Rio de Janeiro is by far the most popular destination in Brazil among oversea tourists. Not only for the city’s breathtaking landscape – which you can check out at our ‘Rio de Janeiro: the Marvellous City’ post in the Travel section of our blog – but also for the laid-back lifestyle of the cariocas (people from Rio), which attracts the international community’s attention.
How would I describe the cariocas’ soul? They are relaxed people who appreciate the simple and good things of life. Do you need further details to understand their lifestyle more deeply? Just listen to the song ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ performed by Caetano Veloso and Roberto Carlos:
Love and admiration for women were what inspired two good friends to compose ‘Garota de Ipanema’ – its original title in Portuguese. Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, famous Brazilian musicians, fallen in love with women who passed by in front of them while they were in a bar in the fashionable Ipanema district in Rio de Janeiro. But one in particular was different and captured their attention: a ‘tall, tan, young and lovely’ girl who, when walked, was ‘like samba that swings so cool and sways so gentle’. Her name is Helô Pinheiro, a seventeen-year-old and attractive teenager who used to turn heads wherever she passed by.
In 1962, the melody was composed by Tom Jobim in his piano and Vinícius de Moraes wrote the lyrics. The most important symbol of the Bossa Nova movement was born: ‘Garota de Ipanema’. Only two years after that Helô Pinheiro got to know that the song was inspired by her.
The song got international repercussion. Norman Gimbel wrote the English lyrics. In Frank Sinatra’s voice, it was eternalized. Even Amy Winehouse sung it.
Garota de Ipanema is the second most-recorded song in the world, only after Yesterday, by The Beatles.
Although Helô Pinheiro was the inspiration, the song is not only about her, but about the universal feeling of that anyone in world can feel when a beautiful woman catches someone’s attention. It’s about feelings, inspiration and lifestyle.
Ready to sing?
|Garota de Ipanema
Olha que coisa mais linda
Moça do corpo dourado
Ah, porque estou tão sozinho
Ah, se ela soubesse
|The girl from Ipanema
Look, what a beautiful thing
Girl of the golden brown tan
Ah, why am I so alone?
Ah, if she knew