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Per Gessle comments the songs on “En händig man”

Written by tevensso on June 15, 2007 to and .

HALMSTAD - Here are exclusive comments from the hand of Per Gessle regarding the songs on "En händig man." Consider them a holiday gift for you who have listened to the album for a few days now.

En händig man
Was written on the balcony on a sunny day in Halmstad last summer. The title and the main idea for the lyrics came first. We recorded 2 versions in the studio in Skåne.
The first one (which we now refer to as "En händig man (blåser)” /btw. ”blåser” means “to blow”/ sounds totally different with a quite a big intro and with a… that's right, a brass-section. I didn't really like it, it felt like the original idea got lost in the shuffle and my voice sort of disappeared in this big mess… so we made a new, more “primitive” take and that one became the opening track and the first single!

Pratar med min müsli (hur det än verkar)
Did an acoustic demo in Tits & Ass last summer that turned out really cool. When I played it for C&C (Clarence Öfwerman & Christoffer Lundquist) totally new things popped up in their amazing minds. Suddenly we had a "Doors organ", a rattling drum beat in the choruses and The Lovely Helena (Josefsson) blessing the middle eight. I was overjoyed of course!
The lyrics, I’m sure you know, are about a lonely sod sitting by himself talking to his breakfast about how great everything will be… maybe… eventually…

Jag skulle vilja tänka en underbar tanke
Was everyone's favorite in the studio from day 1! It's one of those songs that makes you smile while you're writing it! It has happened a few times over the years and I was lucky to experience it even as a 47 year-old!!! The title came first, I've had it in my big black book for ages. We saved this song to the very end since we wanted to get some experimentation out of our systems recording other songs first. Cos this song needs almost nothing. Our main job was to hold back. A few acoustic guitars, some backup vocals and a bassline McCartney would have been proud of. Glorious.

Fru Nordin
Well, my wife's name is Nordin so everyone assumes it's about her. And that's… so funny. Well, maybe it is… come to think of it…! I wrote it in the studio in Skåne last winter and knew immediately that it needed some frenzy, some "The Who-inspired guitars" and kinky drums that Jens (Jansson) plays so good just after breakfast. Didn't like my lead vocals so I re-did them late at night just before the final mix in April. It's so much better now.

Was also written in the studio in Skåne last winter, both lyrics and music at the same time. It took about 2 hours. When I was done I played it for C&C and we did a take immediately. I had the capo on the 9th fret (my old Martin) and someone thought it would be funny to have a clarinet playing some free-form notes, almost Dixieland-style that we know nothing about. Said and done, Christoffer fetched an old dusty clarinet and did the overdubs before dinner! What a guy! Especially considering this was the second time ever he held the instrument. What would I do without these guys???

När Karolina kom
Yepp, wrote it in the studio in Skåne! The verse has a sort of summer vibe to it that's very appealing to my ears, the chorus is really just finishing up the verse and takes no space at all. It's the verse that's the whole thing, you know… The core in the lyrics is about… no one you know… we're talking about my childhood and the '60s… hence the line "himlen var full av astronauter" ["the sky was full of astronauts"]… They landed on the moon in 68, right?

Hannas kärlekspil
"Hanna" pops up here and there. She’s so funny. Don't remember much about this, I know I was listening to The Kinks a lot when I wrote it and it does sound a bit like an old Kinks-song from, say '65. Nice saxophones in the middle eight which C&C recorded while I was looking away.

Om du kommer ihåg
I like this one a lot. Wrote it in front of the TV in my living room in Stockholm in August last year. It's hard to be this simple and hold on to it, anyone who writes songs knows this.

Om jag vetat då (vad jag vet nu)
Was called ”If I knew then (what I know now)” when it was born. It was written for Roxette's "The Ballad Hits" and "The Pop Hits" collections 2002. Rox never recorded it so I wrote some Swedish lyrics to it that's been in the drawer ever since. Its time is now!!! I like this one very much. It has a lovely '60s aura around it. And Christoffer added some groovy Beatles-inspired 12-stringed acoustic guitar licks in the verses that are top notch in my book! Awright.

Was written ten seconds too late to be included on "Mazarin." The problem with songs collecting dust is that you forget, or get tired of, them. I had forgotten about this one, but C&C reminded me!
I seem to recall that I was going to write a whole streak of songs featuring TomTom, but this is as far as I got. I'm sure he'll be back.

Våldsamt stillsamt
The balcony in Halmstad again! It was time for some '60s R&B and this is how white I sound when I wear my James Brown-mask, ha ha ha!!! I got the title and the rest came all by itself. This kind of song doesn't need too much “weight” in the lyrics. If it does then the lyrics take over and they shouldn't. They should just support.

I seem to recall this was born just after the end of the GT25 tour in 2004.
I love these great neanderthal guitar riffs (my best since "Come Back Tomorrow (And We Do It Again)" from the Plumber album!!!) and this one has some Led Zep in it. We stress this even further with an electric piano that dubs the riff. Can become very cool live…

Samma gamla vanliga visa
Another idea that's been with me quite a while. Wrote the verse in the studio in Skåne and finished it off down in Halmstad. One of my favorites from the EHM-sessions. I love Helena’s middle-eight. Such a great girl.

Min hälsning
Wow! I wrote this when I was 19 in 1978. There are some old rehearsal demos by Gyllene Tider from 79 but GT never recorded it. I rewrote some lines in verse 1 that were really stupid, otherwise I kept everything intact.
We didn't know how to arrange it so we wound up doing a real old fashioned live recording in the studio. I sang and played the guitar, Clarence strummed another acoustic geet while Christoffer grabbed an electric Gibson ES-175 jazz guitar. It sounded fab after just one take, we couldn’t do it any better. Then we added a bass guitar and an organ and Helena paid visit with some splashes of her technicolor magic. Hallelujah.

Hon vill sväva över ängarna
Another one of my favorites. Wrote both the lyrics and the music down in the studio in Skåne. It felt perfect as the opener of the EP. Recorded it in two different keys but we chose the "highest." I love love love this chorus.

Didn't really know where this song should go. I always felt that the lyrics should be in the front row. I liked that. Christoffer thought it sounded like an old Fleetwood Mac-song so I guess we started thinking along his lines. The “pom-pom” vocals in the outro are very much L. Cohen, don’t you think?

Solen kom från ingenstans
Was the ending track of the album until we recorded "Min hälsning." I like the lyrics and Helena sings as wonderful as ever. There's an instrumental version as well, called ”Vet du vad jag egentligen vill?” but I guess you know that.

Du kommer så nära (du blir alldeles suddig)
Exists in two different versions. This, which ends the EP, was recorded in the Tits&Ass studio in Halmstad last summer. Stripped, only acoustic guitars and some beautiful hi-pitched pling plong on the piano and a mini synth. It felt good. But it’s such a sad lyric.

I have to shape up on the next record! All in all, I’m REALLY pleased with the album. It turned out just the way I wanted it. All 18 tracks have passed every test in my book. Hope you’ll enjoy them!


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Thanx for this! It’s always interesting to read the artists thoughts, specially since I don’t have the album yet. What does Per mean with “I have to shape up for the next record”? That it’s really hard to beat this? Or that he has to try to produce some more uplifting (not sad) songs?

Nice holiday gift! :-)

Always nice to hear the Per’s view on his songs.

Good of Mr G to give us such a decriptive history of how the songs came about. Always interesting to hear.

Thanks a lot!

First time listening to the new almum, I thought about SOAP. One cathcy song (Händig Man) like on SOAP (Joanne Says) ...And the rest - Experiments... The 10th time I learned the songs and have the same affect as with SOAP..


Thanx Per..! You’re the man.

But still mean Christopher isnt good for you ! I would be better ! I can’t sing, play any instruments ( Well I can whistle *LOL* )... but what the hell... I just want the job *LOL*

Thanx Per!
Well, isn’t it obvious that one starts to think about your wife when you sing about Fru Nordin....even if she now is called Gessle too..or Nordin-Gessle...or. whatever. I really love that song. You should dedicate it to her. I’m sure she deserves this after all these Hannas and Jo-annas and Jennys and Karolinas...;)
I still don’t get the sence from the lyrics of TomTom...strange name....but nice song though!
Time will tell how long I will listen to the album...Mazarin is still much in use...but unfortunately not SOAP ;(

Om jag vetat då (vad jag vet nu) - It’s a fantastic song !!! Could be 2nd single from the album.

i ’m glad to read how per’s working over the songs..thanks per and please drop a line from roxette and make rox-fans happier...

Always great and really insightful to read Per’s comments on his songs.

@Sasha: Where did you order your album from? I pre-ordered mine from Bengens. They mailed it to me this past tuesday (06/12/07) and it arrived today (06/16/07). It just took 4 days to cross the Atlantic from Sweden to New York. I’m amazed! Super fast.

Take care!
Carlos E., New York
“Communication is key”

Carlos, I didn’t order yet. ;-) I waited for the Micke album to be listed in the shops, which didn’t happen until yesterday. Now I will order both albums together at CDON.

Very interesting!!!I´d like the album yet

What a fantastic article. Thank you very much Tevensso and Mr Gessle, of course. I love to hear what Per thinks of each song and the history behind it. The album makes more sense when you know Per’s thoughts about it.

I was lucky enough to see Per in Stockholm (all the way from the UK!) for the signing. As the signing session was on the album release day, I hadn’t heard any of the songs. I wish I had, because I would have loved to tell Per how fantastic the new album is, in my opinion.

I’ve listened to it several times a day since Wednesday. I can’t get enough of it.

Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

Can’t wait for the tour.

Ok Sascha, i got it. Thanks for the input i appreciate it.

Could you drop me an email using your own e-mail client? The e-mail address is at the on my TDR profile. I’dappreciate it.

Take care!
Carlos E., New York
“Communication is key”

Thank you, Per for sharing your thoughts with us :)

The moon is alright

Hello Tevensso and all others.
First of all ... Great Thanks to PG, “fru Nordin” and “Gab” for letting out even more musical adventures for us to listen to. Great with free demos of MAZ and SOAP on the web. Personal pictures and more on the blog and CD:s.
We got the Digipack and the “normal” album and the booklets has different item numbers but the contents are the same ... so no lyrics for the “En händig EP”?!
Can we get that somewhere ?
Thanks to Tevensso with team for a fantastic forum.

Thank you! Yes the lyrics are available at

Just am listening to “handy man” from James Taylor, hehehe...

Looking at all those sceptic comments I expected something worse. But now I am listening to the album and from the first listening it’s #1 Gessle album for me. So much energy. GT ’89 (Smastad, etc) - just in 2007. Perhaps most of people do not like up-tempos. But I’d rather get 80% uptempos then vice versus :)

Great ! Great ! Great !

I really loved this album. In my oppinion it’s better than Mazarin :)
Fernanda - Brazil


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