“Garota de Ipanema” or “The Girl from Ipanema” is a Brasilian bossa nova classic from the 1960’s that has had iconic popularity. The song was an international hit and went on to win the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. Written in 1962 by Vinicius de Moraes, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and English lyrics by Norman Gimbel, the song’s first commercial recording by Pery Ribeiro featured performers Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz in the album “Getz/Gilberto”.
Our favorite part of the history on this Brasilian classic is that “The Girl from Ipanema” is actually real! Helô Pinheiro is the real life muse that directly inspired composer Moraes. Everyday, amid whistles, whoops and sighs of adoration, the young brunette would pass by a popular café on her way to the beach. Without fail, she garnered the attention of everyone around her and Moraes later wrote that Pinheiro was, “the paradigm of the young Carioca: a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid…beauty that is not ours alone—it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow.”
We can hear this dreamy sentiment in the lilting melody of the song. Scroll down and click play to revel in the simple pleasure of what it would have been like to be “The Girl from Ipanema.”
Helô Pinheiro, the real Girl from Ipanema (Image from Wanna Be Brazilian site)