Feeling sadness is common, expressing it is another story. Brazilian Bossa Nova is here, happy to help.
Tears are words that need to be written. –Paulo Coelho
Sometime we have trouble expressing our emotions with words—not just to others, but even to ourselves. Having been taught that sadness is a girl thing, a weak thing, we grew up hiding it. That became so natural, we nearly succeeded in not feeling it at all.
It didn’t vanish, of course. We still feel it strongly. But talking about sadness demands a level of effort we’re sometimes unable to make.
I am sad. I feel sadness. I do not feel well because something makes me sad. How many men say those words ? How many fathers have expressed their own sadness to their boys ? Not many, I’m guessing.
But what huge relief one feels after expressing it ! There’s no better way to deal with emotions than learning to identify them and talk about them. And there’s no better musical accompaniment for a sad moment than bossa nova.
This Brazilian variation on jazz makes sadness human, helps us stay in that state of mind long enough to be able to name it, and perhaps inspires us to talk about it and start feeling better. Listening to bossa nova instantly creates a slow, profound and classy atmosphere you’ll enjoy while feeling your emotions deeply.
These Brazilian classics were composed in the ’50s and ’60s by a small group of artists. Carlos Tom Jobim is bossa nova’s classic composer, and all of the following songs were written by this fantastic maestro. Consider listening from a comfortable chair, smoking anything you’d like and sipping your favorite blend of tea.
Now let these delightful and charming tones come to you from romantic Brazil:
1. “Agua de Beber” (Tom Jobim and Vinicius Moraes), Astrud Gilberto (1965). Astrud Gilberto was married to Joao Gilberto, one of the bossa nova movement’s creatora. Quote (translated) : “Love is a sadness, way to big for a lonely heart.”
2. “Desafinado” (Tom Jobim et Newton Mendoca), Joao Gilberto. The song’s title means “out of tune,” referring to bossa nova’s dischordant rhythm. It has been performed by a lot of artists (George Michael recorded it with Bebel Gilberto, Joao and Astrud’s daughter, in 1998), but Gilberto’s early version is the best one.
3. “Corcovado” (Tom Jobim), Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto. Two lovers climbing up the Corcovado mountain, in Rio de Janeiro and looking at city lights and stars. A very romantic theme. That record dating from 1964 and partly translated in “Quiet Nights” is a fantastic song. Both the English and Portuguese interpretations are nearly perfect.
4. “Aguas de Marco” (Tom Jobim), Elis Regina and Tom Jobim. A very simple and beautiful song from Jobim. Here he’s singing with Brazilian artist Elis Regina on this much acclaimed 1974 record.
5. “Chega de Saudade” (Tom Jobim and Vinicius Moraes), Joao Gilberto (1959). Jobim and Moraes created some of the most beautiful bossa nova songs. Chega de Saudade, meaning “the arrival of nostalgia,” is the first of those. Quote (translated) : “Go my sadness and tell her that without her, It can’t be, tell her in a prayer.”
6. “Garota de Ipanema” (Tom Jobim and Vinicius Moraes), Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto (1964). Ipanema is one of Rio de Janeiro’s incredible beaches, And “garota” means “lady.” We’re following her on Rio’s streets, while Jobim and Moraes comment. “The Girl from Ipanema” is bossa nova’s most famous song.
7. “Triste” (Tom Jobim), Elis Regina and Tom Jobim . Another fantastic Maestro Jobim song, and a perfect example of how bossa nova can help a sad soul, “triste” meaning “sad.” This version is from the most remarkable Elis e Tom, released in 1974, where the fantastic composer meets a very inspired singer. Quote (translated) : “Sad is to live in solitude, far from your tranquil altitude.”
8. “Insensatez” (Tom Jobim), Luis Bonfa, Stan Getz and Maria Toledo. “How Insensitive” is the saddest bossa nova theme, the perfect break-up song. Melancholy and romanticism all at once.
photo db Photography | Demi-Brooke / Flickr