Copacabana!

Luc Sante on Arthur Kempton’s new Boogaloo: “Kempton’s second major subject, Sam Cooke, emerged from quartet culture and made himself into a bridge, not just between the sacred and the profane but between the black and the white nations, between the ‘chitlin circuit’ and the Copacabana.”

There’s a picture of Cooke, captioned “Sam Cooke performing at the Copacabana, New York City, December 11, 1964”.

Golly! Until today I never realized that the Barry Manilow song is about the nightclub in NYC. Despite the clearly heard lyrics, “the hottest spot North of Havana”, I had always envisioned some sort of tropical beachside resort – someplace like Rio – certainly in South America.

By the way, there are plenty of Copacabanas in South America too. Also by the way, despite its très classy ring, “Copas Cabana” is unattested in The Corpus. “Copacabanas” gives several results in Portuguese, Danish and Swedish.

5 Responses to “Copacabana!”

  1. Ezra Cooper Says:

    O Desultor, is that a correct use of the word “corpus” (http://labs.google.com/glossary?q=corpus)? I’ll take it as a metonymic one, referring not to Google itself but to the underlying (dynamic, open-ended) universe indexed thereby.

    Regarding “Copas Cabana”–Har!

    Should I have expected “Cabana” to be an adjective?

  2. Desultor Says:

    O Ezra, in the reader’s eyes I guess there’s no way to tell whether the author was cleverly slinging metonymy around or sloppily calling the corpus’ search interface the corpus. I will maintain a noble silence on the subject.

    Here’s a pretty nifty site on corpus linguistics.

    Cabana seems like a lame adjective, but remember the lyrics – “Here! at the Copa – Copacabana”. Sounds like two words, no? And since Spanish likes adjectives after nouns, it’s possible for me to hear it as an adj…

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