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Fernando by ABBA

Album: Greatest HitsReleased: 1976Charted:
  • ABBA member Anni-Frid 'Frida' Lyngstad originally recorded the song in Swedish on her solo album Frida Ensam (meaning Frida Alone) in 1975. ABBA then recorded an English version the following year. The song does not appear on any studio album, only greatest hits collections.
  • Bjorn Ulvaeus (from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh): "That lyric is so banal and I didn't like it. It was a love lyric, someone who loved Fernando, but I inherited the word 'Fernando' and I thought long and hard, what does Fernando tell me? I was in my summerhouse one starry evening and the words came, 'There was something in the air that night' and I thought of two old comrades from some guerrilla war in Mexico who would be sitting in the porch and reminiscing about what happened to them back then and this is what it is all about. Total fiction."
  • This was the biggest selling single in Australian chart history until it was overtaken by Elton John's "Candle In The Wind '97."
  • The working title was "Tango."
  • This song also reached #1 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and West Germany. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
  • The male members of ABBA - Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus - wrote this song. The group's manager Stig Anderson also got a songwriting credit of it, which he did on many of their songs.
  • ABBA's manager, Stig Anderson, sold the use of the song to electronics giant National for $1 million in 1976. It was adapted with a new lyric ("There's so much more to National. So much more than just the many, many things we make for you") and performed by the band for use in a series of five television commercials promoting the National brand. ABBA's Benny Andersson was disgusted, "That did it for me," he said. "We've never sold another song again." (Source ABBA The Official Photo Book)
  • A Mexican man named Fernando Gongora claimed that he provided the title to this song. According to Gongora, in 1974 he was working at the El Matador hotel in Acapulco when a minor earthquake hit. (These quakes are common to the area, but freak out tourists.) In Gongora's account, Abba was staying in the hotel and ran to their balcony, where they were going to jump into the swimming pool below. Gongora told them that the earthquake had stopped, and they should not jump. "I told them 'I'm Fernando,' they told me 'we're ABBA,'" he said in the Long Beach newspaper Beachcomber. "They told me some day I'm going to hear from the them. Many times, people would send you a postcard, thanks, we appreciate you or your service. A friend from Canada called me. 'Fernando, did you hear the song 'Fernando.'' When I heard it, I knew they thought I helped save their life before they jumped. They were using my name, 'can you hear those drums Fernando?' That's the noise of the earthquake." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Anita - Long Beach, California
  • This features prominently in the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Water Park" (2000), when Dewey's elderly babysitter (Bea Arthur) entertains him with the song, then has to be taken away in an ambulance.
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Comments: 26

I had my own love, Fernando, called by his street name Redd. a black Puerto rican American, from New Jersey. he was so beautiful.Dusk Blackman - Albany, Georgia (u.s.a.)
I love how most of the Facts on this song(including mine) are not song facts.Michael - Las Vegas, Nv
For anyone who's curious, Fernando is Portuguese and was Anni-Frid Lyngstad boyfriend in the early '70.Patricio - Lisbon, Portugal
have been listening to this song since my childhood, from LP days to DVD age.. and it continues to soothe and inspire me!Rahul - Bangalore, India
Mercedies/Soldotna,AK -- john/Brisbane is obviously just yanking our chain here, pay it no mind. **** I've recently rediscovered this song, and I'm thrilled. It's a perfectly glorious gem! And it adapts splendidly to piano. And the way it worms its way into your brain, it astonishes me that it didn't hit #1 here in the States.Fred - Laurel, Md
I LOVE the song. Very good tune and harmony. The words evoke a base emotion....... not sure I can put my finger on it...... but the two comrades who live to old age and can reminisce about their youth..... I don't know.... it just touches me.Jen - Seattle, Wa
When you are named Fernando everyone from a certain age and up asks: "Can you hear the drums Fernando?" Which is kinda corny. And beign an 80's fan it I was turned off that my Namesake in song land was this song- until I sat down and actually listened to it. Now I just love it.

And it's great fun since my wife's name is Maria so I sing West Side Story to her. And we have a 5 month-old girl named Amanda so we have had Boston in our iTunes for sometime now.
Fernando - Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
Jerro, I agree with you. I first heard both of those songs in Mamma Mia, and they do seem similar.Carrie - Roanoke, Va
This is a beautiful song. It was in Muriel's wedding.Jennifer Harris - Grand Blanc, Mi
Does anyone think that the melodies of this song and ABBA's song "Chiquitita" sound similar in some ways?Jerro - New Alexandria, Pa
I too was moved by the story in this song. The combination of
1. a great tune
2. sung by such gorgeous ladies
3. and a moving story

was to me...irresistable. I liked it then and
35 years later I still like it.
Doug - Kansas City, Mo
This story, though fiction, to me can suggest either a woman's thoughts of lost love, in war or reminiscing about it. Or maybe a fellow solder's, thinking back how they were Waiting for the coming battle, Only a veteran of war with lost comrads can become so emotional and fearful of the sounds of war(Drums,bugle's,guns,& cannons). Waiting with an unusual patients(strumming his guitar)showing no outward fear for the inevitable.)Having no regrets even though there is lost.Jesse - Baltimore, Md
I think that john from Brisbane us needs to have his head examined. This song is amazing. Granted this song isn't one of their best, nor does it range up there in their top 5 best, but it holds a lot of meaning and is very special to some people. And those people aren't suicidal and probably contribute more to life than you do, so john do everyone and all the ABBA fans a favor and crawl back under that rock you came from. Think very hard before commenting like that again.Mercedies - Soldotna, Ak
This is a very relaxing song to me. I can visualize two old comrades sitting around a fire in their older years remembering past war experiences.Wolf - Charlotte, Nc
This has been one of my favorite Abba songs since I was a little girl. One of the very few things my now deceased father and I had in common was our love of Abba's music. A few years after my Dad moved to San Antonio, Texas, he was diagnosed with cancer. One of the last things I was able to do with him was to visit the Alamo. Now, when I hear this song, it reminds me of the fateful stand-off that happened there and that very special last visit with my Dad. This song holds more meaning to me now then it ever had before. If you have a heart, watch the movie 'The Alamo' with Billy Bob Thorton, then listen to this song and close your eyes. I find myself terrified as it puts me right there. It is a beautiful, patriotic song that should be appreciated for those attributes.Donna - Alta Loma, Ca
What a dreary dull,empty and meaningless song!If you want to end your life today this depressing song will help you achieve your goal.John - Brisbane, United States
I simply love this song, and have enjoyed it since its release. Anni-Frid, i love your work.Elizabeth - San Antonio , Tx
This song is pretty cool! I love the episode of That 70s Show where the gang goes to a disco and Eric gets this song stuck in his head. It's too funny! Eric: "Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?" Donna: "What?" Eric: "I can see it in your eyes." Donna: "What are you talking about?" Eric (singing): "How right we were to fight for freedom in this land. There was something in the air that night. The stars were bright. (Donna shushes him and puts her hand over his mouth) Fernando." Classic!Meredith - Wauwatosa, Wi
Bjorn isn't the only one who doesn't think much of this song. It was No.1 in Australia for 15 grueling weeks. Beaten only by Hey Jude (16 weeks). Countdown
would do a Top 10 at the end of the show then play the No.1 song but after a few weeks they'd play a "prediction" instead. For the Aussies reading this...the clip premiered one Friday night on A Current Afair in 1976.
Nunzio - Darwin, Australia
This song was also feature on an AD for an electronics company, and the group was also in the Ads. However, the company had to get permission from the group before they did the Ads. Just some D.Y.K. (did you know) for anyone who's curious.Margaret - Worcester, Ma
We are doing this song for show choir this year (note I'm 17, lol!) and it's DEFINATELY ONE OF OUR FAVORITES! I'm lovin it! :) ~From the upcoming Generation :DAlease - T-town, Oh
What a GREAT song! If the words or vocals don't win you over, the chord patterns and that bass line in the chorus will. If you had to do the same again, would you?Mike - Verona, Va
I've always thought the girl and Fernando are going to be shot at sunrise, due to the drums beating at the start of the song.Larry - Des Moines, Ia
Wonderful song enjoyed by a younger listener. Age 22Rebecca - Houston, Tx
Fernando is one of the 12 instrumentals on the LP 'Moog Plays ABBA', recorded in Sydney, Australia, in 1976 for the budget label Tee Vee Records. Having recently talked with the keyboards man who played on the session, I can tell you that the album in fact has no Moog on it. They used ARP and Roland synths to get the sound. There were no Moogs in Sydney in 1976.Steve - Sydney, Australia
An odd choice for a group that was generally associated with fun but fluffy disco stuff. I thought they may have been trying to introduce a more serious, mature image but they never really followed this with any other serious songs, to my recollection.Jerry - Brooklyn, Ny
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