Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Bahia)

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Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Bahia) — music and original Portuguese lyric by Ary Barroso, 1938

The title, meaning “In the Shoemaker’s Hollow,” refers to a street in the city of Salvador, Bahia, where many cobblers once worked.[1] Salvador, or more properly São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. The song has also been recorded under the titles Bahia, and Baía. The former is an archaic spelling of the latter. It is not clear whether “Baía,” in the lyric, refers to the entire state, or to the region in which Salvador sits, Baía de Todos os Santos, but for the narrator/protagonist the name represents both great beauty and painful rejection by the embodiment of it. It was in Bahia that he fell madly in love with a brunette who thwarted his every romantic endeavor with her.

Ray Gilbert wrote an English lyric in 1944 which was used in the soundtrack recording of the song featured in the Disney film The Three Caballeros (1944). Gilbert’s lyric omits the comical details of the rejection of our would-be romeo found in Barroso’s original:

Pedi um beijo, não deu
Um abraço, sorriu
Pedi a mão, não quis dar
Fugiu

I asked for a kiss, not given
A hug, she smiled
I asked for the hand, would not give
Ran away

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Carmen Miranda, with Orchestra Odeon, directed by Simon Bountman — recorded on 17 October 1938

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Nestor Amaral sings “Baía” in The Three Caballeros (1944) featuring the new English lyrics by Ray Gilbert.

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Bing Crosby with Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra – 1945

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Leny Eversong — from the album A Voz de Leny Eversong, 1956

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Xiomara Alfaro & Orquesta de Ernesto Duarte   recorded, according to a different YouTube video provider, on 24 January 1957

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Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd — recorded at Pierce Hall, All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington DC on 13 February 1962; released on Jazz Samba

Musicians (for the session):
Stan Getz – tenor sax (sax tenore)
Charlie Byrd – guitar (chitarra)
Gene Byrd – guitar, bass (chitarra, contrabbasso)
Keter Betts – bass (contrabbasso)
Buddy Deppenschimidt – drums (batteria)
Bill Reichenbach – drums (batteria)

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Sara Montiel – from the 1965 film Samba, directed by Rafael Gil; arrangement and orchestra direction by Gregorio García Segura

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Gal Costa — from her 1980 LP Aquarela do Brasil, Philips6485 216

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Toquinho — live in Switzerland, 1983

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Marcel Powell — on TV program Conversa Afinada, 2007

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Los Parrandboleros – from their 2010 album Rico Ron; arrangement: Francisco Rico

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