Whenever an extra strong dose of stress hits; this one can heal.
“Tall and tanned and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes, ‘ah,’
That swings so cool and sways so gently
That when she passes, each one she passes goes, ‘ah.’”
“The Girl from Ipanema” written by Norman Gimbel, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius De Moraes, when sung by Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, is a straight shot of mellow right into the bloodstream. Each word is a calm, manly well-placed sound, seducing the tension away like a snake charmer.
It was a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s and won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. Loving the song so much, I dug deeper. Ipanema is a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, whose beach at Ipanema became known internationally with the popularity of the song.
The lyrics are inspired by Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto, a 17-year-old girl who lived on Montenegro Street in Ipanema, according to research.
I want to be her sometimes.
Another song, “Shambala,” written by Daniel Joseph Moore was sung by B.W. Stevenson in 1973. Liking the song sent me to discover the location of Shambala.
The song is based on a mythical Buddhist kingdom that exists between the Gobi Desert and the Himalaya Mountains. In Shambhala, all of the citizens have achieved enlightenment, so it is the embodiment of Tibetan Buddhist perfection, according to research.
“Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala
Everyone is lucky, everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala.”
I want to go there sometimes.
And finally, the song that takes me back on the longest journey is “Delta Dawn,” written by Alex Harvey and Larry Collins.
When my cousin, Carmen, was little, my sisters and I would have her sing it over and over and over again into an old, portable Am/Fm cassette tape stereo. With confidence and increasing volume, she would sing:
“She’s forty-one and her daddy still calls her ‘baby’
All the folks around Brownsville say she’s crazy
‘Cause she walks downtown with a suitcase in her hand
Looking for a mysterious dark-haired man.”
When Tanya Tucker belts out the lyrics, it is in the realm of possibilities that I could be her, without being 41 or living in Brownsville.
Music can take us beyond ordinary perception and experience.
Up for the ride; and that is all.
Published in The Herald.