Meaning of “Chiquitita” by ABBA

Chiquitita is a song by the legendary Swedish pop group ABBA. Lyrically, Chiquitita sees the singer encouraging a good friend Chiquitita, who is downcast and sorrowful, to look at the brighter side of life and not let their sorrow to enchain and control them. The singer goes on to assure Chiquitita that they can rely on them and will always be a shoulder that they (Chiquitita) can cry on.  So basically the lyrics of the song give hope to someone who is full of sorrow. It is not known whether the lyrics of Chiquitita are autobiographical or not. However, it is worth noting that shortly after the song came out, there were rumors that the song was written for Linda Ulvaeus, the daughter of ABBA band members Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, who was only about 5 or 6 years old when her parents’ marriage began falling apart. Other rumors had it that the song was about one of the maids who worked for one of the band members. Up till today, neither of the rumors has been confirmed.


Facts about the song “Chiquitita”

  • The title of the song “Chiquitita” is not a name of a person, contrary to what some people think. The word is actually Spanish for the phrase “very little girl” or “little one”. It is often used as a term of endearment for females.
  • The song was written by ABBA band members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. The pair also handled the production of the song.
  • Before settling on the title Chiquitita, the song had several working titles such as Chiquitita Angelina and In the Arms of Rosalita, among others.
  • Chiquitita was officially released on January 16th, 1979 as the first single from the band’s commercially successful and critically acclaimed sixth studio album titled Voulez-Vous, which is French for the phrase “Do You Want It”.
  • The song is one of the most successful songs that ABBA released throughout their entire career.
  • The song peaked at number one in multiple countries across the globe, including Ireland, Belgium, Spain and Mexico. On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number 29, whereas on the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number 2.
  • 50 percent of all profits made from this song went and still goes to UNICEF to help improve the lives of children all over the world.
  • In 2006, when British singer Leona Lewis was participating as a contestant in the third series of the British reality television music competition The X Factor, she performed this song. Lewis went on to win the competition.
  • Aside Leona Lewis, several other famous singers have covered the song over the years including Sinead O’Connor, Charo and Harangozo Teri.

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2 Responses

  1. Brad says:

    Abbas chiquitita is a real person. Agnetha F met this person in Canada in Late November. 1978. The German Abbas fanclub has the story written by chiquitita himself. And will be published later in 2018. If anyone wants a copy of the story contact Abbas fanclub in Germany

  2. Paulo Pinheiro says:

    As a member of “The Hootenanny Singers”, his old group, Bjorn recorded a brazilian song called “Ave Maria No Morro”. They recorded with the spanish lyrics version and there is the word “chiquitita”. He said the lyrics changed from “In The Arms of Rosalita” to “Chiquitita” because this name sounded more percussive to him. He was right. And he knew from his own experience from that brazilian song.

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