Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Making Our Dreams Come True

Norman Gimbel, Happy Days: Yes, on January 1, 2019, Abq Jew must tell you that Norman Gimbel has passed away at the age of 91.

 A somber way to begin the New Year?
No ... a samba way! 

Norman Gimbel wrote some great, inspiring lyrics to wonderful songs we all know. And therefore - remembering him is a beautifully meaningful way to start 2019.

The Post's obituary starts out
Norman Gimbel, Oscar-winning lyricist of ‘Happy Days’ theme and ‘Girl From Ipanema,’ dies at 91 
For a few weeks in 1964, the upper reaches of the Billboard record charts were occupied not only by the Beatles, Beach Boys, Four Seasons and Rolling Stones, but by a seductive bossa nova number written for a musical comedy about an alien who visits South America. 
The musical, “Blimp,” never took off, although its would-be signature song became an international sensation — by some accounts the second-most-recorded song in history, after the Beatles’ “Yesterday.” 
Written by composer Antônio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinicius de Moraes, it neatly filled a major plot hole: What might cause an extraterrestrial guest to linger in Brazil? 
The answer, rendered into English by lyricist Norman Gimbel, was a beautiful woman from southern Rio de Janeiro: 
Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes “ah!”

Abq Jew has always (see The Girl from Ipanema) marveled at this song's exquisite combination of lyrics and melody.
But each day as she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead not at he.
Heloísa Pinheiro, the Girl from Ipanema

This is Abq Jew's favorite phrase in the entire song. Why?  Because it's bad English! And it works!

Mr Gimbel could easily have substituted the (correct) objective form "him" for the (incorrect) subjective form "he". We must all be thankful that he did not.
But each day as she goes for a swim
She looks straight ahead not at him.
But Abq Jew (big surprise!) digresses. The obituary continues
With help from Mr. Gimbel, “The Girl From Ipanema” went on to drive the bossa nova craze in the United States and beyond, introducing millions of listeners to Brazil’s “new wave” fusion of samba and jazz.   

The Post's obituary doesn't tell us much about  Norman Gimbel's early life - only that he was born in Brooklyn; studied at Baruch College and Columbia University; and, perhaps more importantly, studied under Frank Loesser, the celebrated composer of “Guys and Dolls."

So ... turning to Wikipedia -
Norman Gimbel (November 16, 1927 – December 19, 2018) was an American lyricist of popular songs, television and movie themes. 
Gimbel was born in Brooklyn, son of Lottie (Nass) and businessman Morris Gimbel. His parents were Austrian Jewish immigrants.

Actually, there's a lot more. "Killing Me Softly With His Song". "Summer Samba". "Meditation". "Sway". "I Got A Name". "A Whale of a Tale". "Canadian Sunset". "I Will Wait for You". "It Goes Like It Goes".

But - here are his two most famous songs. That is, if you ever watched good ol' network TV back in the day.

May the New Year 2019 of the Common Era
be filled with nothing but Happy Days!

And may we all be healthy and prosperous
while Making Our Dreams Come True!

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