I hate the Girl from Ipanema

Don’t get me wrong – deep inside I love Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’s song. What’s not to love? The authors were absolutely brilliant and memorable characters. The song is warm, sexy yet discreet. Delicious.

But the fact that one in two foreigners asks me if I am “the” garota de Ipanema or sings it to me to show he/she belongs to the inner circle of Brazilian culture is a little tiring. I bet I am not the only expatriate Brazilian afflicted by Garota-de-Ipanematis.

The song has been used to sell everything you can name, from plastic sandals to fried snacks.It is muzak, played inside an elevator, in a scene of the “Blues Brothers” movie. It has a guest appearance at Brangelina’s “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” feature and Paul Newman/Tom Cruise’s “The Color of Money”. It is in a Monty Python’s sketch and in one of “The Simpsons” episodes. It inspired the New Wave rock band B-52, becoming “Girl from Ipanema goes to Greenland” and mega-stage composer Stephen Sondheim in his “The Boy from…”

So, allow me some personal exorcism. Here goes a selection of peculiar versions of the song I hate to love. The first one is a chiropercussion performance (the body is used to produce the rhythm). The second is a hilarious 1964 Astrud Gilberto performance, with snow, pinetrees and high hairdos. And, finally, Old Blue Eyes Sinatra smokes and sings with an adorable Jobim.

2 thoughts on “I hate the Girl from Ipanema”

  1. Fantastic, Jim! She hits the piano so aggressively, then delivers such a jazzy version. Wonderful. Well, it’s Elis, and she will reign forever.

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