Revaluation of samba in Chico Buarque’s critic song

Sabrina Lasman
Rubin Academy of Music (Jerusalem)
This work intends to relate the musical and lyrical frames in the work of Chico Buarque. We give importance to revaluation of samba genre in Buarque’s creation through poetry, taking in account the socio-political context of 1960’s and 1970’s in Brazil (more specifically in the city of Rio de Janeiro) under the oppression of military dictatorship. Buarque creates a fusion between popular culture and cult poetry, element that I will associate to the creation of sacred spaces. We will take as an analysis example the song Apesar de Vocé [In Spite of You (1970)] to be in my opinion, one of the songs that contains –into samba genre- a mayor grade of social and political critic, framed in historical time.
Hegemony – Counter-hegemony

During the first government period of General Getulio Vargas (1930-1937), and during his militar dictatorship (1937-1945, called Estado Novo [New State]) the development of samba as a unifying element of Brazilian culture had a big importance.1 Samba is a dance and musical genre. Musically is a responsorial singing that has cultivated the call-and-response performing style, and percussive interplay, the batucada.2 “Technically, samba has a 2/4 meter, an emphasis on the second beat, a stanza-and-refrain alternation structure, and many interlocking, syncopated lines in the melody and accompaniment.” (McGowan and Pessanha, The Brazilian 23)  From being a non-canonical expression, of marginal sectors and working classes, samba becomes the representation of Brazil.3 It transforms in a product of commercialization and exportation, and a product of national identity unification.4 In consequence, samba symbolizes the Brazilian stereotype in Europe as well as in the United States.

At the beginning, the expansion of samba schools5 represented the re-establishment of oppressed classes by the hegemonic groups… The prohibition of any critic, politic and socioeconomic claim during parades, was one of the ways to prevent a possible collective awareness of the suburbs. (Pereira de Queiroz 27)

Following Pereira de Queiroz, all content expressed at carnival processions had to be limited to themes that were not related with social critic. Therefore the song texts, in general, point the attention to themes about daily life, love, carnival and patriotism. The lyrics of the song Aquarela do Brasil [Brazil’s Watercolor (1939)] of composer Ary Barroso, belongs to the Estado Novo [New State] epoch. To Meneses (174) it is the language of a situation, where the popular song is instrumented to promote the doctrinarian ideology of the State, becoming an ironic language. Perrone and Dunn (Brazilian Popular 14) points that “this piece -a sub-genre of samba exaltação [samba exaltation]- is characterized lyrically by romantic patriotism and musically by long involved melodies and arrangements keeping the North American big-band sound.”

Aquarela do Brasil [Brazil’s Watercolor]:Brazil, Brazil For me, for me
Oh! These murmuring fountains
Where I quench my thirst
And where the moon comes to play
Oh! This brown and beautiful Brazil
You are my Brazilian Brazil
Land of Samba and tambourines
Brazil, Brazil, for me, for me6

During the history of samba we can find examples of artists that have expressed through this musical genre their ideas and opinions about social reality. McGowan and Pessanha (The Brazilian 33) give us some examples. In the 1950’s Zé Keti (José Flores de Jesús), one of the great samba de morro7 figures denounced the sad poverty in the favelas8, “the poverty in which the majority of Brazilians seemed doomed to live and lamented the fact that so many died needlessly.” The song named Acender as Velas [Light the Candles] is a good example:

When there’s no samba
There’s disillusion
It’s one more heart
That stopped beating
One more angel that goes to heaven
My God forgive me
But I’ll say it
The doctor arrived too late
Because on the hill
There are no cars to drive
No telephones to call
No beauty to be seen
And we die without wanting to die9

Paulinho da Viola composed in the 1960’s Sinal Fechado [Red Light], “a metaphor for that closed dark dictatorship era.” (McGowan and Pessanha, The Brazilian 47) “Sinal Fechado” was recorded by Buarque in the albums Sinal Fechado [Red Light (1974)], and Chico Buarque & Maria Bethânia Ao Vivo [Chico Buarque & Maria Bethânia Live (1975)].

Brazilian historian Marcos Napolitano (“Review on Wander” 262) indicates the “semi-official” historiography of Brazilian music is related to the left nationalism of 1960 that appropriates the samba as a national symbol, as a tentative to turn it the counter-hegemonic center of mass culture. Buarque, in my opinion, uses a new poetic and critic language in a musical genre already known and spread in Brazil: samba.10

Changes in Brazilian Popular Music (Música Popular Brasileira MPB)

Napolitano (Seguindo a canção 23-4), alludes that Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) arrived at the end of 1950’s to a consolidated tradition: it had an important consecrated group of artists; it was remarked for the opening to renovation –taking in account the materials, parameters and conventional music styles received from the past generations–; and it had a strong presence in the market. The arrival of bossa nova –at the end of the 50´s– alludes Paiano, inaugurates a new cycle of institutionalization in Brazilian music, where the concept of “popular” is being modified.

…the historical process of socio-cultural redefinition of MPB lead to its institutionalization, fluctuating between the configuration of a culture of protest and resistance, and the consolidation of a product highly valuable (from the economical and the socio-cultural point of view). (Napolitano, Seguindo a canção 23)

With bossa nova [new wave or new beat], a bridge between classical music and popular music -composed until 1959- is created, generating the redefinition of “popular”. The intellectuals are the creators and listeners of these music-poetic compositions. A renewal in the aspects of harmony, melody, arrangements, instrumentation, and poetry quality is produced. We talk about a renovation in the sound world itself, referring to words as well as the combination of notes. In his bookSeven Faces Perrone (91-92, 97) writes about the Brazilian poetry and how the text of songs since the sixties can be seen as poetry. “Complex wordplay and constructs were common. Subtlety of phrase, ambiguity, metaphor, and allegory were part of an effort to enhance the level of song, which was encouraged by historical conditions. The poetry of song changes the channel of communication and helps to establish a literary ambience in the musical context.” For Perrone, the word samba “takes on multiple meanings in a series of compositions, signifying –in addition to the typical Brazilian rhythm, music, and dance– song itself, the plenitude of experience, or the material or object of poetry.”

The artist

Chico Buarque composer, singer and writer was born in Rio de Janeiro, in June 19, 1944. He is the son of historian Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, important intellectual figure in Brazil. Since 1946 Chico Buarque lives with his familiy in the city of São Paulo, and between 1952 and 1960 lives in Italy. Perrone (Masters of 2) comments that in his coming back , Buarque’s family house it transformed in a center of reunion: are visiting Vinicius de Moraes and other central figures of the Bossa Nova. Before entering University, Buarque had read already Tolstoi, Kafka, Dostoievski, Mário de Andrade, Machado de Assis, José Lins do Rego, Garciliano Ramos and Guimarães Rosa. He was a radio listener, and he knew to sing everything he listened, mainly, carnival music. He liked to imitate the styles of Paul Anka and Elvis Presley, and adored Jacques Brel’s music. When he decided to learn guitar his sister Miúcha was his teacher. In 1963 Buarque is accepted in the University of Architecture and Urbanism of São Paulo. Chediak (10-11) raises Buarque’s participation in the student union, and when in 1964 it was closed, he decides to abandon university.

Between the artists that had influenced Buarque, we can find Vinicius de Moraes with his poetical style, Antonio Carlos Jobim with his deep knowledge of music, and João Gilberto with his guitar playing and voice emission style. Buarque also absorbed the work of samba composers from the Velha Guardia [Old Guard]: Noel Rosa, Pixinguinha and Sinhô, between others. Perrone states (Masters of 1-2), the initial production of Buarque reveals between 1965 and 1968 a concept of musical construction as a “magical or mythical enterprise”, showing “the beginning of a sophisticated discourse of social criticism.”

The relation text-music in Buarque. Creation of a sacred space

Among the vast repertoire of songs that could be included under the category of this work are: Samba de Orly [Orly’s Samba (1971)] composed together with Vinicius de Moraes and Toquinho, Quando o Carnaval Chegar [When Carnival Comes (1972)], Meu Caro Amigo [My Dear Friend (1978)] composed with Francis Hime, Opera do Malandro [Hustler’s Opera (1979)], and Bye Bye Brasil [Bye Bye Brazil (1979)] composed with Roberto Menescal. Songs of social criticism and reflection concerning repression and different personal situations in the context of the dictatorship during the period 1960 and 1970, can be listen-read in other Chico Buarque’s songs, composed in other musical genres, not being an example for this specific paper. I recommend: Construção [Construction (1971)], Deus lhe Pague[May God pay you back (1971)], Cálice [Chalice (1973)] with Gilberto Gil, and O que Será [What will it be (1976)], among others.

In Chico Buarque –writes Butterman (86)– we see the extraordinary well done synthesis of cult poem and popular music in the creation of protest song. McGowan and Pessanha (The Brazilian Sound 85) write: “Vinicius de Moraes, one of the Buarque’s greatest fans, said that Chico is a phenomenon who accomplished the perfect union of both cultivated and popular culture.”

I think that an observation to the vocal emission style used by Buarque, can contribute to the comprehension to the relation poetry-music, and that is also a characteristic of popular music.

In popular song the vocal range used is in most cases minor than in erudite song, and mainly in Opera. Besides that word is an instrument of music realization for the singer, it is fundamental the attribute of intelligibility of the text as well as of rhythmic and sound exploration of each word, being inadmissible any adulteration of language sonority for reasons of technical facilities for musical execution. (Machado 2)

Since bossa nova appeared in 1959, samba –as extrovert style, cooperative and of big groups– is transformed into a style that can be interpreted in a more intimate manner. All percussion instruments –batucada– are redesign for the drum set, creating the possibility of taking the music from the streets (expansion space) to more reduced physical spaces (intimate space). An example is the Antonio Carlos Jobim “Samba de uma nota só” [One Note Samba] sang by João Gilberto in the album O amor, o sorriso e a flor [The love, the smile and the flower (1960)]. When Buarque sings, he uses the same vocal emission style as Gilberto does, even in songs of big emotive intensity as Construção [Construction] or Dios lhe Pague [May God pay you back]. Buarque builds emotional intensity with other tools as musical arrangements, instrumentation, use of other voices (choir) and the form of the piece itself. Is the text which gives form to musical structure or is musical structure which gives form to text?

In music intended to accompany words, Fischer (224) states that “the ‘content’ comes more or less by the text, however a music of this kind can move from the text or it can dominate it, or it can produce a particular powerful and notable effect, opposing itself to the text in stead of emphasizing it.” In Buarque’s critic song, composed in samba genre, music neither moves away from the text nor dominates the text. His music gives strength to the text and vice versa. There is no contradiction between music and text. On the contrary, I think that in Buarque’s music the text brings a new significance and revaluation to the music.  Fischer (225) introduce an idea of composer Hanns Eisler:

…of certain rhythms, tonal sequences, and sound images emerge “automatic associations”. Even today, a big part of the effect produced by music comes from “automatic associations” of this kind (military marches, funeral marches, dance rhythms, etc.), offering the possibility of direct participation even to the non educated listeners. This power of music to produce collective emotions, to emotionally equalize people during a certain period of time, it has been particularly useful to military and religious organizations. Among all arts, music is the most suitable to cloud intelligence, to delight, to create an ecstatic conscience, and even to make death willingly acceptable.

Buarque uses this power of music “to produce collective emotions, to emotionally equalize people during a certain period of time” (Eisler), no for the goal of dictators as Vargas or Médici. He transmits with samba the opposite collective goal. Is through samba that Buarque creates a liberated frame to express contrary opinions to the ones of the regime. What others do not allow themselves to communicate, he does it in a poem. Buarque talks to the ‘power’ that wants to homogenize people’s opinion in a repressive reality that occurs in that historical moment. In this way, he opens to samba11 a door of ideas and opinions that had never been allowed to express in the escolas de samba at carnival processions, for fear to sanctions or disqualifications. Other composers perhaps had not given themselves the freedom to do it.

When in 1970 the dictatorship becomes more aggressive in its politic of oppression, we can observe in Buarque a social awareness. These are some impressions about what was happening in Brazil –more specifically in Rio de Janeiro- when he returns from the exile in Italy:

I got to understand what was going on when I came back here in 1970. It was heavy weight, right before the World Cup. It was very frightening to arrive here and to find a reality that I didn’t imagine. Having been away for a year and a half, I could now see the changes. Those cars with stickers saying ‘Brazil, love it or leave it’, or even ‘love it or die’ on the back windows. But I didn’t have another chance. I knew that it was the new picture, even if I have a different opinion. ‘Very well, it is here where I’m going to live’. I was really back here to stay. Then, I wrote In Spite of You. (Buarque, “Entrevista a O Globo” )

Meneses (36-37) states that time in Buarque’s songs carries a transformation, taking an historical dimension, disappearing the “mythical time.”12 From a distance of historical reality, lyricism and nostalgia of the past, he starts to intensify his social critic, and to think in “tomorrow”, in what will come, he start to have a perspective of the future. “We can see that the utopian world of Buarque read between the lines, is a rejection to unsatisfactory daily life”. (Butterman 87)

According to Sant’Anna “his music makes to talk what daily life silences.” For Butterman (88) Buarque’s music goes beyond, making a coming back to reality more bearable. This Butterman’s expression lead me to relate re-signification of samba genre through Buarque’s poetry, with the notion of sacred space-time of Eliade. Sacred and profane constitutes for Eliade (18-20), two modalities of being in the world, coexisting in modern world. The manifestation of sacred –hierophany– becomes visible to the human being as something completely different from profane. “When manifesting the sacred, an object of any kind is transformed in something else, and without letting to be itself it continues to participate in the surrounding cosmic medium.” (Eliade, Lo Sagrado 19) To whom this object is revealed as sacred, his immediate reality is transformed in a supernatural reality. It can be said that in the context of dictatorship, where freedom of opinion was forbidden, the song Apesar de Vocé can functions as a “sacred object”. For those not sharing the militarized vision of the world, the song shows another reality. It provokes a strong catharsis, a liberating tension process, being possible to think it as a sacred space-time. Is when the person listens –at home, at the job, in a more individual space-time– or goes to a concert –where a shared space-time is lived as a collective ritual– when the person is moved to another reality, to a more desire existence, to a “supernatural reality”. Profane reality, not sacred because of repression, it is represented in the army and its attitude. The chaos of daily life, the disintegration of the human being, is reverted by the hierophany through the song. The song is the symbol of coming back to life through the power of words (poetry) and music (samba).

Analyzing the song

In the next part of the work I will analyze the relation between text and music in the song Apesar de Vocé. It will be possible to see more directly the idea ofsacred space-time and the song as a “liberating symbol” in the historical context lived in those years.  Meneses (37) points that with this song, born in the hardest period of repression u military dictatorship, Buarque faced censorship of General Médici, becoming Apesar de Você a prohibited song.


Choral introduction
Amanhã vai  ser outro dia Tomorrow will be another day
Amanhã vai  ser outro dia Tomorrow will be another day
Hoje você é quem manda Today you are the one who rules
Falou, tá falado What you say is a fact
Não tem discussão. Não There is no discussion. Not.
A minha gente hoje anda Today we are
Falando de lado Talking secretly
E olhando pro chão, viu And looking at the floor, see
Você que inventou esse estado You who invented that state
E inventou de inventar And invented to invent
Toda a escuridão All obscurity
Você que inventou o pecado You who invented sin
Esqueceu-se de inventar Forgot to invent
O perdão forgiveness
Apesar de você In spite of you
Amanhã há de ser Tomorrow will be
Outro dia Another day
Eu pergunto a você I ask you
Onde vai se esconder Where are you going to hide
Da enorme euforia from the enormous euphoria
Como vai proibir How are you going to forbid
Quando o galo insistir Once the cock insist
Em cantar on keep singing
Água nova brotando New waters spring
E a gente se amando And we love each other
Sem parar Without ending
Quando chegar o momento When the time comes
Esse meu sofrimento I’ll charge you with my suffering
Vou cobrar com juros, juro cursing, I swear
Todo esse amor reprimido All that love repressed
Esse grito contido All that love repressed
Esse grito contido That contained shout
Este samba no escuro This samba in the darkness
Você que inventou a tristeza You, the one who invented sadness
Ora, tenha a fineza Now, be so kind
De desinventar To un-invent it
Você vai pagar e é dobrado You are going to pay twice
Cada lágrima rolada Each wept tear
Nesse meu penar in my pain
Apesar de você In spite of you
Amanhã há de ser Tomorrow will be
Outro dia Another day
Inda pago pra ver I’m already paying to see
O jardim florescer The garden flourishing
Qual você não queria the way you did not want to
Você vai se amargar You will become embittered
Vendo o dia raiar Looking the day rising
Sem lhe pedir licença Without asking you for permission
E eu vou morrer de rir And I will laugh ‘til death
Que esse dia há de vir That day will come
Antes do que você pensa Sooner than you think
Apesar de você In spite of you
Amanhã há de ser Tomorrow will be
Outro dia Another day
Você vai ter que ver You will have to see
A manhã renascer The morning born again
E esbanjar poesia And squander poetry
Como vai se explicar How are you going to explain yourself
Vendo o céu clarear The sky is suddenly clearing,
De repente, impunemente Without punishment
Como vai abafar How are you going to stop
Nosso coro a cantar Our choir when singing
Na sua frente In front of you
Apesar de você In spite of you
Amanhã há de ser Tomorrow will be
Outro dia Another day
Você vai se dar mal You are going to harm yourself
Etecetera e tal Etc. and such
la lai a la lai a la…13 la lai a la lai a la…


The song is composed in D Major. Its structure contains a choral introduction of eight bars, entering then to the form A1, B1, A2, B2, B3, and B4. The introduction of the choir in unison is heard as faraway in space, getting closer when the second phrase “Amanhã vai ser outro dia” [Tomorrow will be another day] is sung. The auditory perception is similar to the one of the escola de samba when is heard coming in the distance, getting closer, and passing nearby. The sensation of the introduction (eight bars) is that the song is here to stay with the listener (the volume of the song makes us perceive its corporal proximity). When the sound of the band is near, the listener is being part of a liberating ritual.

It is interesting to see that each part or section (A1, B1, A2, B2, B3 and B4) contains four stanzas of three verses each one, and each stanza lasts eight bars, containing from the point of view of the text, a clear idea. It means, each part from the textual (poetry) and musical (melody and chord progressions) point of view expresses four sentences-ideas.

The poetic self starts the text (A1 section) relating to a second person “Você” [You], directly to the repressor (General Emilio Médici). “Hoje você é quem manda” [Today you are the one who rules], it provides a context for historical time, “Hoje”, in the current present, today. In second stanza of A1 part, “A minha gente hoje anda / Falando de lado / E olhando pro chão, viu” [Today we are / Talking secretly / And looking at the floor, see], as well as in second stanza of A2 part, “Todo esse amor reprimido / Esse grito contido / Este samba no escuro” [All that love repressed / That contained shout / This samba in the darkness], the text expresses the repression state of emotions by civil society.

In sections A1, third stanza, Buarque brings up the creation of profane space-time by military repression: “Você que inventou esse estado / E inventou de inventar / Toda a escuridão” [You who invented that state / And invented to invent / All obscurity]. That obscurity represents the chaos lived by the people. Eliade writes that profane is related to chaos, to the unknown. In this new “estado” [state] or situation, the lyric self -as spokesperson of the Brazilian population against the military regime- it does not feel a part of that “unknown territory”, of that “cosmos”, of that new universe. In fourth stanza of same section “Você que inventou o pecado” [You who invented sin], it shows that in this new state only sin has been created. There is no redemption, no existence for forgiveness or another possibility for the one who see the world with different eyes. In the other hand, it is present the radical alteration of that contained perspective in “Amanhã”, tomorrow (B sections). Musically we can perceived that in the use of mayor tonality D Major. The opposite occurs when listening to A sections, where the song starts with the minor relative tonality B minor, leaving in the listener a feeling of melancholy.14

In B sections, opening with “Apesar de você / Amanhã há de ser / Outro dia” [In spite of you / Tomorrow will be / Another day], we oversee what it will be life and its transformation in a no faraway future.15 B1 section demonstrates it in phrases “…enorme euphoria” [enormous euphoria], “…galo cantar” [rooster singing], “Água nova brotando” [New waters spring], “…gente se amando” [we love each other]; B2 section in “…jardim florescer” [garden flourishing], “…dia raiar” [day rising]; and B3 section in “…manhã renascer” [morning born again], “…esbanjar poesia” [squander poetry], “…céu clarear” [sky clearing] and “coro a cantar” [choir singing].

The poem structure settles on a free game of antithesis that happens between today and tomorrow as Meneses (76-78) demonstrates it:

Hoje (Today) Amanhã (Tomorrow)
gente falando de lado coro a cantar
grito contido enorme euforia
escuridão céu clarear
amor reprimido a gente se amando sem parar
lágrima rolada rir
pecado agua nova brotando
samba no escuro dia raiar
tristeza manhã renascer
penar galo a cantar
sofrimento jardim florescer


Under the signifier “Hoje” [Today] in one side, are the retention forces, block of vital expansion, the forces of control and imprisoned energy: the semantic of death. Under the signifier “Amanhã” [Tomorrow] lies the expansive pulsations of energy and fecundity: the metaphor of life. This opposition diagram shows a constant threat to the repressive entity that is revealed from the beginning of the text, and which suffers a series of changes:

In B1 Part
Eu pergunto a você I ask you
Onde vai se esconder Where are you going to hide
Da enorme euforia From the enormous euphoria
In A2 Part
Esse meu sofrimento I’ll charge you with my suffering
Vou cobrar com juros, juro cursing, I swear
Você vai pagar e é dobrado You are going to pay
In B2 Part
Você vai se amargar You’ll become embittered
In B4 Part
Você vai se dar mal You are going to harm yourself

The lyric self foresees/anticipates, from an omnipotent situation of the repressor “Você” [You], a gradual process that will lead the dictator to experience the pain lived “Hoje” [Today] for those who are opposite to the regime. Is the vision of a desired future, and this future is reinforced by the times B parts are repeated. Sections B2, B3 and B4 are consecutively sung, as the repetition could be a way of transforming the reality.Tension in the content of the text increases. Buarque in stead of continuing with words, uses in second stanza of B4 part, the verse “Etecetera e tal” [Etc. and such], and finishes the other stanzas with the word la-la-la.

The relation between poetry world and musical world in the song Apesar de Você, is thought as the product of the encounter between popular and cult. Under this socio-historical condition, the song brings a perspective of the actual situation –profane space-time–, using minor tonality as opposed to the reality that will come.Tomorrow is expressed through mayor tonality, it will make pay the dictator his debts with the people, and it will lead to self liberation.
To a conclusion

I argue that samba is revalued through Buarque’s capacity of being an artisan of language, knowing to manage rhythm, rhyme, sound effects, using a coherent lexical selection and structuring the text complemented by functional imagery and symbols. Samba is also revalued by Buarque’s creation of a sacred space-time, bringing people to a different state after listening to the song. In this specific political-historical context, coming back to reality can regenerate, for the one who listens to the song, the daily reality. The listener is being liberated through the symbolic power of samba music and refined poetry.

1 There is no necessity to look for other cause respecting the tolerance and benevolence Rio’s municipality showed to samba schools (escolas de samba)… Documents and testimonies prove that had been many transactions among samba schools founders and politicians… In exchange of their votes on elections, an Escola could obtain certain privileges or benefits. (Pereira de Queiroz 19)

2 “Batucada: Popular reunion, generally, in the streets, where samba is played in percussion instruments, with or without vocal accompaniment.” (Buarque de Holanda 89)

3 Samba is one among a vast quantity of musical styles, depending on the geographical area.

4 The origin and development of samba schools between 1930 and 1950 coincided with a period of important economical changes for Brazil: three constitutions (1933, 1937, 1947); a rising number of elector population, with change of majority of age to 18 year-old and the right of vote to women (1933); the development of industrialization that appeared during World War II, that affected the two biggest cities from the south, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The industrialization brought the expansion of favelas and suburbs. (Pereira de Queiroz 19)

5 The note is not in the original, but is written for better understanding. “Escolas de Samba: The recreational clubs in Rio de Janeiro (and other cities) that organize elaborate participation in carnival parades, usually from shantytowns (favelas) or other lower-class areas.” (Perrone, Masters of 226)

6 English lyrics translation by McGowan and Pessanha, The Brazilian 30.

7 “Samba de morro: name used by Brazilian media in 1940’s and 1950’s to characterize samba that kept essential characteristics of style developed by Estácio composers such as Ismael Silva and Bide, and to differentiate this style from samba-canção (samba song).” (McGowan and Pessanha, The Brazilian 211-2)

8 Favelas: poor neighborhoods formed in the ‘morros’ [hills] of Rio de Janeiro. The term has been extended to nominate poor neighborhoods in general.

9 English lyrics translation by McGowan and Pessanha, The Brazilian 33.

10 Samba in Vargas era was a builder of Brazilian national identity and it continues its role during the dictatorship of the 60’s with General Emilio Médici (1969-1974).

11 I relate samba with joy, celebration and carnival. With its Afro-Brazilian origin and its birth and development in the favelas and suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.

12 More information about the subject can be found in Eliade, chapter II.

13 Song text from Chediak 60-64.

14 In the song Samba da Benção [Blessing‘s Samba] with music by Baden Powell and lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, Moraes writes: Mas pra fazer um samba com beleza, / É preciso um bocado de tristeza / Preciso um bocado de tristeza, / Se não não se faz samba não [But to make a samba with beauty, / it is necessary a little bit of sadness, / It is necessary a little bit of sadness, / Otherwise no samba is done].

15 It can be seen in the text, at the end of B2 part where it is written “Que esse dia há de vir / Antes do que você pensa” [That day will come / Sooner than you think].


Buarque de Holanda, Aurélio. Novo Dicionário Básico dá Língua Portuguesa Folha/Aurélio. Río de Janeiro: Editora Nova Fronteira, 1988.

Buarque, Chico. “Entrevista a O Globo, 7/15/79” in: Meneses, Adélia Bezerra de. Desenho Mágico. Poesia e política em Chico Buarque. São Paulo: Editora Hucitec, 1982.

Butterman, Steven E. “O Charme Chique da Canção de Chico Buarque: Táticas carnavalescas de trascender a opressão da ditadura.” Latin American Music Review 22:1: University of Texas Press, 2001.

Chediak, Almir. Chico Buarque Songbook. Rio de Janeiro: Lumiar Editora, 1999.

Eliade, Mircea. Lo Sagrado y lo Profano. Barcelona: Editorial Labor, 1992.

Fischer, Ernst. La necesidad del Arte. Barcelona: Planeta-Agostini, 1993.

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