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The song that lasted as long as the bikini: it returns in summer, it has a thousand versions and an endearing one, that of Widow and Daughters of Roque Enroll

1946 for Europe and 1984 for Argentina were years of uncovering, of getting out of the inner hole. For the Old Continent it meant the first full year of the post-war period and for our country the first post-dictatorship. Both are joined by a link that can be a bit whimsical: the bikini and a band of girls.

The garment intended as a two-piece swimsuit for women was created by Luis Réard, an automobile engineer and clothing designer who presented his creation on July 5, 1946 at a public pool in Paris. For a society that was leaving its grayer years behind, the acceptance of the bikini did not happen overnight. Its “exhibitionist” nature earned it sidelong glances and for any woman who dared to use it it represented an act of daring. For the first time in history, a garment allowed them to show their navel in public.

Widow and Daughters of Roque Enroll in the video clip of "Yellow polka dot bikini ..."
Widow and Daughters of Roque Enroll in the video for “Bikini with yellow polka dots …”Video Capture

Over time, the bikini gradually established itself in different regions of the world. Around 1960, a song made its contribution to this: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini”, known in Argentina as “Bikini with yellow polka dots, tiny, just right”. Composed of Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss as a novelty song (a label coined by the directors of Tin Pan Alley in the late 19th century to designate humorous songs), the classic had a host of reversals that could well mark the bikini’s path through the decades and decades. countries. In fact, one of the first known versions was that of the Swedish artist Lill-Babs. There, in the first person he recounts his shyness when leaving the clothing store with his new purchase. In the video, yes, she is seen wearing the bikini in the pool, the only place where she could use it, before the gaze of a group of men.

The best-known version that catapulted it as a sort of standard of pop music, however, came in 1960 from the hand of Brian Hyland, an American singer who used the lyrics of Vance and Pockriss. In the third person, the letter maintains the idea of ​​the girl’s shyness with her yellow polka dot bikini and tells what it is like to go from the changing room to the beach. She reaches the water without removing her blanket and, once inside, she doesn’t want to go out so that no one can see her. And it stays there even though the cold “makes it turn blue.”

In one way or another, the hit with an air of surf music promoted the sale of bikinis, almost as a call, not only for the liberation of whoever wants to use it, but also to stop judging those who used it. During the 60s and 70s, the theme had its reversals around the world and in different languages. The Argentine touch came thanks to Roque Enroll’s Widow and Daughters, in 1984. With the novelty of being a group made up entirely of women (Mavi Díaz on vocals, María Gabriela Epumer on guitar and backing vocals, Claudia Mabel Sinesi on bass and backing vocals and Claudia Ruffinatti on keyboards and backing vocals), the Widows entered Panda Studios between May and June of that year to record their first album without ever having played live, as Nicolas Igarzábal tells in his book Recorded at Panda Studios – Stories from a hit factory (1980 – 2020). “We arrived quite oiled and, in fact, the producers were surprised with how fast we recorded,” says Mavi Díaz there. “It will not have been twenty-nine hours, like The Twists, but in fifteen days we finished everything. And almost always on the day shift, because we were twenty years old and we were Heidis ourselves. All mineral water and Coca-Cola, we didn’t even drink alcohol! ”.

The comparison with Los Twists is not random, Roque Enroll’s Widow and Daughters, which had been drawn by producer Bernardo Bergeret, from the Abraxas agency, took up a retro and relaxed style just like those led by Pipo Cipolatti. Between rockabilly, surfing and pinap aesthetics, they recovered, more with a desire for fun than with a restorationist demeanor, a sound before the dictatorship. Of course, although Bergeret intended it to be a cover band, the members of the group insisted that they could also have their songs.

Las Viudas and that classic explosion of colors from the 80s
Las Viudas and that classic explosion of colors from the 80sVideo Capture

Among taboo themes always with a humorous sieve (divorce, marijuana, abortion, street harassment and even adolescent masturbation), the homonymous album by Roque Enroll’s Widow and Daughters sold 300 thousand copies and included, of course, one of her biggest hits: her version of “Tiny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Just Just Right”. Almost 40 years after the launch of the bikini, it was no longer a reason to be ashamed to use it, so the rewriting chose to make hair removal the central theme that caused the protagonist’s shyness and the final moral (“wax if you want to enjoy the sun”). With the surf / pop sound intact and the almost neutral tone of Mavi Díaz, the lyrics introduce images that resignify it and impose it as a period document. “She wanted to tan Bristol Beach“, The version begins and describes that the girl in question”came to the beach listening to a walkman”.

Viuda e Hijas de Roque Enroll established itself in the Argentine rock scene of the 80s by dint of unprejudiced hits that fit perfectly into the framework of the post-dictatorship uncovering and today they are recognized as a key band in the history of Argentine rock in general and the history of women in Argentine rock in particular. For “Bikini with yellow polka dots, tiny, just right” there was also a survival in the local scene. In the 90s he had a new rereading by The Sacados, a group that ventured into electronic music and where Machito Ponce had his way. In his debut album, which included the theme that was the curtain of the program Rhythm of the Night, a version of “Polka Dot Bikini …” was included, the lyrics of which totally changed the point of view and shifted the focus to a man obsessed with a girl who wore the garment in question. As a final fact, it is worth adding that behind The Sacados there was a very expensive producer to this story: Bernardo Bergeret.

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TAMMY SEWELL

Tammy Sewell is our Writer and Social at OICanadian.com. Tammy loves sports, she writes our celebrities news. She spends time browsing through several celebs news sources as well the Instagram. Email: Tammy@oicanadian.com Phone: +1 513-209-1700

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