|The real life Girl from |
Ipanema Helô Pinheiro.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last August THE GUARDIAN's Johnathan Watts tracked down and spoke with Helo Pinheiro (left), the inspiration for this classic song detailing unrequited love. Granted the story is about "love" based on nothing more than the girl's good looks and her good sense to not engage with ride men catcalling her from bars, but the syncopation, mournful lyrics and nostalgia made this a hit and continue to keep this song at the top of many play lists.
In the early 1960s, a 17-year-old girl called Helô Pinheiro would walk past the Veloso bar on the beachfront of Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, every day. She was "tall and tanned and young and lovely" – and she was regaled by the men who drank there.Have you ever had an unrequited love? Was it love, attraction or lust?
"When they saw me, they would whistle and shout out, 'Hey beautiful girl! Come over here,'" says Pinheiro, the girl from Ipanema who inspired the song of the same name – which turns 50 today. "I did not know who they were until years later." The barflies she ignored were the composer Tom Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes, who turned desire and frustration into a track that is now second only to the Beatles' Yesterday as the most recorded song in the world, a sultry hymn to unrequited lust that launched the bossa nova rhythm across the world.