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The Girl from Ipanema

    Bette who works with my wife, Kate, asked if I knew The Girl from Ipanema and I thought, well, a little bossa nova might come as a summery tonic here in the bleak midwinter.

     For some reason Brazilian music evokes summer and the beach for me and maybe it’s because Jobim’s The Girl from Ipanema  (“each day when she walks to the sea”) was my introduction to the style.  For a long time the song was overdone so I find myself not playing it much anymore, but it’s a classic in the Brazilian mode and a pleasure to come back to.

      Pianists love Brazilian music for its rich jazz-like chords but unfortunately a piano is not really a key part of a traditional bossa nova combo.  What you’d rather be is a guitar or a flute or sax player.  So for this, I didn’t play piano at all and turned myself into a rhythm guitar player.

      Technically this week's tune is something of an experiment for me.  I’m trying out a new computer program to record these things and am still learning how best to approach it.  This didn’t turn out quite as I hoped, but I hope you’ll bear with me as I get the system down.  In any case, it’s a little change of idiom. Click on the red title below to hear it.   Ciao, or whatever they say in Portuguese.     

The Girl from Ipanema

Tall and tan and young and lovely,

The girl from Ipanema goes walking

And when she passes, each one she passes

Goes "Ahh..."

When she moves she's like a samba

That swings so cool and sways so gently

And when she passes, each one she passes

Goes "Ahh..."

Oh, but I watch her so sadly.

How can I tell her I love her?

Yes, I would give my heart gladly.

But each day when she walks to the sea

She looks straight ahead not at me.

Tall and tan and young and lovely

The girl from Ipanema goes walking

And when she passes I smile,

But she doesn't see.


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