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Portuguese Adelino Moreira was good in broken-heart and
love-gone-bad songs, the so-called
música de fossa that
made famous names like Dolores Duran, Antonio Maria and Maysa.

By
Rodolfo Espinoza

In the ’50s and ’60s he was "cafona" (tacky), in the ’70s he was
"brega" (tacky), but since then Adelino Moreira has
become cult and his death at 84, on May 7, was widely reported. He died in his sleep from a heart attack at his Rio home. His tune
"A Volta do Boêmio" (The Bohemian’s Return) sung by late Nelson Gonçalves sold more than 20 million discs and "Negue"
(Deny), another of his popular songs had more than 140 versions. Moreira was a tireless composing machine having written
more than 1000 tunes without a partner. In the last ten years he hadn’t composed, but he’d still sing and play the guitar for
his grandchildren.

The basic theme of his songs was always the same: love pain caused by breakups, fights, unrequited passion. He
has been called Rei da Fossa (King of Blues) and his cult status was only possible thanks to re-recording of some of his old
tunes by the first team of Brazilian singers, interpreters like Gal Costa and Maria Bethânia.

Born in Oporto, Portugal, on March 28, 1918, Adelino Moreira de Castro moved to Campo Grande, a Rio suburb, with
his parents before turning two. He was already working as a goldsmith like his father when he decided to try his hand at
music composing. He never finished high school and married Maria da Conceição when he was 18 (the marriage lasted until
1951). Moreira started his musical career in 1938 playing the mandolin. In 1945, invited by Braguinha (João de Barro), who was
the director of the recording company

Continental, he recorded four of his compositions, a samba ("Mulato Artilheiro"), a
marcha ("Nem Cachopa, nem Comida")
and the fados "Olhos d’Alma" and "Anita".

Moreira represented a musical vein (música de dor de
cotovelo—literally elbow pain music) that thrived in
broken-heart and love-gone-bad songs. Other famous representatives of this kind of music also known as
música de fossa (lit. cesspool music) were Dolores Duran, Antonio Maria and Maysa.

Moreira together with Nelson Gonçalves became the golden duo of this kind of music after meeting in June of 1950
on the elevator of Rádio Nacional, the hit maker media of the time.

The partnership started with "Última Seresta", a tune penned with Sebastião Santana. "A Volta do Boêmio" was first
recorded in 1955. Throughout the next decades Moreira and Gonçalves would team in more than 400 hit songs. Other fruits of the
partnership that became famous: "Fica Comigo Esta Noite," (1961) and "Meu Vício É Você" (1957). Nelson Gonçalves died on April
18, 1998. (See Brazzil online
https://www.brazzil.com/p13may98.htm)

Bossa nova, with its understated even minimalist way of singing about the niceties of life, buried in the ’60s the
melodramatic boleros and samba canções
authored by Adelino Moreira. While other dor de
cotovelo composers like gaúcho
Lupicínio Rodrigues were recognized later as outstanding authors, Moreira kept for a long time the campy stigma.

In 1966, Moreira had a dispute with Nelson Gonçalves and after that promoted singer Carlos Nobre, who imitated
Gonçalves. Only in 1971 they patched thing up. For many year, the composer was head of Sbacem (Sociedade Brasileira de
Autores, Compositores e Escritores de Música—Brazilian Association of Music Author, Composers and Writers). He was one of
the few composers in Brazil that was able to live comfortably from his royalties.

 

A Volta do Boêmio

Adelino Moreira

Boemia, aqui me tens de regresso
E suplicante lhe peço a minha nova inscrição
Voltei prá rever os amigos que um dia
Eu deixei a chorar de alegria,
me acompanha o meu violão

Boemia, sabendo que andei distante
Sei que esta gente falante vai agora ironizar
Ele voltou, o boêmio voltou novamente
Partiu daqui tão contente,
por que razão quer voltar?

Acontece que a mulher que floriu
meu caminho
Com ternura, meiguice e carinho,
sendo a vida do meu coração
Compreendeu e abraçou me dizendo
a sorrir
Meu amor você pode partir,
não esqueça o teu violão

Vá rever os teus rios, teus
montes, cascatas
Vá cantar em novas serenatas
e abraçar teus amigos leais
Vá embora, pois me resta o consolo
e alegria
Em saber que depois da boemia
é de mim que você gosta mais

 

The Bohemian’s Return


Bohemia, you have me back
And imploringly I ask for a new admission
I’m back to once again see friends that one day
I left crying for joy,
my guitar at my side

Bohemia, knowing that I’ve been far away
I know that these gossipy people will mock me
He came back, the bohemian came back again
He left so happy,
why does he want to come back?

It happens that the woman who bloomed
my way
With tenderness, sweetness and care,
being my heart’s life
Understood and smiling embraced
me saying
Darling you can leave now,
don’t forget your guitar

Once again go see your rivers, your
mountains, cascades
Go sing in new serenades
and hug your faithful friends
Go away, with me rest the consolation
and joy
Of knowing that after bohemia
it’s me that you like the most

 

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