The English version, with completely different lyrics by Ulvaeus, presents a vision of nostalgia for two veterans reminiscing in old age about a lost battle that they participated in during their younger days fighting under Emiliano Zapata in a battle of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. This was confirmed by Bjorn Ulvaeus in an ABBA special interview screened on December 31, 2008 in Australia.
The B-side to "Fernando" was the song "Hey, Hey, Helen", a track from the group's eponymous 1975 album, although in some countries "Tropical Loveland" (also from the Abba album) was used instead. Some copies of the single use "Rock Me" as a B-side.
The title and rhythm of the song made it an obvious choice for inclusion in their Spanish album. It was composed by Buddy and Mary McCluskey and recorded on January 3, 1980, in the Polar Music studios. The song is part of the Gracias Por La Musica album and is listed as track No5, in the "ABBA Oro" album as track No1 and as a Bonus Track on the Arrival album. The song was released as a promotional single in Spain. The lyrics, while adapted for rhythm and rhyme, carry the same meaning as the English version. "There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando. They were shining there for you and me, for liberty, Fernando." becomes "Algo había alrededor quizá de claridad Fernando, que brillaba por nosotros dos en protección, Fernando" (Something was around us perhaps of clarity Fernando, that shone for us two in protection, Fernando.)