“Can you hear the drums Fernando” are the opening lyrics to the song that escorted me for the past 42 years. 42 years – I cannot believe it!
Now to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t thought about writing a blog on music but when I heard the latest version recorded by legendary CHER for the sequel of “Mamma Mia – here I go again” it finally hit me. I realized that not only does it makes sense for me to write an ode to this amazing song, it makes sense because music has been my constant companion on countless adventures across the globe throughout the decades that I was fortunate to partake in.
In fact, just in time of ABBA’s Fernando hitting #1 on the Swiss charts in March 1976, our family embarked on our vacation by airplane to the Canary Island of Lanzarote. Flying a jet aircraft – a DC 8 of SATA Airlines – for the first time was a total revelation for me. I discovered that I was not “stuck” in my small town of 5000 people and the world was awaiting my discoveries. Riding camels the first time, digging sand castles at Los Fariones’s hotel beach and swimming in the ocean were some of the memories I will cherish forever.
The talk of starry nights in the songs’ refrain “There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando, they were shining there for you and me, for liberty, Fernando” continues to ring through my head as I recall decades of starry nights in many mesmerizing places around the globe. One of the most memorable was during my 6 month trip across Australia in summer 1991. 15 years into the song’s journey through my life we spent 3 amazing nights at Ayers Rock in the middle of Australia’s Outback and our camper van afforded us views of the night sky rarely found in hotel settings. Beautiful memories for sure.
Credit where credit is due, the amazing Swedish group ABBA has produced countless hits that have shaped my musical memory and Fernando is only the first song in a long line that I vividly recall paying attention to at age 10. “There’s no regret, If I had to do the same again, I would, my friend, Fernando” describes perfectly my life story; the adventures I had; and the many more to come over the next few decades.