The second greatest Brazilian song

The Waters of March  (Portuguese: “Águas de Março”) was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the second greatest Brazilian song.

And what is the first greatest Brazilian song? We may never know, the link has broken.

Suzanne Vega & Stacey Kent:


9 thoughts on “The second greatest Brazilian song

  1. Hmm… I I’ve been listening to a fair bit of Rosa Passos lately (since your last Brazilian music comment) but I do think her version of Inutile Pasaigem may have been surpassed. 🙂 hope iframes work at wordpress…

  2. Oh wow that is dark.


    google translate:

    “Brazil from the early 1970s was a land of paradoxes. The government of General Emilio Garrastazu Médici had in its core the so-called “Brazilian Miracle”, which promised record economic growth and low inflation. The country was a world soccer champion and the slogan “Love it or Leave it” was glued to the car windows. What could be wrong? The price for this supposed stability and pridefulness was high. Censorship stifled artistic freedom, and the repressive atmosphere drove unsuspecting citizens to jail. After a brief period in exile in Italy, Chico Buarque returned to Brazil showing that he did not agree with the situation. It was ready for the confrontation and made it explicit in 1971, in LP Construção. And it was the song that gave the album its title that shook people’s heads. “Construcción”, fourth track on side A of the original vinyl, is an epic, lasting six and a half minutes. It is a chronicle about the life and death of a worker. One of the sectors that expanded most with the so-called economic growth was construction. Workers were spare parts, earning little and extending their workday with endless overtime to ensure the purchase of material goods that were advertised on TV. Accidents at work were ordinary events. Putting this into song, Chico indirectly criticized the system, after all the situation of the workers was a consequence of the actions of the government. The anonymous character from “Construction” leaves home, kisses his wife and children and goes to work. There, it animates and lifts a wall “as if it were a machine”. Take a break, eat something and drink a cachaça. It falls off the scaffold and plops in the middle of the street, “like a package, disrupting traffic.” Chico situates everything in non-discursive, even impersonal format. The stanzas are repeated three times, with some keywords being changed positions. But it is these changes that make the understanding of music ambiguous. The first time, the singer presents the story in a logical, almost journalistic way. In the second repetition, the same story is told, but it is now taken into account the psychological state of the protagonist, who was already turning into an automaton. In the final part, which does not appear in its entirety, the anonymous pawn is already demented and hallucinated, does not own his actions. Would the worker have died as a result of lack of working conditions or committed suicide, desperate for his poor prospects for life? “Construction” would not be so overwhelming without the imposing symphonic arrangement designed by Rogério Duprat. The conductor used the orchestra as a sinister component, complementing Chico’s samba cadence. The instruments appear at first emulating the chaotic noises of the metropolis, its horns and buildings under construction. In the end, when “Construction” merges with the chorus of “God Pay You,” the song sounds more like a demented opera in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan. “Construction” passed through censorship unscathed, but from then on Chico was targeted. Two years later, the composer declared that “Construction” had nothing to do with the working class, that the lyrics did not reflect a formal experience, but an emotional one. “Construction” is still a reference to understand a thorny period of Brazilian society. This is the mark of a true artist. – Paulo Cavalcanti”

  3. “Deus Lhe Pague” (God Bless You) Literally, “may God pay you.” An expression of gratitude used by religious people.

    Researchgate:”Deus lhe pague: The gratefulness as a strategy of protest in the song of chico buarque: In this work, we study the song “Deus lhe pague”, by the composer Chico Buarque, in order to investigate the way the emotions are expressed through discourse. The song was recorded in 1971 and constitutes an act of resistance of the composer against the Military Dictatorship that was established in Brazil during two decades, from 1964. The work was carried out based on theoretical contributions from the Modular Approach to Discourse Analysis and reveals that the ironic gratefulness “Deus lhe pague” is a discursive strategy used to attack the interlocutor – the Dictatorship. With this gratefulness, the speaker expresses the anger and the indignation caused in part of the population by the Dictatorship. At the same time, with this strategy, the speaker softens the aggressiveness of the attack, because of the fear caused by this interlocutor, powerful enemy and instance capable of excessive acts of violence.”

    translation “God Shall Pay You”

    “For this bread to eat, for this land to sleep
    The certificate to be born and the license for smile
    For let me breath, for let me exist
    God shall pay you
    “For the carpideira (hired mourner)² who praises us and spits on us
    And for the flies, insects which kiss and cover us
    And for the final peace that will redeem us in the end
    God shall pay you”

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