O Pato - Duck three ways

This song has been like an earworm for the last few days. What's there not to like in a song where a duck, a goose, and a swan dance the samba? Serving up this song by Jayme Silva & Neuza Teixeira in three ways that are remarkably different, but still fun. They remind me of summer.

Apparently, in Portuguese ducks  go "quém, quém". That animal call alone serves up the differences in the three approaches to this nursery-rhyme style song.

First up - by the inventor of the bossa nova -  João Gilberto's classic version that introduced the song to the rest of the world when he was less than 30. The goose vocalized with the alto sax and the duck with João's guitar (except for a section they use a high-pitched muted horn).

O pato vinha cantando alegremente, quém, quém
Quando um marreco sorridente pediu
Pra entrar também no samba, no samba, no samba

O ganso gostou da dupla e fez também quém, quém
Olhou pro cisne e disse assim "vem, vem"
Que o quarteto ficará bem, muito bom, muito bem
Na beira da lagoa foram ensaiar
Para começar o tico-tico no fubá

(translation - Eden Atwood)
O pato
the duck was dancing by the water,
quack, quack, quack
the rhythm made him think he oughta
quack, quack
he was dancing to the samba,
the samba, the samba

Oh goose ooh
The goose was gaining passing by,
honk, honk, honk
he stopped and gave the dance a try,
honk, honk
he was dancing to the samba
a new thing, a new swing

By far, my favorite version is the muscular, yet smooth playing of Coleman Hawkins dueting with guitar and then playing off each other. Could listen to this forever. Can imagine a outdoor summer night scene, with the air thick, sweat glistening on the bodies of people dancing and the sound of the sax coming from somewhere in the near distance.

Like the previous, an instrumental version as well. While not the inventor, Getz popularized the bossa nova in the United States. Here, Byrd's bass forms the bedrock on which the Getz sax and the guitar play a bit faster, livelier version. Compared to the Hawkins' duck's 'quem, quem' softly as singing a lullaby, the Getz duck here is honking away, ready to party. The summer night in full swing - make no mistake.

Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd

The case for and against Hyphens

As with most things in life when it comes to hyphens:
De gustibus non est disputandum, goes the saying: “there’s no arguing about taste.” Except that people argue endlessly about taste; a truer phrase is “there’s no way of proving your case in matters of taste.” De gustibus non est probandum.

The Economist weighs in on the correct use, abuse and toss-ups (tossups?) when it comes to hyphens.

You can write “we have zero tolerance for bad punctuation,” but when “zero tolerance” is used to modify a noun, it acts a bit like an adjective. It does not become an adjective, as many people think. But taken together, as a modifier, “zero-tolerance” functions like a single word; hence the hyphen.

Like most writing, careful reading and editing is what is needed along with the knowledge of a simple rule.

The Rule:
Fortunately, this is one rule that need not drive anyone mad: a group of words used as a single modifier should be hyphenated. or

The difference between a “third-world war” and a “third world war” is nothing to sniff at, and those selling a car might get rather more interest in the sale if they remember the hyphen in “a little-used car”.