Romm Diamonds Blog
April 5th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today's featured song is "Copacabana," the timeless 1978 hit by Barry Manilow. Set in the late 1940s, the song refers to the Copacabana nightclub in New York City, which was the "hottest spot north of Havana." In the song, Rico — who wears a diamond — battles with Tony, the bartender, over the affection of Lola, the showgirl.

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 10.24.06 PM

Tony tries to protect Lola from Rico, but during the fight a single gunshot rings out and it's not clear who the victim is — until the song's final verse set 30 years later. The club is now a disco, Lola has grown old, and we learn that she has never recovered from the loss of her love, Tony.

"Copacabana" earned the Brooklyn-born Manilow his first and only Grammy Award for Pop Male Vocalist in 1979, and the song also became his first gold single. Since its release in 1978, the catchy tune has been featured in more than a dozen films and covered by at least seven artists, including Amanda Lear and Kylie Minogue.

Manilow's career has spanned five decades. Between 1974 and 1983, he earned three No. 1 singles and 25 that reached the top 40. In 1978, he had five albums on the best-selling charts simultaneously.

We know you'll be singing along when you watch the video of Manilow performing "Copacabana," so we have provided the lyrics below. The video appears at the end of the post.

"Copacabana"
Written by Jack Feldman, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. Performed by Manilow.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would meringue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar
Across a crowded floor, they worked from 8 till 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa, they fell in love

(Copa Copacabana)

His name was Rico, he wore a diamond
He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancin' there
And when she finished, he called her over
But Rico went a bit too far, Tony sailed across the bar
And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two
There was blood and a single gun shot
But just who shot who?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa, she lost her love

(Copa Copacabana)
(Copa Copacabana) (Copacabana, ahh ahh ahh ahh)
(Ahh ahh ahh ahh Copa Copacabana)
(Like in Havana, have a banana)
(Music and passion, always the fash--shun)

Her name is Lola, she was a showgirl
But that was 30 years ago, when they used to have a show
Now it's a disco, but not for Lola
Still in the dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair
She sits there so refined, and drinks herself half-blind
She lost her youth and she lost her Tony
Now she's lost her mind!

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa, don't fall in love

(Copa) don't fall in love
Copacabana
Copacabana