17 July 2016

Today was maybe the 10th or 11th time I’ve thought of this song since I first heard it in 1999 on the evening jazz show on 88.1 WVPE. I was driving north through the industrial park in Goshen when it came on, and my right toes tapped a faint bossa nova bass drum on the gas pedal. The sun was setting over the college soccer fields past the train tracks on my left. For the next fifteen years, when the song popped into my mind it sounded like “The Girl from Ipanema,” but I knew it was about a little boat, not a girl, and last year I finally looked it up, found it, and forgot it again. Today I found it once more, and so “O Barquinho” as sung by Karrin Allyson makes its mark here, and this way I won’t forget it yet again and have to go looking through Diana Krall’s catalog before I remember it’s not her. Also something about how Rimbaud’s “The Drunken Boat” bobs like a cork and how there’s a weird passing mention of Rimbaud in Nathanael West’s Day of the Locust, but I think that free association’s neither here nor there.