Wednesday, May 9, 2007

João Gilberto: Bim Bom

Since we're on a "songs by Gilbertos" roll here (see previous posts on Astrud and Bebel) I thought it would be remiss not to post something by one of the fathers of bossa nova: João Gilberto.

João Gilberto is often credited with defining and popularizing the bossa nova style (which is something like a samba with more complex harmonies, and more emphasis on the melody). Some even say he invented it. (Fans of Antonio Carlos Jobim may choose to argue.)

The story is that he was sitting by the Sao Francisco river, watching women carrying laundry baskets, and he wrote Bim Bom to match the rhythms of their walking. Some say (see Daniella Thompson's interesting biography) this was the first bossa nova song ever written.

At any rate, Bim Bom is a very cool, hip, laid back song, and has definitely become a part of the musical heritage of the world. Here are some interesting links to prove it:

Bim Bom on iTunes (The definitive João Gilberto version)

Caetano Veloso performing "Bim Bom" and "Ho Ba La La"

Paul Sonnenberg has edited an episode of the Three Stooges to create the short & funny: Bim Bom Bimbos: Moe & Shemp Deconstruct the Bossa Nova Beat

The Japanese indie band Pizzicato Five (one of my college faves) even recorded a version of Bim Bom for a lounge compilation can listen to their version here.

João Gilberto on Wikipedia
Daniella Thompson's biography of João Gilberto


Anonymous said...

Hi, and thanks for linking to my Bim Bom video! My video also includes my 'translated/adapted' lyrics for the song. There's also a version of my recording as remixed by Nathan Ben on YouTube.

Paul Sonnenberg
Austin, TX

Josephine Cameron said...

Thanks, Paul. I did see the remix version, too. I love how the social web allows people to build on each other's work like that! Take care, Josephine