The Girl from Ipanema

From Academic Kids

"The Girl from Ipanema" ("A Garota de Ipanema") is considered the best-known bossa nova song ever written, and was a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s. It was written in 1962, with music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes; English lyrics were later written by Norman Gimbel.

It is often claimed to be the second-most recorded popular song in history, topped only by The Beatles' Yesterday. The best-known version is that performed by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto, from the 1963 album Getz/Gilberto. The first commercial recording was in 1962, by Pery Ribeiro. Numerous recordings have been used in movies, often as an elevator music cliché. In 2003 Gilberto unsuccessfully sued to block use of the song for advertising Doritos snack chips.



The song was inspired by Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (or simply, Helô Pinheiro), an 18-year-old girl who lived on Montenegro street in the fashionable Ipanema district of Rio de Janeiro. Every day, she would stroll past the popular "Veloso" bar-cafe on the way to the beach, attracting the attention of regulars Jobim and Moraes.

The song was originally composed for a musical comedy entitled Dirigível (Blimp), which was a work in progress of Vinícius de Moraes. The original title was Menina que Passa (The Girl Who Passes By), and the famous first verse was completely different.

In Revelação: a verdadeira Garota de Ipanema (Revealed: The Real Girl from Ipanema) Moraes wrote that she was:

"o paradigma do bruto carioca; a moça dourada, misto de flor e sereia, cheia de luz e de graça mas cuja a visão é também triste, pois carrega consigo, a caminho do mar, o sentimento da que passa, da beleza que não é só nossa - é um dom da vida em seu lindo e melancólico fluir e refluir constante."

which roughly translates to:

'"the exemplar of the rude Carioca: a golden-tanned girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of brightness and grace, but with a touch of sadness, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of that which passes by, of the beauty that is not ours alone -- it is a gift of life in its constant, beautiful and sad ebb and flow."

Today, Montenegro Street is called Vinícius de Moraes Street, and the Veloso Bar is named A Garota de Ipanema. There is also a Garota de Ipanema Park in the nearby Arpoador neighborhood.

Other interpreters

English lyrics

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes
Each one she passes goes "aah"

When she walks she's like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gently
That when she passes
Each one she passes goes "aah"

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

Portuguese Lyrics

Vinicius de Moraes is today regarded as one of the most important Brazilian poets of his time. The original Portuguese lyrics were very different from the English lyrics.

Olha que coisa mais lindaLook what a pretty thing
Mais cheia de graça. É ela meninaSo full of grace. It is her, the girl
Que vem e que passaThat comes and that passes
Num doce balanço a caminho do marIn a sweet sway in her way to the sea
Moça do corpo douradoGirl with a golden body
Do sol de Ipanema, o seu balançadoFrom the sun of Ipanema, her swing
É mais que um poemaIs more than a poem
É a coisa mais linda que eu já vi passarIt is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen pass
Ah, por que estou tão sozinhoAh, why I am so alone?
Ah, por que tudo é tão triste?Ah, why everthing is so sad?
Ah, a beleza que existeAh, the beauty that is out there!
A beleza que não é só minhaThe beauty that is not only mine
Que também passa sozinhaBut that also passes alone
Mas, se ela soubesseBut, if she knew
Que quando ela passa o mundo inteirinhoThat when she passes, the whole world
Se enche de graça e fica mais lindoGets full of grace and becomes more beautiful
Por causa do amorBecause of love
de:The Girl from Ipanema

fr:A Garota de Ipanema pt:Garota de Ipanema ja:イパネマの娘


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