I was weighing up whether to include this song here, since the Dancing Queen article didn’t conjure any interest – woe is me. What the heck, I’ll continue down this nostalgic track, despite how little you might want to hear this track for perhaps the hundredth time. If anything I like to imagine a young child listening to it for the first time like when my kids did.
I remember as a boy sitting in front of the fireplace and holding the 1976 Arrival album in my hands and I was besotted by it. The helicopter looked just like the one used in the Skippy: The Bush Kangaroo episode called ‘Many Happy Returns‘ where Sonny has to fly Jerry’s helo on his own. Those were the days!
The track Fernando, which had been recently released as a single in March 1976, was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions of the Arrival album.
Fernando is one of ABBA’s highest selling singles with six million selling in 1976 alone. It is one of fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. Prior to 1997, it was Australia’s highest-selling single. The song originally carried the working title ‘Tango‘, but changed in the last minutes prior to recording. The name “Fernando” was inspired by a bartender of that name who worked at a club the band frequented in Stockholm, Sweden.
Interestingly, based on my observations ABBA unlike Michael Jackson and Queen are not very popular in Latin America. Although Spanish version of the song exists on ABBA’s Spanish album, Gracias Por La Música (Thank you for the Music).
Can you hear the drums Fernando
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar
They were closer now Fernando
Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally
I was so afraid Fernando
We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die
And I’m not ashamed to say
The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry