Sérgio Mendes, ‘Mas Que Nada’ and Being Chivvied Up By WIAA

WIAA: Alyson…? Oh Alyson…? Where are you?

ALYSON: Sorry WIAA, I am still around, just not had much time for blogging of late.

WIAA: What’s been happening with you?

ALYSON: Well, last week marked the end of the semester for my college course and we had to get our assignments in. Turns out none of the 373 posts I’ve written here provided much in the way of inspiration, which was disappointing, but fair. It even sparked a discussion with our class tutor, about how using lines from song lyrics in our writing, or the name of a musician for a character, is a big no-no. Copyright issues, obviously.

WIAA: Thank goodness for the niche world of music blogging then, where anything goes. ‘You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave’. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

ALYSON: Just realised Rol will think I’m stealing his Conversations With Ben feature. But no, you’ve popped up around here before to drag me out of a blogging fug and of course you’re not real, like Ben, you’re just a blank page on my blogging platform.

WIAA: Blank page…, on a blogging platform. Not showing much loyalty there, Alyson, after all we’ve been through.

ALYSON: Sorry, WIAA, you’re right. We’ve been through a lot these last five and half years and if I can get my ass in gear there will be more stories to tell, and more songs to write about. As well as submitting my assignments last week, I also had to get the holiday house ready for my first set of guests. They had a lovely time and I got a glowing review, but with no tourists from abroad yet, and the idea of ‘staycations’ (hate that word) in towns and cities not quite taking off yet, it could be another quiet season. There’s also the issue of the snow.

WIAA: The snow?

ALYSON: Yep, this is what we woke up to this morning. Only a month and a half until the Summer Solstice, so we live in hope Spring might briefly put in an appearance before then.

WIAA: Gosh, I wouldn’t have known, me just being a ‘blank page on a blogging platform’. If I’d been real, like Ben, you could have compared notes about the weather in his neck of the woods. Excuse me for not being a bit more corporeal.

ALYSON: You know I love you, WIAA. It’s just that I’m finding the idea of getting back to some semblance of normality tough after a year of being holed up at home. I’d love to meet up with friends and do fun things, but after not seeing them for so long, it’s tough reconnecting. A touch of social anxiety I think. Also, the things I love most, like cinema, theatre, cosy country pubs, are still kind of out of bounds for the older, not-yet-fully-vaccinated individual. Doesn’t leave much to write about.

WIAA: I’m sure you’ll do it, Alyson. In the meantime, have you thought of a song to share, as if I’m not mistaken this is supposed to be a music blog?

ALYSON: You are right of course, Mr (now not so) Blank Page. And can I just say thank you for drawing me back in today, as I couldn’t seem to unblock the blockage around here. I have my new Tribute Series to add to, and another few ideas in the pipeline, so good to be back. Here’s something to cheer us both up though – No, not the full six and half minutes of the song you alluded to above, but something quite different. I don’t know if it was the sight of the snow this morning, but when the other half fired up his computer at 9am, he went straight to YouTube for a fix of something from warmer climes. I give you Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66 (sounds like a football tournament, but no, we’ll never be allowed to forget who won that one), with his signature song Mas Que Nada, the first time a song in Portuguese became a hit all over the world.

Mas Que Nada by Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66:

WIAA: Brilliant stuff, Alyson, and right up your alley as your visitors often say. They do look a bit hot and sweaty in that clip, not something that’ll be troubling you today by the sounds of it, what with all the snow. Not sure how the group of singers coped in that rainforest though, dressed as they were.

ALYSON: Ah, I did love a cute little crocheted dress with some matching clacker earrings. I’ve been loving my cottagecore crafting of late, but I think my days of wearing a crocheted dress are now definitely over, so I won’t be fashioning one for myself. I googled Sergio straight after watching the clip this morning and was pleased to see he is still with us, and still making new music. He apparently specialises in ‘bossa nova heavily crossed with jazz and funk’, and it seems he is still married to Gracinha Leporace, who has performed with him since the early 1970s. Good for Sergio.

Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66

WIAA: Are you going to include the lyrics on this one? Not sure if we’ll know ‘what it’s all about’ otherwise.

ALYSON: Good point. I’ll see if I can find a translation. It’s bound to be something really deep and meaningful. A torrid love story laced with danger. Or…, maybe not as it turns out, maybe more suited to a disinterested teenager. I give you the translated lyrics to Mas Que Nada, or rather, Whatever.

Until next time…

Whatever (Mas Que Nada) Lyrics
(Song by Jorge Ben)

Oari rai
Oba oba boa
Get out of my way
I wanna pass
Because samba is really exciting
And I wanna dance [samba]

This samba
That is mixed with maracatu
Old black samba
Black samba you
A samba like this is so nice
You don’t want to it to end


We do like a compare and contrast around here so it would be remiss of me not to also include the version of Mas Que Nada that Sergio recorded with The Black Eyed Peas back in 2006. How things change in 40 years.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

12 thoughts on “Sérgio Mendes, ‘Mas Que Nada’ and Being Chivvied Up By WIAA”

  1. We had snow this morning too.

    “…and of course you’re not real, like Ben…” is a phrase that could be read two ways. I was impressed by that.

    I’m glad you’re getting ready for guests again.

    Take care, and let the mojo strike when it will…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Snow seems to have gone today but according to the forecast it’s going to be -1 degree C tonight, so who knows about tomorrow.

      A fortunate choice of word for Ben – We’ve got to know him well!

      You take care – My mini gripes are nothing compared to what those in education are having to deal with right now.


    1. It was Herb Alpert who first signed Sergio to his A&M records and so really got his career going. I have just looked Herb up and realise I thought he too was South American because of the the whole Tijuana Brass connection. Instead I find he was a Jewish immigrant. He too is still going strong at 86 so something these guys are doing right.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had bloggers block and somehow if you have a conversation with the blank page it gets you started again.

      Best not to always listen to ourselves. The mind can play tricks.


  2. Don’t you love how even a ‘blank sheet of WIAA paper’ can lead you easily within ‘six degrees of separation’. Reading about SM & Brasíl ‘66 took me to Herb Alpert first, then ‘Fool on the Hill’ and finally to ‘The Look of Love’. Music (and a vaccine) can beat COVID 19 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too spotted the connection to The Look of Love via Sergio. The song has appeared around here, but I included the Dusty Springfield version from the film Casino Royale. It seems it was the Sergio version that became a chart hit after he performed it at the Academy Awards.

      For me, the link went from Sergio to Herb Albert then to This Guy’s In Love With You – One of the first songs I remember. Then back again.

      My other half got to Sergio after watching Astrud Gilberto/Stan Getz version of Girl From Ipanema (which has also appeared here). They’re all connected but only Sergio & Astrud are Brazilian.

      I’d love to think music alone could beat the pandemic but a vial of vaccine will also be needed I think!


  3. Ah, a pep talk from WIAA was just what was needed and has worked a treat! I could do with one myself, or perhaps something stronger like a good kick up the soft, fleshy posterior… I just can’t get the mojo working properly for any form of writing right now it seems. Congrats too on finishing this semester of your college course and getting your assignments in. Hope you do really well – I’m sure you will.
    The lyrics to Mas Que Nada are not what I was expecting at all…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know – I do much better with a prompt as opposed to starting from scratch with a blank page. The longer you leave the gap between posting something the bigger a deal it is to start up again. Strangely enough, my plan to write 30 posts in 30 days was easy and I just gave up half-way through after realising I was boring my readership. It’s all about getting into a routine and I’ve fallen out of mine.

      As for my college course, hope I’ve done ok, but just like with blogging we didn’t have specific assignment prompts this term, just a portfolio to submit. Again, somehow more difficult to come up with something when starting with the blank page.

      I have a feeling there was a lot lost in translation with those lyrics, but WHATEVER…, not what I was expecting!


  4. Evening Alyson,
    Hope you are well, long-time no speak, from me….
    I posted a comment however the computer gremlin hijacked it!

    Was just saying as a boy when I was growing up and tuning my ear to what i like, theses were the types of tunes that I loved, I don’t know why they just did. Obviously my own brains built-in aerial was tuned to recognise and receive that great composers.
    I loved a number of tunes from the likes of Quincy, Deodato, Lalo, Astrud Gilberto with Stan Getz, Rod Temperton, George Benson to name but a few….. the big band sound….. but until the advent of the interweb, I never knew I was a Bossa Nova fan, just liked/loved the sound. Just like I love the sound of Stax and Philly.
    The themes from 60s/70s American shows most epic. I guess I’m a closet Jazz fan, growing up I loved the Brit-Jazz funk, LOTW, L42 early stuff, Freeez…..

    Anyways I digress, keep up the great posts, catch yous later, TTFN…….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by and sorry you comment got lost first time around.

      I think if we have natural rhythm (I assume you do too) we are particularly attuned to music that is primarily made for people to dance to. I’d heard of bossa nova (new wave) before starting this blog but didn’t really know much about it until I wrote about Astrud/Stan’s song. When I wrote about Brit Funk I choose to write about Freeez and their song the Southern Freeez. It ended up being a post all about the psychology of dancing and the comments boxes were quite illuminating. It seems to take a lifetime to fine-tune which genres we are drawn to most musically, and this blog has certainly done that for me. I’ve also discovered I’m drawn to this late 1960s period more than any other.



I'd Love To Hear From You And I Always Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: