Song of the Day: Aurora Miranda, “Os quindins de yayá” (1944)

In my heart, I know that “Os Quindins de Yayá” from the 1944 Disney movie The Three Caballeros is my favourite song. I’ve listened to other interpretations of the song over the years, including one by Charles Walcott and His Orchestra with warm vocals by Bando Da Lua, the quality of which just goes to show what an amazing (and amazingly underrated composition this is) but the one that appears on the movie remains my favourite. I love its infectious liveliness, the tribal drums and percussions behind it, the mindblowing solos (including a woodblock and trumpet one that is out of this world!) Aurora Miranda’s voice and even Donald Duck’s arrhythmical quacks.

The movie itself is responsible for my desire to travel, and my constant daydreaming about South America – Brazil in particular, given that there was something about the music in this section of the film that connected with me instantly.

The song itself had been written in 1941 by renowned Brazilian songwriter Ary Barroso, who at one point of his career was also a soccer commentator, and who composed many songs for Aurora’s sister, the iconic superstar Carmen Miranda. And now that I’ve grown older, I can also appreciate the depth and adult irony of this particular song, including its references to sex and slavery.

P.S. – One of my musical dreams would have been to have heard The Rolling Stones in their “Sympathy for the Devil” period cover this.

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