On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Os Mutantes – A minha menina (1968)
After a very long stay in the US, dear reader, we’re packing our suitcases and taking a plane south all the way down to Brazil. This isn’t our first acquaintance with lovely Brazil, of course, having previously sampled some bossa nova but on this day we’re having ourselves a bit of rock. Os Mutantes alias The Mutants emerged in the sixties and were associated with something known as Tropicalia, a musical movement rife during the dictatorship of this decade. From Os Mutantes’ collection, 1001 Songs has gone with A minha menina.
A minha menina translates as My Girl and sees the narrator open proceedings by insisting that coughing is okay. Strange. After that, they begin the song in earnest and tell us all about the girl of the title. She’s something pretty special with imagery of the sun and the moon, as well as rose bushes in full bloom to name just a few. The narrator insists that she is his and he is hers and that he wakes up having dreamt of her and longs to be with her. It sounds like he is in love. Bless.
I know a lot of rock music but I can honestly say I was not familiar with any rock bands from Brazil, least of all Os Mutantes, so this was an interesting digression into unknown territory for me. As with other songs on this list, I relied on a translation to gain a full understanding of what A minha menina is all about. As the opening line suggests, it’s a relatively quiet number for a rock song but it has a nice rhythm to it throughout. A really upbeat track.
Favourite songs so far:
Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Who – Substitute (1966)
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black (1966)
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (1966)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)