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July 1, 2021 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Elis Regina & Tom Jobim – “Águas de Março” (1974)

Águas de Março (Waters of March) is a song by Antônio Carlos Jobim, who wrote both Portuguese and English lyrics. Jobim, known as the father of bossa nova, also composed the music for Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema), believed to be the second most recorded pop song in history (after Yesterday).

Singer Elis Regina had always wanted to record a full album of Jobim's songs with him, and finally got her wish in 1974, as a gift from her record label to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a recording artist. Regina died unexpectedly in 1982 at the age of 36.

In 2001, "Águas de Março" was named as the all-time best Brazilian song in a poll of more than 200 Brazilian journalists, musicians and other artists.

This post was inspired by noiseanoise's Just a good vibe y'all, felt like sharing thread from a few weeks ago!
posted by oulipian (28 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
oh how i love this. Elis and Tom!!

you may enjoy this version of Águas de Março as well! (my fav)..
posted by The_Auditor at 7:44 AM on July 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

O Bêbado e a Equilibrista sung by Elis Regina, words by Aldir Blanc (who died last year of Covid). [pretty much all of Elis' catalogue will give you a good vibe!]
posted by chavenet at 7:44 AM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is my very favorite version of the song. I first heard it as a teenager when it was being played on the CD changer at my favorite breakfast spot and it absolutely shook me. I often find myself humming "It's the mud, it's the mud." Thanks for posting this!
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

Trader Joe’s song.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:11 AM on July 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

I love this song so much.
Another fine version:
The Waters of March - Susannah McCorkle
posted by Daily Alice at 8:47 AM on July 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

ooooooh! I love Brazilian music but had not heard this version of this song before. thanks!!!

that Trader Joe's thing is adorable.
posted by supermedusa at 9:04 AM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Be still my heart! @The_Auditor your link is a masterclass in black and white television cinematography. Don't miss the Elis and Tom album fellow mefites. It rewards again and again.
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 9:27 AM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I can't think of a version of this I have not enjoyed. This version by Basia is my current favorite.
posted by Quasimike at 10:34 AM on July 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

RobinofFrocksley! As soon as I read your comment I knew it was Amy's Place without even clicking on the link. It's been 20 years since I loved in Buffalo and I recall hearing this song on their CD changer back then when my late sister and I would meet up there for breakfast.

Anybody who finds themselves in Buffalo owes it to themselves to check out Amy's Place for a bite to eat.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

For all the elevator music jokes, It's a surprisingly complex song, musically speaking.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:12 AM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

James Fallows did a deep dive into the song a few years back for The Atlantic, including many of the versions already linked. Love the song, always perk up when it shows up on my rotation. I've always been partial to the Susannah McCorkle version but am happy to have new contenders!
posted by sapere aude at 12:03 PM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I love this version -- it comes up regularly on my Pandora feed (I actually have an 'aguas de marco' channel set up there) and it always makes me smile when Elis starts to get 'tickled' around 2:45 and struggles to not completely completely crack up for the next 30 seconds. I didn't know there was a video of this being recorded -- what a delight to watch.
posted by TwoToneRow at 1:32 PM on July 1, 2021

Jane Monheit does a great version (in English), too. [live]
posted by gottabefunky at 1:44 PM on July 1, 2021

I always loved this song as a kid, and I forget which bilingual version our local jazz station would play on repeat but it always had a kind of hushed pagan-forest-worship feeling to it. This one is fantastic for its simple playfulness, and the way you can actually hear the laughter in their voices.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:52 PM on July 1, 2021

Boy, I didn't expect to come into a post about one of my favorite songs to see comments involving my friend's restaurant!

Here's a real nice version of the song by the Saint Andrew Jazz Band, which is mainly made up of very talented teenagers. The singers have as much fun with the end as Elis Reginaand Tom Jobim have in the version linked above.

sidenote: Amy's Place fans: it was closed during the pandemic, but is just about to reopen with an all vegetarian menu, more space (they expanded into the space next door), and they're finally taking credit cards.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:16 PM on July 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

I love this song so much, and that is my favorite version. Lately I've been listening to Art Garfunkel's version a couple of times a day.
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:34 PM on July 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

The_Auditor, that particular performance defines this song for me and I can’t hear it without picturing her smile at the end. Elis Regina has the best phrasing. Her voice is so clear and personal.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 6:49 PM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

OMG jonathanhughes, that Saint Andreu jazz band version was amazing!!!
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:49 PM on July 1, 2021

Elis Regina's nickname was "little pepper".
posted by DJZouke at 5:32 AM on July 2, 2021

Fun fact about his English version: he intentionally avoided liquid sounds of Portuguese in favor of harsh Germanic ones.
posted by texorama at 5:32 AM on July 2, 2021

I enjoy this version by Nataly Dawn (half of Pomplamoose) & Carlos Cabrera. It owes something to Art Garfunkel, but has a cute indie vibe.
posted by troyer at 1:26 PM on July 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

I watch this video whenever I need a pick me up. They're having so much fun!
posted by azarbayejani at 2:29 PM on July 2, 2021

Such a great song, and such a sweet performance. I love that Elis Regina cracks up near the end at around 3:00. I have a guess regarding why she laughs then. They decided that they were going to switch off singing the key words of each line stripped of its initial letters until what they sing starts with a vowel, so pau becomes -au, and pedra becomes -edra.

So they switch off doing this word game.

au edra im inho,
esto oco, ouco inho
aco idro ida ol,
oite orte, aço zol

But on the last word, Tom messes up, and keeps the consonant, singing -zol instead of -ol, and it cracks up Elis.
posted by umbú at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

An extraordinary record, a perfect record. I remember stumbling across it - the early days of Napster - and playing it over and over, not quite believing that every moment could be just right like that.

Elis & Tom is a wonderful album, btw - this song is its shining jewel, make no mistake, but it's one of the great records, along with Kind of Blue, OK Computer, The White Album, 加爾基 精液 栗ノ花 and Os Afro-Sambas.

For me, anyway.
posted by Grangousier at 4:28 PM on July 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

The very first time I heard this song was as a young man watching the weird but compelling 1991 Mimi Rogers movie The Rapture on HBO. Hearing the song playing in the film felt like a life-changing experience; I had no idea where to look but I immediately knew I had to seek it out and devour it and anything like it. Before that my exposure to MBP was pretty much limited to muzak versions of The Girl from Ipanema (see below) and a hit 1983 Sergio Mendes album that was essentially straight pop.

For all the elevator music jokes, It's a surprisingly complex song, musically speaking.

You're not lying but that's a totally different song tho.

Nataly Dawn (half of Pomplamoose) & Carlos Cabrera.

That fox in the brush -- !
posted by xigxag at 7:33 PM on July 2, 2021

The Holly Cole version.
posted by medusa at 8:32 PM on July 3, 2021

Thanks all for the lovely linked videos and cover versions and recommendations! Good stuff. Trader Joe's and the Saint Andrew Jazz Band are especially marvellous!
posted by oulipian at 7:36 AM on July 5, 2021

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