How does some Bossa Nova catch your fancy? My dad, Christian Marsac, sent me some songs that he’s a big fan of. He likes Brazilian music and he knows a fair bit about it too. Here he is…
Elis Regina & Tom Jobim – Waters of March [Buy]
I like the way that the music seems to be flowing down like a river. Although the music does loop, it doesn’t feel like it’s repeating itself. The quality of the playing is also superb and the piano stands out for the sheer class of the playing. As a song it sounds really simple: the melody, the tune and the instrumentation all sound easy, until you try and play them. Then you realise just how good the musicians are! The song gets its name from the fact that in Brasil it rains for days on end every March as the summer comes to an end. While I don’t understand the lyrics I still get this from the song. Interestingly, Tom Jobin translated the song into English and instead of it being about the rains and the coming of winter, he made the new lyrics about hope and the coming of Spring.
Vinicius de Moraes & Maria Creuza – Eu sem você… [Buy]
The reason I like this song is more about my heritage; it reminds me of the ‘chansons’ I used to listen to growing up. It’s a real, melancholy song that I think has its roots in the traditional Portuguese ‘Fado’ songs. These were stories of men going to sea and not coming back and love lost, among other things. In Portuguese this is summed up by the word saudade, which apparently cannot be translated. It describes a ‘deep emotional state of sadness and longing for something or someone that one was fond of but is now lost’ (and that’s a concise translation!). This song is special because the two melodies are very different, but when they are sung next to each other in the last verse they come together almost magically.