The timeless nature of music & my search for Brazilica

When I was a kid there was an album that my Father would always play on the record player that I resigned myself to being lost to the ages, I wasn’t any older than 4 years old, so it is safe to say that I hadn’t mastered the art of connecting a name to a song. But even at the tender age of 4, I knew what I liked.

I would often sing and bob my head in concert with it, because the infectious beat compelled me to obey… “Baa, Baa, Ba, De Da, Baa, Ba, Ba, De Da!” The chorus of the song never left me and I would often catch myself humming it throughout the years out of the blue, as it always brought a sense of comfort, simplicity and innocence that my childhood would often conjure.

Years later I would query my Father on the identity of the artist and the song, but he would meet my gaze with a puzzled look much to my dismay. Strangely enough it took over 30 years before I was able to rediscover that enduring refrain and the song in its entirety…

It came about innocently enough, during the confines of a late night writing marathon that I was endeavoring in a couple of weeks ago. I opened Spotify on a whim and let the Urban Knights, one of my favorite smooth jazz bands play on random. The rhythmic motion of my fingers gliding across the keypad came to a rapid stop as I heard that familiar musical refrain, my hippocampus was suddenly ablaze with memories, that up to a couple of minutes ago, were tucked away indiscriminately in my 1970 something file… “Baa, Baa, Ba, De Da, Baa, Ba, Ba, De Da!” I shuddered slightly as I was cognizant of the hair standing on the back of my neck, as if I was in the presence of a ghost…

I pushed back from the desk; letting me and the chair roll backwards a couple of feet, before I came to an abrupt stop. I tilted my head to the side and slowly mouthed the words, as if I was in a trance…

Once the initial surprise wore off, I made my way back to the computer and minimized the window so that I could ascertain the creator of the song that had been on the tip of my tongue for a large portion of my life…

The song was “Brazilica” the 5th track on Ramsey Lewis’s 1976 album Salongo.

All these years, I had a sneaking suspicion that it was Ramsey Lewis… The man, the legend…


I felt a grin spreading across my face as the memories came rushing back with concussive force as the child in me remembers staring at the album cover of the man with the curiously painted face wondering what it was all about.

Over 3 decades later and I find that I’m still trying to figure it out.

I’ve come to the tentative conclusion.

When I listen to music it consistently provides me with a sense of empowerment, while on other occasions it serves as a conduit that pulls me through time (I’ve touched on this before) , leaving me suspended  in a daze of sorts with the overriding feeling that is pure and unfettered.


Music is timeless… How powerful is that?


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