Once I Loved

"Once I Loved" ("O Amor Em Paz") is a bossa nova and jazz standard song composed in 1960 by Antônio Carlos Jobim, with lyrics by Vinícius de Moraes.[1] Words in English were later added by Ray Gilbert. In a few early cases, the song was also known as ("Love in Peace"), a translation into English of the original Portuguese title.

The first recording was in 1961 by João Gilberto on his self-titled album João Gilberto (Brasil, Odeon 3202).[2] Jobim recorded an instrumental version of the song in 1963 on his debut album, The Composer of Desafinado Plays.

In The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire, jazz critic Ted Gioia credits Frank Sinatra for the popularity of the song. "Even during the height of the bossa nova craze, which peaked around 1964-65, 'Once I Loved' was not widely known and it is conspicuously missing from most of the bossa nova theme albums of the day. But after Sinatra's 1967 recording, the song became one of Jobim's best-known and most-covered compositions."[3]

Describing the uniqueness of the song, Gioia writes, "[T]here are a handful of songs in the standard repertoire that convey a sense of introspection and quiet soul-searching. For the most part, they are slow pieces, delicate ballads that sacrifice rhythmic drive in exchange for a ruminative self-questioning. But 'Once I Loved' is that rarity--a melancholy soliloquy that shouldn't be played too slowly. The composition works best at a medium tempo, almost as if the lingering nostalgia of the lyrics needs to tussle with the forward momentum of the bossa nova beat."[3]

Recorded versionsEdit


  1. ^ Severiano, Jairo, and Zuza Homem de Mello A canção no tempo: 85 anos de músicas brasileiras, vol. 2, Editora 34, São Paulo, 1997. ISBN 9788573261196
  2. ^ The Warm World of João Gilberto
  3. ^ a b Gioia, Ted, The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire, Oxford University Press, Oxford ; New York, 2012. ISBN 9780199769155
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 318. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.