
You’d be a fool not to guess that blonde, blue-eyed Nina Persson wasn’t a Swede. Lovefool climbed to number 2 on international charts, and has its roots in Jönköping.
Persson wrote the lyrics while sitting at an airport waiting for a flight. The pop rock-disco-funk song became The Cardigans' first international hit.
9. Robyn – Dancing On My Own
Ever wondered why Robyn's lyrics are always just a tiny bit… off? Give the girl some slack, it's not her first language. We can forgive her for some of her more interesting "rhymes".
The Stockholm-native began her career by voicing an animated Swedish film, but has now moved on to Grammy nominations. Good for her.
10. Roxette – It Must Have Been Love
We weren't going to include Roxette, but our guinea pigs didn't know it was sung by a Swede. This song was Roxette's third chart topper in the US, and was even featured in Pretty Woman. Trivia: the song never topped the charts in Sweden. But it was number one in Norway. Poor Norway.