The Girl from Ipanema


I’m back. I was on vacation for a week, camping with my  kids and doing some photography.

And  now, another Bossa Nova tune… in this case featuring the incomparable Dianne Krall, who is a triple threat with her smoky voice, her amazing command of the keyboard, and yes, the fact that she is a pretty hot looking babe. She is here, singing the female version of the classic “Girl from Ipanema”.

I love this clip, not only for Krall’s performance, but for the Brazilian audience’s incredible participation in singing a song they obviously know by heart.

They need little prodding to sing it.

This song was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim with Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. The English lyrics were written by Normal Gimbell.

The song was composed originally in 1962, inspired it is said, while the authors sat at a particular café in Rio. A comely, if for our society, underaged (15y/o), young girl would often walk by during their visits, inspiring the original version of the song.

  Though this sounds vaguely creepy, in the context of current sensibilities, the translation  of the original lyrics reveals an elegant, and entirely proper tribute to youth, beauty, and vitality (rather than the slavering of two older men ogling a barely pubescent young women).

The English version I think, is certainly pleasant, perhaps casting the “girl” (or the “boy” in Krall’s case) as older and more an object of desire. It   is really a different and much less sophisticated lyric.

The “girl” was later identified by Jobim, as the very real and beautiful Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto.  Later in life, perhaps in part based on her notoriety, she became a model, business women, and ultimately a plaintiff, when she named her chain of boutiques after the song that made her famous… and was sued (unsuccessfully) by the composers.

To finish this, here’s the song again,  sung in the original language, and much later in time, by  Jobim with a friend. “Tom”Jobim has sadly  since expired.

May he rest in peace. I would thank him for this wonderful song.

About henrysmithscottage

Henry F.Smith Jr. has been involved in photography for 35 years. He has become well known as a chronicler of the Eastern US landscapes , though his portfolio includes, portrait, event, and "street photography". His work has been displayed in multiple galleries throughout the northeastern US, and is available for sale for use in public and commercial spaces. His book "Pennsylvania Seasons" is available through major booksellers. He is also a writer and editorialist whose work has appeared in a variety of "daily's" in Pennsylvania. "Dr. Smith" is also a Pulmonary and Sleep physician who practices in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He is happily married, with two wonderful children. Inquiries to purchase prints, and for photographic services can be made through: Smithcottage@msn.com
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