February 17, 2011

"Bim Bom"

"Bim Bom" is considered the first bossa nova song. It was composed by João Gilberto around 1956. The song wasn't recorded until July 1958 when Gilberto released it under Odeon Records along with his version of the first produced bossa nova album, Chega de Saudade.

Gilberto wrote the song on the banks of the São Francisco river as he watched laundresses passing by, balancing loads on their heads. Inspired by the swaying of their steps, Gilberto reproduced their rhythm with "Bim-Bom."

The only lyrics of the song, apart from "Bim-bom-bim," are roughly translated as "This is all of my song / And there's nothing more / My heart has asked that it be this way." Bossa nova would come to be known for the relaxed simplicity of its lyrics as is exemplified in "Bim Bom."

Of course Astrud Gilberto recorded a version in 1967, but the version I simply can't get out of my head was done by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. Theirs was on the 1967 album, Equinox. I like it. I like it a lot.

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