"Chiquitita"
Single by ABBA
from the album Voulez-Vous
B-side"Lovelight"
Released16 January 1979 (1979-01-16)
Recorded13 December 1978
StudioPolar, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre
Length5:26
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Summer Night City"
(1978)
"Chiquitita"
(1979)
"Does Your Mother Know"
(1979)

"Chiquitita" ("little girl" in Spanish) is a song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in January 1979 as the first single from Voulez-Vous (1979), the group's sixth album. Agnetha Fältskog performs the lead vocals. Originally, the track "If It Wasn't for the Nights" was going to be the album's lead single, but after "Chiquitita" was completed these plans were abandoned, and it remained an album track.

Background and release

Many preliminary versions of "Chiquitita" exist. It had working titles of "Kålsupare", "3 Wise Guys", "Chiquitita Angelina" and "In the Arms of Rosalita".[3] A revised version, which had a sound that was influenced by the Peruvian song "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" performed by Simon and Garfunkel, was recorded in December 1978 and released as a single in January 1979.

With the success of the English version, ABBA recorded "Chiquitita" in Spanish, and it was one of the featured tracks on the Spanish-language release Gracias Por La Música.

During production of the Thank You for the Music box set in 1994, an early version of "Chiquitita" titled "In the Arms of Rosalita" was proposed for inclusion on the set, but was rejected by Bjorn and Benny. An 8-minute "Chiquitita story" medley combining the song with various early demos (including the "Rosalita" version) was scrapped by mid-1994.[4]

Reception

"Chiquitita" proved to be one of ABBA's bigger hits. It was featured in the Music for UNICEF Concert, broadcast worldwide from the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. As a direct result of this event, ABBA donated 50% of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. "Chiquitita" was a no. 1 hit in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, South Africa and Rhodesia. It was a top 5 hit in ABBA's native Sweden, the United Kingdom (peaking at no. 2 in both countries where Blondie's "Heart of Glass" was occupying the top spot),[5] Australia, West Germany and Norway. These sales makes it the most successful single from the album Voulez-Vous in terms of global charts and one of the more famous charity songs ever. 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 2014, all ABBA members agreed on increasing their donation to 100% of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. As of 2021, the song's royalties have raised $4.8 million for the charity.[6]

In the United Kingdom, "Chiquitita" debuted at no. 8 in the singles chart, making it the highest place début for any ABBA single release.

In Argentina, sales figures up to the end of July 1979 on the single show 500,000 in the Spanish edition and 25,000 in the original English language format.[7]

Cash Box wrote that it has "a bouncy tune" and "soaring harmonies."[8]

As of September 2021, it is ABBA's ninth-biggest song in the UK, including both pure sales and digital streams.[9]

Music video

"Chiquitita" was one of the few singles ABBA released without a custom-made video. Since then, on compilations of the group's videos, a contemporary TV performance of the song has been used, recorded in mid-February 1979, a month after the single's release. This clip was taped by the BBC during recording of the show ABBA in Switzerland, broadcast across Europe at Easter 1979, but this clip did not feature in the broadcast, being intended for a Christmas programme.

ABBA are seen performing the song on a mountainside, with a snowman in the background. Throughout the clip, the bad weather and bad light caused problems during filming, which affected Anni-Frid Lyngstad; her hair constantly flew in her face, and she was forced to keep moving it out of her eyes, so it was not used.[10] During the location shoot in Leysin, the BBC recorded two other versions of the group lip-synching to the song. The group performed the song inside the BBC Big Top used to host ABBA in Switzerland, which was included in the final broadcast, and a second video was shot of the group sitting around a table in a cafe,[11] for the show Christmas Snowtime Special shown on BBC1 on 23 December 1979, hosted by Dame Edna Everage.[12] The clip of the group filmed outside with the snowman was intended for this Christmas show, but producer/director Michael Hurll recorded the second clip because he was not happy with the first.[13] In March 2022, a new lyric video was released featuring the mountainside footage.[14]

Personnel

Charts

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina 700,000[38]
Chile 75,000[39]
Ecuador 75,000[39]
El Salvador 65,000[39]
France 150,000[40]
Japan (RIAJ)[41]
SOS / Chiquitita
Platinum 100,000^
Kenya 10,000[42]
Mexico 500,000[43]
Netherlands (NVPI)[44] Gold 100,000^
Portugal 20,000[45]
Spain 100,000[46]
United Kingdom (BPI)[47] Gold 500,000^
Summaries
Latin America 2,250,000[48]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Cher version

"Chiquitita"
Single by Cher
from the album Dancing Queen
LanguageSpanish, English
Released8 May 2020 (2020-05-08)
Recorded2020
Genre
Length4:49
LabelWarner
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Mark Taylor
Cher singles chronology
"SOS"
(2018)
"Chiquitita"
(2020)
"Stop Crying Your Heart Out"
(2020)
Music video
"Chiquitita (Spanish Version)" on YouTube

On May 8, 2020, American singer-actress Cher announced she had re-recorded Chiquitita in Spanish with all proceeds going to UNICEF, similar to how ABBA had done in 1979 with the release of the same song.

Cher's Spanish version of "Chiquitita" became her first song to chart on a U.S. Latin chart. It charted at No. 6 on the US Latin Digital Song Sales (Billboard).

Music video

An accompanying music video for "Chiquitita" premiered on UNICEF's website on 9 May 2020 and uploaded to Cher's official YouTube channel shortly afterward. Cher shot her part at home, with the final cut of the video featuring children from around the world.

Track listings and formats

Digital download[49]

Credits and personnel

Credits for Dancing Queen adapted from AllMusic.[50]

Management
Personnel

Charts

Chart (2020) Peak
position
US Latin Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[51] 6

Other covers

See also

References

  1. ^ Chiquitita by ABBA - Track Info | AllMusic, retrieved 31 October 2022
  2. ^ Dedrick, Jay (1 January 1998). "ABBA". In Knopper, Steve (ed.). MusicHound Lounge: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. p. 1.
  3. ^ "ABBA – In The Arms of Rosalita Lyrics". Moodpoint.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  4. ^ Faltskog, Nicholas (2017). ABBAMania Australia (2nd ed.). Australia: Blurb. ISBN 9781366145666. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  5. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 90. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  6. ^ "ABBA to donate all royalties from new Little Things single to UNICEF". UNICEF. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Abba The World". Billboard. 8 September 1979. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  8. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 3 November 1979. p. 22. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  9. ^ UK Official Charts ABBA's Official Top 20 biggest songs
  10. ^ "Abba – Chiquitita". Retrieved 29 July 2011 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "ABBA - Chiquitita (Christmas Snowtime Special 1979)". YouTube.
  12. ^ "Christmas Snowtime Special". The Radio Times. No. 2928. 20 December 1979. p. 22. ISSN 0033-8060. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  13. ^ Palm, Carl Magnus. Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows. Omnibus Press; 3rd edition (1 September 2014) ISBN 978-1783053599
  14. ^ Martin, Annie (18 March 2022). "ABBA release new video for 1979 single 'Chiquitita'". UPI. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  15. ^ "Cash Box - International Best Sellers" (PDF). Cashbox. 26 May 1979. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  16. ^ David Kent (2006). Australian Charts Book 1993—2005. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-646-45889-2.
  17. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  18. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  19. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "ABBA". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 8. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – ABBA" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  21. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Billboard "Hits of the World"". 4 August 1979. p. 54. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  23. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  24. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita". VG-lista. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  25. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  26. ^ "ABBA – Chiquitita". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  28. ^ "ABBA Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  29. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 11.
  30. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W (1994). Cash Box pop singles charts, 1950–1993. Libraries Unlimited. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-56308-316-7.
  31. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  32. ^ "Kent Music Report No 288 – 31 December 1979 > National Top 100 Singles for 1979". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via Imgur.com.
  33. ^ "End of Year Charts 1979". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  34. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1979". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  35. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1979
  36. ^ "Top Singles 1979". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 22 December 1979. p. 27.
  37. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  38. ^ Smirnoff, Miguel (15 December 1979). "International Dateline - Argentina" (PDF). Cash Box. p. 38. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  39. ^ a b c "Late Breaking News..." (PDF). Billboard. 8 September 1979. pp. ABBA-42 – via World Radio History.
  40. ^ Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP). Fabrice Ferment (ed.). "TOP – 1979". 40 ans de tubes : 1960–2000 : les meilleures ventes de 45 tours & CD singles (in French). OCLC 469523661. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2022 – via Top-France.fr.
  41. ^ "Japanese single certifications – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 6 May 2020. Select 2001年2月 on the drop-down menu
  42. ^ "ABBA the World - Kenya". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 8 November 1979. p. ABBA-18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  43. ^ Marv Fisher & Humbert Quintero (3 November 1979). "Mexico - Steady growth Extends Music Market Leadership". Billboard. p. LA-31. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  44. ^ "Dutch single certifications – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 19 November 2019. Enter Chiquitita in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1980 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  45. ^ Fernando, Tenente (8 November 1979). "ABBA the World - Portugal". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. ABBA-30. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  46. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (8 September 1979). "ABBA: The World > Spain". Billboard. Vol. 91, no. 36. p. ABBA-38. ISSN 0006-2510.
  47. ^ "British single certifications – ABBA – Chiquitita". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  48. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1985). Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s : an illustrated directory. Arco Pub. p. 469. ISBN 0668064595. Biggest sales for this disc were the Spanish version for the Latin market - 2,250,000 copies.
  49. ^ "Chiquitita - Single by Cher". Apple Music. 8 May 2020. Archived from the original on 9 May 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  50. ^ "Dancing Queen - Cher | Credits". AllMusic.
  51. ^ "Cher's Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  52. ^ chart discography Spain (until 2013) / official charts