We all know the famous song called the “Girl from Ipanema”, or in the Portuguese “Garota de Ipanema”. The one that goes, “Tal and tan and young and lovely” if you speak English, or “Olha que coisa mas linda” in the original Portuguese. If you are one of the few people on earth who has not heard the song, or want to hear it again, here is one of the original videos with Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto.
People think that the story originated in the Ipanema neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.
They will tell you that Vinicius de Moraes came up with the idea while he watched (probably “ogled” is a better term) the tall lovely Carioca teenager Helô Pinheiro walking down the street in Ipanema to buy her Mom cigarettes.
But I thought you should know the true story.
The idea for the song came from an Israeli guy named Yossi Garvaniya.
He was vacationing after his army service on an island called Penida, in Bali.
While he was on Penida Island, he saw the beautiful young acress Audrey Hepburn walking down the beach and fell madly in love with her. He didn’t know who she was.
Audrey Hepburn was there filming a documentary on James Michener’s South Pacific. She didn’t give him the time of day.
Several months later Yossi was on 43rd street in Manhattan, watching the movie “My Fair Lady”.
Suddenly, he saw Audrey Hepburn on the screen.
“Hey, he shouted, it’s the Girl from Ee Panida (ee is Hebrew for island).”
Vinicius Morius was sitting in the movie theatre two rows behind him.
And that, my friends, is how the song was really born.
In my next book, I will tell the world who the Mona Lisa really was. Stay tuned for more amazing true stories of the world!!
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