top of page
Copacabana
Song

Copacabana

Barry Manilow
Album:
Even Now

Song Meaning of Copacabana by Barry Maniflow


The discussion between Manilow and Sussman at the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro about whether a song with the title "Copacabana" had ever been served as the inspiration for the song. Manilow, who had been a frequent patron of New York City's Copacabana nightclub in the 1960s, requested that Sussman and Feldman write the lyrics to a tale song for him after returning to the US. They did, and Manilow provided the soundtrack.

The Copacabana nightclub is referred to in the song as "the hottest spot north of Havana" in the lyrics. The plot opens in roughly 1948 and centres on Lola, a showgirl at the Copacabana, and Tony, the club's barman and her sweetheart. One night, Rico, an ostentatiously affluent man, develops feelings for Lola, but Tony steps in when Rico gets hostile. After it is first unclear "who shot who[m]," the ensuing brawl culminates in "blood and a single gunshot," and Lola screams upon seeing Tony dead.


Thirty years later, the club has been converted into a discotheque (much like the actual Copacabana in New York City had been), but a middle-aged Lola is still dressed as a showgirl and is now a patron at the bar who 'drinks herself half blind' bemoaning the loss of her youth, her sanity and Tony.

It was the third single from Manilow's fifth studio album, Even Now, and it was released in 1978. It was written by Manilow, Jack Feldman, and Bruce Sussman.


Lyrics of the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow


Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl

With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there

She would merengue and do the cha-cha

And while she tried to be a star

Tony always tended bar

Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 til 4

They were young and they had each other

Who could ask for more?

 

[Chorus:]

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

 

His name was Rico

He wore a diamond

He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancing 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?

 

[Chorus]

 

At the copa... she lost her love

 

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

 

[Chorus]

 

At the copa... don't fall in love

Don't fall in love

Release Date

1978

Songwriter/s

Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman, Bruce Sussman

Producer/s

Barry Manilow, Ron Dante

Label/s

Arista

Other Songs

bottom of page