Monday, 12 December 2011
Chiquitita tell me what's wrong, you're enchained by your own sorrow.
"Chiquitita" (which roughly means "little girl" in Spanish) was the first single release from the fab Swedish pop group ABBA's Voulsez-Vous album, their sixth for Polar, and their fifth for Epic and Atlantic. Originally, the track "If It Wasn't for the Nights" was going to be the album's lead single, but after "Chiquitita" was completed those plans were abandoned, and it would remain an album track.
"Chiquitita" proved to be one of ABBA's biggest hits. It was featured in a 1979 UNICEF charity event, the Music for UNICEF Concert, broadcast worldwide from the United Nations General Assembly. As a direct result of this event, ABBA donated half of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. "Chiquitita" hit No1 in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland, while reaching the Top 5 in Australia, West Germany, Norway and Sweden, making it the most successful single from the Voulez-Vous album in terms of global charts and one of the most famous charity songs ever. In Great Britain, the track debuted at No8 in the singles chart, making it the highest place début for any ABBA single release.
In their native Sweden, it peaked at No2, with Blondie's "Heart of Glass" keeping it from reaching the top spot. However, despite this success, "Chiquitita" was less popular in France (only reaching No13), Canada (where it peaked at No17), the United States (reaching No29), and Italy (peaking at No48). But to this day, 50% of the proceeds from the song go to UNICEF in recognition of the International Year of the Child in 1979. In May 2007, "Chiquitita" had gained UNICEF over 15,000,000 SEK (about $2,500,000)
"Chiquitita" was one of the very few singles ABBA released without a custom-made video. Since then, on compilations of the team's videos, a contemporary TV performance of the song has been used. This clip was taped by the BBC for the show Abba in Switzerland, broadcast across Europe at Easter 1979. In this, ABBA is seen performing the song on a mountainside, with a snowman in the background. Throughout the clip, there was an obvious problem with the fan during filming, which affected Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, her hair constantly flew in her face, and she was forced to keep moving it out of her eyes.