The Girl from Ipanema

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"The Girl from Ipanema"
Single by Stan Getz and João Gilberto
from the album Getz/Gilberto
Released1963 (1963)[1]
Producer(s)Creed Taylor

"Garota de Ipanema" ("The Girl from Ipanema") is a Brazilian bossa nova jazz song. It was a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s and won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. It was written in 1962, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel.[2]

The first commercial recording was in 1962, by Pery Ribeiro. The 1964 single featuring Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz became an international hit. This had been shortened from the version on the album Getz/Gilberto (recorded in March 1963, released March 1964) which had also included the Portuguese lyrics sung by João Gilberto. In the US, the single peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, and went to number one for two weeks on the Easy Listening chart.[3] Overseas it peaked at number 29 in the United Kingdom, and charted highly throughout the world.

Numerous recordings have been used in films, sometimes as an elevator music cliché. It is believed to be the second most recorded pop song in history, after "Yesterday" by The Beatles.[4] The song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.[5] In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.[6] In 2009, the song was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the 27th greatest Brazilian song.[7]


Ipanema is a fashionable seaside neighborhood located in the southern region of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Helô Pinheiro, the woman who inspired the song, in 2006.

The song was composed for a musical comedy titled Dirigível (Blimp), then a work-in-progress of Vinícius de Moraes. The original title was "Menina que Passa" ("The Girl Who Passes By"); the first verse was different. Jobim composed the melody on his piano in his new house in Rua Barão da Torre, in Ipanema. In turn, Moraes had written the lyrics in Petrópolis, near Rio de Janeiro, as he had done with "Chega de Saudade" ("No More Blues") six years earlier.

During a recording session in New York with João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Stan Getz, the idea of cutting an English-language version came up. Norman Gimbel wrote the English lyrics. João's wife, Astrud Gilberto, was the only one of the Brazilians who could speak English well and was chosen to sing. Her voice, without trained singer mannerisms, proved a perfect fit for the song.[8] Ethel Ennis and Nat King Cole have also both recorded the song.

The song was inspired by Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (now known as Helô Pinheiro), a seventeen-year-old girl living on Montenegro Street in Ipanema.[9] Daily, she would stroll past the Veloso bar-café, not just to the beach ("each day when she walks to the sea"), but in the everyday course of her life. She would sometimes enter the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother and leave to the sound of wolf-whistles.[10] In the winter of 1962, the composers saw the girl pass by the bar. Since the song became popular, she has become a celebrity.

In Revelação: a verdadeira Garota de Ipanema ("Revealed: The Real Girl from Ipanema") Moraes wrote that she was "the paradigm of the young Carioca: a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace, the sight of whom is also sad, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of youth that fades, of the beauty that is not ours alone—it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow."

The legacy of "The Girl from Ipanema" was acknowledged by multiple aspects of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics held in Rio de Janeiro: the Olympic and Paralympic mascots were respectively named Vinicius and Tom after the song's co-writers by a public vote,[11] while the Olympics' opening ceremony featured a segment themed around the song and the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer. Jobim's grandson Daniel performed the song during the segment, which also featured an appearance by Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen.[12][13] Spotify reported that the song had been streamed on its service 40,000 times per-day in the days following the ceremony (a 1200% increase), while in the U.S., the song reached #5 on Billboard's World Digital Songs chart the following week.[14][15] This song was featured in the films Catch Me If You Can (2002) and The Intern (2015).

Legal disputes[edit]

In 2001, the song's copyright owners (heirs of their composer fathers) sued Pinheiro for using the title of the song as the name of her boutique (Garota de Ipanema). In their complaint, they stated that her status as The Girl from Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema) did not entitle her to use a name that legally belonged to them.[16][17] Public support was strongly in favor of Pinheiro. A press release by Jobim and Moraes, the composers, in which they had named Pinheiro as the real Girl from Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema) was used as evidence that they had intended to bestow this title on her. The court ruled in favor of Pinheiro.[18]

In a separate legal dispute, Astrud Gilberto sued Frito-Lay for trademark infringement for using the song in a TV ad for its baked potato chips. Gilberto argued that

as the result of the huge success of the 1964 recording, and her frequent subsequent performances of "Ipanema," she has become known as The Girl from Ipanema and is identified by the public with the 1964 recording. She claims as a result to have earned trademark rights in the 1964 recording, which she contends the public recognizes as a mark designating her as a singer. She contends, therefore, that Frito-Lay could not lawfully use the 1964 recording in an advertisement for its chips without her permission.[19]

In Oliveria v. Frito-Lay Inc. (2001), her claims were rejected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.[19]

"The Boy from Ipanema"[edit]

When sung by female artists the song has often been rendered as "The Boy from Ipanema", such as by Peggy Lee (1964), Ella Fitzgerald and The Supremes (1965), Shirley Bassey (1966) and Eartha Kitt (1974). Petula Clark sang it in 1977 on The Muppet Show. Crystal Waters recorded her version in 1996 for the various artists Red Hot Chili Pepper in Rio compilation and was later included on her 1998 greatest hits set. Diana Krall recorded another version on her 2009 album Quiet Nights.

A parody of the song, with different lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, is entitled The Boy From.... Another parody is "The Girl With Emphysema" by comedian Bob Rivers.

The phrase "Boy from Ipanema" – but nothing from the song – appears in Norwegian recording artist Annie's "Anthonio". Likewise, the phrase "Girl from Ipanema" appears in The B-52's' 1985 single "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland," again without any musical reference to the original song.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Girl From Ipanema/Blowin' In The Wind: Tracklist". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  2. ^ "The Girl From Ipanema". OldieLyrics. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 102.
  4. ^ "The Elusive Girl From Ipanema". The Wall Street Journal.
  5. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2001. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "The National Recording Registry 2004". Library of Congress.
  7. ^ Cavalcanti, Paulo (2009). "As 100 Maiores Músicas Brasileiras - "Garota de Ipanema"". Rolling Stone Brasil (in Portuguese). Spring. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  8. ^ DeMain, Bill (December 2006). "The Story Behind "The Girl From Ipanema"". Performing Songwriter (98).
  9. ^ Jobim, Tom (1962). "Garota de Ipanema". All of Tom's Music. Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved 11 Aug 2012.
  10. ^ Castro, Ruy (2000). Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced the World. A Cappella. pp. 239–240. ISBN 978-1-55652-409-7.
  11. ^ "Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic mascots named Vinicius and Tom by public vote". Rio 2016. 14 December 2014. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  12. ^ Heldman, Breanne L. "Gisele Bündchen dazzles at the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Rio". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Gisele Bündchen to Walk the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony". 18 July 2016.
  14. ^ "'Girl From Ipanema' Makes Olympic Comeback". Billboard. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  15. ^ "'Ipanema' song jumps 1,200 percent after Olympics ceremony". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  16. ^ Rohter, Larry (August 11, 2001). "Ipanema Journal; Still Tall and Tan, a Muse Fights for a Title". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Aith, Marcio (August 13, 2001). "Herdeiros de Ipanema querem destruir a poesia" (in Portuguese). Folha Online.
  18. ^ "The Girl From Ipanema". Stan-Shepkowski.Net. Archived from the original on 2007-05-16.
  19. ^ a b Oliveira v. Frito-Lay Inc., 251 F.3d 56 (2nd Cir. 2001).

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