Gilberto Gil - Lick Samba

Time for some easy listening ear candy from Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil. His interpretation of this song goes down smoothly, accompanied by the right kind of instruments and an infused Bossa Nova vibe. He switches it up and maybe the message gets lost, what originally sounded slightly heart aching suddenly has a very happy feel to it, but it still works.

Also, points get heavily awarded to anyone who already knew that Lick Samba is a song by Bob Marley and The Wailers.

If you care for the original, check it out here. Otherwise, enjoy Gilberto Gil's version.

Lick Samba.

I'd love to tell you who provides the backing vocals here, her voice balances the song out beautifully, but she seems to have gotten less credit than the guy who says "woo" in Rap freestyles.

Now if you're the curious type, you might have a question that goes something like: "What does lick samba mean?"

Well if you take it literally, according to Jamaican slang, if used as 'lick samba' it would mean to 'play Samba'. This is where Gilberto's version differs. Gilberto Gil manages to make the song (even if just partially) about his musical roots and pulls it off excellently.

The original has nothing to do with Samba however, as it has no audible influences and never mentions anything too obvious. Many do believe, as do I, that the term simply went along the lines of a certain naked activity with another person, in this case the person he longs for in the song. It really doesn't make sense otherwise.

Licking Samba definitely does not mean smoking a joint, Googlers.

Buy: CD

The song can be found on Gil's 2002 album Kaya N'Gan Daya, along with 15 other Bob Marley songs. Many of them lesser known as today's is, some classics like Three Little Birds, and about half of them in Portuguese. The remainder of the songs keep their original English language.

It's a neat album of you like Brazilian influences or the Portuguese language. The differences between the album and the original Bob Marley songs aren't always gigantic, but enjoyable all the same. If you pay attention to detail the album is for you.

If not, get Bob Marley's original. It's awesome.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. I'm not feeling the vibe on this song (maybe it's my mood) but your post today was particularly humorous. (The 'woo' comment got to me.)

  2. Lovely!
    This is something to listen on the beach, with sun up in the sky and the sea up to your knees. A really happy tune! :)

  3. smooth jazz you say? I like it. :)

  4. Song is great! I'm listening to it as I type! But as to the woman not getting credit I have to say I see that a lot in the music industry!
    My favorite example is Baz Luhrmann's song Everybodys Free To Wear Sunscreen! Writen by a newspaper colonist, the words spoken by some unknown voice actor and music produced by Baz Luhrmann! And he gets all the credit!

  5. This is the kind of light up a bowl on a saturday night sound I love!

  6. The guy is a living legend. As soon as i saw Gilberto Gil i thought, i hope he adds his fantastic Kaya n'gan daya cover, i started reading and i didn't see it and i was disappointed and when i continued...i felt very happy when i saw you actually added it :D
    If his music doesn't make you happy, nothing will make you happy.

  7. @Phil
    Glad to give a smile

    Yeah, I know. It's terrible really, sometimes it's the best part and you can't find more of it.

    Haha, I always try to add the cover, eye candy helps the posts! And I almost fully agree, he makes very happy music.

  8. Listened to the whole thing. Doesn't seem like writing lyrics for this track was too hard!

  9. I kept reading it as Lick Simba, which provided for some childhood killing visions.

  10. well that was a jolly little track to fall asleep to. thanks

  11. So if I say Lick Samba in the islands they won't think I'm a bit off?

  12. I like it! It's a fun little song! :D

  13. @Copyboy
    I don't think it's common, they might think you're odd.

  14. I can vision myself with pina colada in hand.

  15. I approve this fella, his funkiness is kosher. He is big in south america.

  16. i like the original more thou....

  17. Thanks for the explanation about 'lick Samba'. Otherwise I would have.... continued on my way haha.


Like what you read? Have an opinion? Leave a comment! They are moderated, so be patient if it doesn't show up immediately.

Want more? Find us on Facebook and Twitter!