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Not only university challenged

I watch University Challenge quite often. Almost weekly. In general, my lack of general knowledge lets me down, though I'll state confident answers to most questions, just in case I happen to be able to strike it lucky.

The music round, however, is one part of the student quiz that I look forward to. It occurs halfway through the contest and can, sometimes, hit on areas in which I have knowledge. Having an eclectic taste in music helps greatly.

This evening's University Challenge music round was all about a certain song. It's a song by Antonio Carlos Jobim, and is, for me, one of the defining songs of the Bossa Nova songbook. The song is The Girl From Ipanema. It's a beautiful ballad of unrequited love:

Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes,
Each one she passes,
Goes... aaah!

When she walks she's like a samba,
That swings so cool and sways so gently,
That when she passes,
Each one she passes,
Goes... aaah!

Oh, but he watches so sadly,
How can he tell her he loves her?
Yes, he would give his heart gladly,
But each day when she walks to the sea,
She looks straight ahead not at he.

(Yes, I have been able to quote from memory... I like the song!)

There's a little more, but you get the point. It's a beautiful song with a haunting melody to go with it. The quiz played four versions. The first question required the contestants to spot both artist and song, the remaining three versions were played for artist alone. The contestants faired very badly - one out of four. I got three out of four. I got the three I did, because I own each recording. The fourth... well, let me tell you who they played.

Well, here's your starter for ten... who was that latter singer? I'll tell you who. Cliff Sodding Richard!!!, that's who.

It's a shame that of the four performers featured this evening, two are dead and one is no longer in the public eye... It's even more of a shame when you realise which one of the four remains on the circuit, torturing innocent members of the public with the death-throes of the music that he's murdering.

I say that someone needs to retire now. Does anyone want to start a campaign?

03 December 2001
Ashley Frieze