A new version of the peacefully jingoist Brazilian national anthem has been circulating on the Internet in recent weeks. While other national anthems like the American or the French sing about bloody war and revenge, the Brazilian official song praises the country's natural wealth and its serene skies. The new anthem, though, is a potpourri of well-known brand names from Grendenea national footwear manufacturerto multinational Coca-Cola.
The hilarious ad-like parody soon spread throughout the Internet as if it were one more of those anonymous little jewels that often arrive in our e-mail. Among those who received a copy was Adriano Siri, one of the members of the acting sextet Os Melhores do Mundo (The World's Best), a theatrical troupe from Brasília, Brazil's capital. He was particularly annoyed by the fact that that the text's authorship was attributed to an anonymous adman. After all, Siri, together with his group, created the parody anthem as the surprise finale for the show Política (Politics). The spectacle, which was presented February in Brasília, was seen by more than 10,000 people in the Federal District.
The show also makes fun of another national symbol: the Brazilian flag. On a flag used in the show, the words Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress) were rewritten to "Advertise Here". The idea is to denounce the privatization of state companies, the invasion of multinationals and the Americanization of the country.
Just before the anthem is sung, an off-stage voice announces that the President will be talking on a national TV and radio pool. Then he comes onstage and tells the nation that some private investors have decided to get together to pay the national debt. In return, the president has authorized the national anthem to be rewritten. The audience is invited to stand while onstage the actors perform the new anthem.
A 1971 Brazilian law requires that the national anthem be performed only in a respectful and patriotic manner. Law number 5700 was passed by the military government of general Emilio Garrastazu Medici and is still in force, but it is not expected that Os Melhores do Mundo will be prosecuted for their disrespectful use of the piece.
Now, the group is in Rio performing the show Misticismo (Mysticism), Tormentas da Paixão (Passion's Storms) and Escrava Isaura, a Comédia (Slave Isaura, the Comedy). The theatrical group is planning to present Política again in January, in Rio. They hope by then few people will be talking about the anthem lyrics so that the surprise of the show's finale can be restored.
Num Posto da Ipiranga,
às margens plácidas,
De um Volvo heróico Brahma
Skol da liberdade em Rider fúlgido
Brilhou no Shell da Pátria nesse
Se o Knorr dessa igualdade
Conseguimos conquistar com
Em teu Seiko, ó liberdade
Desafia nosso peito à Microsoft
Ó Parmalat, Mastercard,
Amil um sonho intenso,
um rádio Philips
De amor e Lufthansa
à terra desce
Intel formoso céu risonho
A imagem do Bradesco
Gillete pela própria natureza
És belo Escort impávido colosso
E o teu futuro espelha essa Grendene
Entre outras mil és Suvinil,
Do Philco deste Sollo és
Coca Cola, Bombril!
On the placid banks of
an Ipiranga gas station
From a heroic Volvo resounding
Skol of Liberty in glittery Rider
Shone in the Shell of Fatherland
If the Knorr of this equality
We were able to conquer with
In your Seiko, o Freedom
Defies our breast Microsoft
O Parmalat, Mastercard,
Amil an intense dream,
a Philips radio
Of love and Lufthansa it
goes down to land
Intel pretty laughing sky
Gillete by nature
You're pretty Escort fearless colossus
And your future mirrors this Grendene
Icy cold Cerpa!
Among thousands you're Suvinil,
From Philco of this Sollo you're
Coca Cola, Bombril!