Brazilian music has been in my life for a long time. In my childhood, during the weekends by father would put loud music which fill with rhythms the rooms of my old house. So since little I have considered my self an admire of Brazilian music. I still find myself discovering new Brazilian musicians or going back to Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Marisa Monte and Tribalista.
I have learned that it is a very generalist to say Brazilian music. I have come to know that there is certain music done in Brazil that I don’t like. But okay. What I really want to talk about is about my latest interaction with music from Brazil, which is that it is not only beautiful, rhythmic, romantic, sweet, and that it makes me want to teletransport myself to Bahia or Rio de Janeiro. Some of it has political meaning, and I know that I shouldn’t be surprise about that, but I was… because I have been hearing certain songs for over 10 years and I just said “Oh I love Bossa Nova”, while the messages of certain songs were of protest and resistance. As you can imagine it made me feel a little bit ignorant.
One example is Roda Viva from Chico Buarque. Before going on reading, look at this video and reflect on what you see, how do you feel? If you understand Portuguese, what are they singing?
This is some of the things a wrote the first time I really looked at the video closely. It is 1967, and you see that it is a concert and that a lot of people (specially young people) are there. The singer with his companions are very elegant, and they start singing, To me it sounds like a bolero, a love song, a serenata, and they even say the word serenata There faces seem tranquil. They are televising the show. You can even see certain smiles on them. People applauding, other singing… You see even children singing. And you hear all of the 5 men singing with all of their strength and you hear everyone singing a big choirs and applauding!. Young people celebrating!!! Then it gets faster and faster…. And then slow… and then… fast again, applauses! Celebration. Celebration and the song ends.
A get chills when I hear this song now. But, there are mixed chills because I still find it beautiful and that makes me feel a little bit guilty because now I know it is a song with a message of protest and resistance against the dictatorship in Brazil and some musicians were able to pass certain songs and not get censored.
Can this be considered as an unruly event? I think so… as many other songs in different cultures such as the ones sang in the cotton fields in the USA. The movement of Tropicalia in Brazil was no exception. And Roda Viva is an example of it. What songs are there going to come out in this time? Music has a power to disguise it self but be a very powerful political toll.
Here are the lyrics of Roda Viva: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/roda-viva-wheel-life.html-0