Monday, September 20, 2010

Samba #1

I heard my first samba in 1966.
It was in a cinema on East 34th Street in New York, and the film in which it appeared was Claude Lelouche’s Un Homme et Une Femme (A Man and a Woman).

Never heard of it?
Then you’re probably under fifty.
Because it was a movie that no one of my generation (or, at least, no one without a heart of stone) is likely to forget.
Sentimental, romantic and lovely.
Have a look at the scene in which the samba appears:

Six years later, I arrived in Brazil. And learned that it had been composed by Baden Powell to lyrics created by Vinicius de Morães, the poet who wrote the words to The Girl from Ipanema.
The English version goes like this:

The original title is Samba de Benção, sometimes called Samba Saravah. Here’s Vinicius himself, singing it at a live performance in Mar del Plata, Argentina (hence the introduction in Spanish) several years before his death.

This is a short post, because I’m off to Helsinki to have a good time with my Finnish publisher and to launch Haudatut muukalaiset. (The Finnish version of Buried Strangers.)

Next week, more on the samba as an art form.

Leighton – Monday

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