Skip navigation

Category Archives: Pery Ribeiro

Helô 1967

…the paradigm of the young Carioca: a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace, the sight of whom is also sad, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of youth that fades, of the beauty that is not ours alone — it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow.- Vinicius de Moraes

Ask people to name one Bossa Nova song and the chances are that it will be A Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema), composed in 1962 by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.
First recorded by Pery Ribeiro (1962) the song was made internationally famous by Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz ( featured on the Getz/Gilberto LP of 1964, Garota won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965). It has since been covered by a vast number of artists.
Despite the fact that the song, originally titled Menina que Passa (The Girl Who Passes By) was composed for a musical comedy titled Dirigível , the composers happily played along with the popular myth that it was inspired by Moraes and Jobim watching local girl Helô Pinto walk past the Veloso bar in Ipanema. They later went so far as to agree that they had actually written the song about Helô.
Consequently Helô Pinheiro (as she now is) is The Girl From Ipanema. This worked in her favour in 2001 when the families of Moraes and Jobim sued her over her use of the name for her business venture, a chain of boutiques in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro . She won the case.

Born in 1943, Helô appeared in Brazilian Playboy in 1987 and once again in 2003, showing that at age 60 she still had what it took to turn the heads of any budding composers who might be sitting at Veloso’s bar…

Here is Helô’s website:

Here is Pery Ribeiro’s original version of the song: