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Cae & Gil 120 Years of Sound

Cae & Gil 120 Years of Sound

The partnership between Caetano and Gil is one of
the most fertile and lasting of Brazilian music, although
they’re not formally a duo. Tropicalismo, for example, is a term
inextricably linked to Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.
By
Kirsten Weinoldt

1942 in Bahia saw the births of two boys who would grow up to have
unprecedented influence on the culture of Brazil. Sixty years have gone by.
Undoubtedly, any Brazilian you ask, will have some comment on the significance
Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil have had on his or her life. We will take a look at the
creative genius of the two, which appears to be greater than the sum of them. Such is
the way they complement one another.

A few months ago, both of them rounded the age of sixty with no sign of
slowing down. As this is being written, Caetano is on an extensive tour of the United
States, and Gil is enjoying the success of his recordings of the music of Bob
Marley—a project, which has been in the
planning stage for several years but finally saw
the light of day.

Much has been written about each one, individually, and the accomplishments
and accolades they have achieved. This article, however, focuses on their
collaboration and how they seem to grow creatively
when finding themselves in the same studio or on the same stage. The ripple felt in
Santo Amaro da Purificação and Salvador,
the respective birthplaces of the two friends, spread out across Brazil and then the
world, touching so many people along the way and changing the way music was perceived
and played.

Caetano Veloso

Caetano Emanuel Vianna Telles Velloso was born in Santo Amaro
da Purificação, about an hour from
Salvador, on August 7, 1942, the last son of Dona Canô and Zeca Velloso. When
Portuguese spelling was changed to eliminate
double consonants, except for the sake of pronunciation, Caetano was the only member
of his family to change the spelling of his name, thus making it Veloso.

As a teenager he was first introduced to the music of João Gilberto, listening
outside a bar in Santo Amaro. “Chega de
Saudade,” (“No More Blues”), with
its innovative bossa nova beat was a
turning point in Caetano’s life. The following
year he moved to the Bahian capital, Salvador, where he studied the guitar. His
interests were diverse with a fascination for
visual arts and film making. In fact, he long aspired to become a film critic. He
took courses in philosophy at UFBA, Universidade Federal da Bahia, where he
met Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa, who would become his life long friends.

In 1965, he moved to Rio to accompany his young sister, Maria Bethânia,
who had been invited to join the cast of the show
Opinião. Having won prizes in two
Paulista music festivals, he recorded his first
record, Domingo, in 1967. The same year,
Caetano and Gil were an outstanding presence at TV Record’s Third Festival Popular
da Música Brasileira, as leaders of the Tropicalismo movement, which united
re
gional rhythms and electric guitars. The following year the group launched the
record Tropicália or Panis e Circensis.

Imprisoned by the military dictatorship, Caetano went into exile in 1969
in London, with Gil, where he stayed until 1972. His first album since returning
to Brazil was Araçá Azul, Blue
Araçá—a tropical fruit—in 1973, a controversial
and experimental work, which ended up being withdrawn for absolute commercial
failure. Another controversial work was his incursion into film making with the
feature Cinema Falado, Talkie, in 1986. In
1992, the year when Caetano turned 50, the album
Circuladô received the Sharp Prize for best song, interpretation, and
visual project.

In his private life, he has been married to Dedé, with whom he has a son,
Moreno, and later to Paula Lavigne, with whom he has sons Zeca and Tom, the latter born
on Tom Jobim’s birthday, January 25, and named for him.

“Caetano and Gil continue being fundamental figures for understanding and
thinking Brazil.”

Anthropologist Santuza Cambraia Naves, coordinator of the Nucleus of
Musical studies of the University Cândido Mendes and author of the book
Da Bossa Nova à Tropicália, From Bossa Nova
to Tropicália.

Gilberto Gil

On June 26, 1942, Dr. José Gil Moreira and his wife, teacher Claudina Passos
Gil Moreira, saw the birth of their son, Gilberto, in the city of Salvador in the state of
Bahia. Little could they have foreseen that their bright, little boy would go on to have a
great influence on the music of the world as well as the culture of Brazil. Shortly after
his birth, the family moved to the interior of Bahia, where he spent his childhood.
He grew up listening to the musical “duels”
of violeiros, a kind of musical battle of
blind singers and guitar players, at the local markets, street bands, and on the radio.

He was 8 when he moved back to Salvador, where he was influenced by
the trios elétricos, bands on trucks used
mostly during Carnaval. Inspired by the
baião, rhythm of the northern part of Brazil,
by Luiz Gonzaga, he started playing the accordion. Toward the end of the 50’s he
was playing forró in a group called
Os Desafinados, the Out of Tunes. It seems Gil was listening to the same radio
station Caetano was, and he too was impressed with João Gilberto, so much in fact, that
he decided to learn to play the bossa nova
on guitar.

The bossa nova influence shows through in his first song “Felicidade
Vem Depois”, Happiness Comes Afterwards. Gil started composing commercial
jingles while studying business administration. In 1964, he participated in Salvador in
the
show Nós por Exemplo, Us for
Example, featuring bossa nova and traditional
Brazilian songs. It was here that he got to know Caetano, Maria Bethânia, Gal Costa,
and Tom Zé, who were also part of the show.

In 1965 he moved to São Paulo, where he had his first hit with his song
“Louvação,” Praise, sung by the already famous
Elis Regina. He then recorded his first album by the same name. He went on to be one of
the leaders of Tropicália along with
Caetano, Gal, Tom Zé, the conductors
Rogério Duprat and Júlio Medaglia, and the
poets Capinam and Torquato Neto. Gil has been married to Belina Aguiar, Nana Caymmi, daughter of Dorival,
Sandra Gadelha, sister of Dedé, and finally
to Flora.
A Brazilian friend, Luciana Andreazi, who lives in the U.S., was kind enough
to respond to my request to express the feelings Caetano and Gil evoke in
Brazilians. These are her words:

“Both, when presented together to our
revolutionary/jovem guarda (young guard—Brazilian rock movement in
the 60’s led by Roberto Carlos)/Catholic generation, shocked by assuming the
multiracial label. Caetano was rejected and criticized when he let his hair grow like
black power. We did not know, before, that he AND Gil were nuances of our
mulatto label. Caetano appeared the golden cradle boy, good family, excellent oral
communication, etc. The Tropicália rejected
this France-inspired matrix of acculturation. Caetano, and Ney (Matogrosso), by
the way, presented themselves as illustrated savages. (I am wild not because I
cannot learn and behave like a European. I don’t want to be civilized).

“Gil is another story. He plays with the idea of polarized versions of reality,
and breaks with them. He is the Saci Pererê (one-legged mischievous black
dwarf), capable of compassion and humor, the sweet slave and the Xamanic guerrilla
man. We need to see the moon, jump up to the stage, walk with faith and kiss another
man. Gil doesn’t say that because he has an agenda of demolishing myths, as
Caetano appears to have done. He is sharing insights. Both of them lead us to
“pra lá de (beyond) Marrakesh.” They showed
us other cultures and much of our own mulatto soul.

“Also, Gil and Caetano differ in their way of relating to the spiritual world.
Again, Caetano follows, with poetic elegance, a metaphysical framework. On the other
side, Gil contemplates the cosmos acknowledging the chaos and drinking its wonder
without the effort of understanding. In
“Oração ao Tempo,” Prayer to Time, Caetano
shows our nothingness in front of the infinite, timeless rhythms of the universe. It is
a philosophical soul that emerges at the end.

“Gil incarnates a more compassionate guru. He is deeply interested in our
sufferings (caranguejo, pelo amor de Deus—crab, for God’s sake), daily activities
and religious celebrations. We need to speak with God. If we depend on Caetano,
God will understand us, because Caetano is able to translate our confused, ambivalent
perceptions into German dialectical sentences. But Gil will make God listen and
respond to our prayers.

“Mind and heart, Caetano and Gil are feeding my generation with poetic
teachings, social awareness, and spiritual sensitivity. They are blessed by their
differences and united by the essence of what makes
us Brazilians.

Acho que eu estou escrevendo bobagens, mas veio do coração. Faz
muito tempo que eu penso em escrever mas
não tenho coragem. Espero que você
aproveite alguma coisa… Beiaw6kx Luciana (I
think that I’m writing nonsense, but it came from the heart. A lot of times I think of
writing, but I don’t have the courage. I hope you
will use some of it. Kisses, Luciana) lmtca42@msn.com

Friends for Ever

The friendship between Caetano and Gil had its first phonographic fruit on
the album Caetano Veloso of 1969 with only the composer of “Drão”
accompanying him on guitar and a small recorder with
four channels. That partnership is one of the most fertile and lasting of Brazilian
music, although they’re not formally a duo. The two friends are the protagonists of one
of the most well known stories of exile among Brazilian artists. Thanks to the AI-5
(Ato Institucional n° 5—Institutional Act no.
5) imposed by the military dictatorship, the imprisonment of the two happened on
December 27 of 1968, in São Paulo.

The accusation was one of disrespect for the National Anthem and the
Brazilian flag. The military accused them of
singing the national anthem with added offensive verses against the Armed Forces during
a show at the Sucata nightclub in Rio. The show was immediately forbidden.
Caetano and Gil were taken to the army barracks of Marechal Deodoro, in Rio de Janeiro,
and had their heads shaved. They were released in February and, with their wives,
they departed for exile in England.

Ironically, the punishment imposed on them by the military dictatorship
probably contributed to their diverse cultural
education. The foundation of Tropicália was Oswald de Andrade’s Manifesto of
Cannibalism, which inspired the two to “eat
up” and “digest” cultural impressions
from outside Brazil and “regurgitate”
something Brazilian. In England they lived in
close proximity to the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and English culture. Thus, in
spite of their longing for the homeland, they absorbed what they saw and heard in
the cold, wet climate of London and used it well later. As Caetano later said
about Mick Jagger, having attended a concert:
“He had samba in his body.”

Tropicalismo

Tropicalismo is a term inextricably linked to Caetano and Gil. Few
people, however, would be able to explain the origin of the term, which came to
signify such a radical change in Brazilian culture—and perhaps change the fates of
many who came to stand as the proponents of the “movement.”

Journalist and author Nelson Motta writes in his book
Noites Tropicais, Tropical Nights:

“On a summer night, a little before Carnaval of 1968, I spent hours
drinking draft beer and conversing with Glauber Rocha, Cacá Diegues, Gustavo Dahl,
and Luiz Carlos Barreto at the bar Alpino, in Ipanema. Enthusiastic about Cinema
Novo (New Cinema, Brazilian film movement), Teatro Oficina (avant-garde theater
founded by José Celso Martinez Corrêa), the
records of Gil and Caetano, and excited about the political and artistic movement, which
had not been articulated and did not yet have a name—though in full swing—with so
many innovations and so much potential, we began imagining a festivity to celebrate
the new movement. A type of modernist baptism, a tropical feast, a mocking of our
bad taste, vulgarity and sensuality, with our exuberant kitsch. After several drafts,
tired of so much laughing, I arrived at home and forgot about the subject.

“The following day, with the dramatic lack of news that afflicts the columnists
of the Carioca (from Rio) summer, I used
all the space of the column to tell, in the form of a sardonic manifesto, all the
foolishness we had imagined at the Alpino. Under
the title “Tropicalist Crusade” I
irresponsibly filled half a page of the paper (the
article appeared February 5, 1968, in the defunct Rio daily
Última Hora), celebrating the artistic moment with an imaginary,
future party, in which the men would be in white suits, panama hats, and two-colored
shoes, and the women in full dresses in green-yellow and turquoise, dancing
among bunches of pineapples and bananas. The supposed “tropicalismo,” common
jargon for new art and movements, motif for the party and the false manifesto, was a
preposterous discourse, which mixed cult of the past and tackiness making fun of the
nationalists and traditionalists; it was absolutely chaotic, though it even had its
entertaining moments, satirizing the national bad taste and making fun of the
intellectual good taste.

“The party never happened, but there was great repercussion for the column,
and it was taken surprisingly seriously and hotly discussed pro and con in other
newspapers, as well as radio and television, which
went on to refer to the movement of Gil and Caetano as Tropicalismo.”

Others will likely have other explanations of the origin of that short-lived
movement, which for all intents and purposes ended when Caetano and Gil were sent
into exile early the next year.

“They show that it is possible throughout an entire life, to have a body of work
so exclusive and particular that you could never find its equal by any other artist.”

Paulinho Moska, composer.

Forbidding is Forbidden

On the evening of September 15, 1968, an event took place, which certainly
pricked up the ears of the military government. Caetano stepped onto the stage at Tuca
in São Paulo, ready to read a poem by
Fernando Pessoa and make a type of amends to Cacilda Becker—the
grande dame of Brazilian theater, who had been the subject
of the dreaded censorship of the military but courageously resisted—and won.
Caetano was accompanied by Os Mutantes in their plastic clothes and electric guitars, and
the crowd went crazy booing and jeering the performers. Caetano, unable to sing,
went into an angry tirade comparing the audience to members of Comando de Caça
aos Comunistas, the CCC (Commando of the hunt for communists), who had invaded
the Teatro Ruth Escobar, on July 16, 1968, to beat up the actors and destroy the set of
the play Roda Viva by Chico Buarque. The tumultuous performance was recorded,
and the speech is now famous:

“But is that the youth which says they want to take power? You have the
courage to applaud, this year, a song, a type of music, which you would not have had
the courage to applaud last year. It is the same youth, which always, always will kill
the elderly enemy, who died yesterday. You are understanding nothing, nothing,
nothing, absolutely nothing. Today there is no Fernando Pessoa. Today I am here to
say, that those who had the courage to take on the structure of the festival—not with
the fear, which Chico de Assis asked for—but with courage—who had the courage
to assume the structure and make it explode, was Gilberto Gil, and it was I.

“It was nobody else, it was Gilberto Gil and it was I. You are on the outside. You
are not working to understand. But what youth is that? What youth is that? You will
never have content. You’re like you know whom? You’re like you know whom? Is
there sound in the microphone? You’re like you know whom? Those who went to
Roda Viva and beat up the actors…You are
no different from them, you are no different. And speaking of which, long live
Cacilda Becker! I have compromised myself by issuing that ‘long live’, it has nothing to
do with you. The problem is the following: You are wanting to police Brazilian music.

“Maranhão that year presented a
song with an arrangement of charleston, do you
know what that was? It was “Gabriela” from last year, which he
did not have courage, last year, to present because it was
American. But I and Gil already paved the way, what is it that you want?
I come here to finish with that. I want to say to the jury:
disqualify me! I want nothing to do with it! Nothing to do with it! Gilberto
Gil! Gilberto Gil is with me finishing with the festival and all
the imbecility, which reigns in Brazil! Finish with all that all at
once! That’s why we entered the festival. Is it not Gil?

“We are not pretending, we are not pretending, here, that
we don’t know what the festival is, no! Nobody ever heard me talk
like this! Do you know why? We, I and he, had the courage to enter
into all the structures and leave all of them, we are done! And you?
If you do in politics as you are in esthetics, we are done!
Disqualify me along with Gil! Along with him, understand? And as for
you (unintelligible). The jury is very nice, but it is incompetent. God
is alone! (he sings a passage of “É Proibido Proibir”, Forbidding
is Forbidden) Out of tune, without melody. How is the jury?
You don’t accept? Disqualify Gilberto Gil’s song, remain outside!
I swear that Gil pulled your chains. Enough!”

A mãe da virgem diz que não

e o anúncio da televisão

estava escrito no portão

e o maestro ergueu o dedo

e além da porta há porteiro,
sim

e eu digo não

e eu digo não ao não

e eu digo é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

Me dê um beijo, meu amor

eles estão nos esperando

os automóveis ardem em chamas

derrubar as prateleiras

as estantes, as estátuas

as vidraças, louças, livros, sim

e eu digo sim

e eu digo não

e eu digo é proibido proibir
é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

é proibido proibir

The mother of the virgin says no

and the announcement on television

was written on the gate

and the maestro lifted his finger

and in addition to the door there is
the caretaker, yes

and I say no

and I say no after no

and I say prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibitedGive me a kiss, my love

they are waiting for us

the automobiles burst into f lames

bring down the shelves

the bookcases, the statues

the window panes, the china, books, yes

and I say yes

and I say no

and I say prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

prohibiting is prohibited

The Movement

On the Internet, one finds in Aulas Virtuais
a lesson in Tropicalismo and its founders, authored by literature
professor Marcos Petrillo Bondan:

“Taking up the “Oswaldian” cannibalism, Tropicalismo was
a very strong, cultural movement, and the first names that come
to mind are those of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. The
presence of these artists asserts itself definitively at the Festival de
Música of TV Record, in 1967, with Gilberto Gil presenting his
Domingo no Parque, Sunday in the Park,
2nd place, and Caetano Veloso’s Alegria,
Alegria, 4th place. The winner was the song
Ponteio, by Edu Lobo and Capinam, but Caetano and Gil attracted all
the glances and voices with their songs, allowing this moment to
be considered the initial mark of Tropicalismo.

“The following year, Tropicalismo saw its peak and its end,
as an episode, Caetano and Gil, together with Os Mutantes,
Torquato Neto, Tom Zé, Capinam, Gal Costa, Nara Leão, and
Rogério Duprat, launch the record Panis et
Circensis, considered the LP manifesto of Tropicalismo. The two
Baianos also have a television program, Divino
Maravilhoso. In the qualifying rounds of the Festival of TV Globo of 1968, there is great controversy with
the presentation of Questão de Ordem,
Question of Order by Gilberto Gil and É Proibido Proibir
by Caetano Veloso. In presenting the latter, Caetano is booed intensely by the audience and,
being unable to conclude the song, ends up making a discourse of
counter attack. “Tropicalismo as a movement ends after the issuance of
AI-5, a stringent law of censorship imposed by the military
dictatorship in December of 1968 and the imprisonment of Caetano
and Gil and their subsequent exile in England.

“Tropicalismo had as a base the attempt to reveal the
contradictions of the Brazilian reality, showing the modern and
the archaic, the national and the foreign, the urban and the rural,
the progress and the backwardness, in all, the movement did not
arrive at producing a synthesis of these elements, but sought to
translate a fragmentary complexity of our culture.

“Seeking to “chew” and “digest” everything, the
movement headed by Gil and Caetano looks to incorporate with
MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) elements of pop music (use of
electric guitars) without forgetting those names, which played an
important role in the evolving movement of our music. Freedom is
a fundamental word of the movement.”
www.bondan.pro.br/aulas/tropicalismo.htm

“I feel I can’t write about them as a professional. They
mean so much, and I don’t know anything about them. I write as
an ordinary person that grew up listening to the audacious
and courageous songs like É proibido
proibir, beautiful verses like Sampa, São Paulo, and the exaltation of
Alegria, Alegria, Happiness, Happiness. They showed up with the movement
Tropicália at the same moment the hippies started to occupy the
sensationalism in the media. With the ‘strange’ manner of their clothes
and adornments and a new ‘proposal’ for a
Bahiano style. People in the beginning were a bit astonished, but pretty soon started to sing
with them, started to be identified with them, and from that time on,
all our lives are always linked with one of their songs; all of them
make us remember a certain period of our lives, now they take part in
our dreams, wills and happiness.”

Sérgio Martinho, Pós-graduate in Gestão da Cultura, Rio
de Janeiro.

Tropicália

Caetano himself has written a book, Verdade Tropical,
Tropical Truth, recently published in English, and naturally he has a
lot to say about the time and the movement. He describes how
the pivotal song, as yet without a title, was heard by several of
his friends. Among them was a newspaper photographer
turned cinematographer, who told Caetano the piece reminded him of
a work of art by Hélio Oiticica, a visual artist, of whom Caetano
had not yet heard.

The name, Tropicália, stuck, as Caetano did not find another title. At a gathering
at the house of a friend, Glauber Rocha, film maker, was enthusiastic about the song
and its connections with his own film Terra em Transe,
Land in Anguish. Caetano has this to say about the movement:

“The idea of a movement gathered momentum, and the media,
naturally, needed a label. By its pregnant power,
the word tropicália found its way into
headlines and conversations. The inevitable “ism” attached itself almost
immediately. Nelson Motta, a dear friend belonging
to that whole group of second-generation bossa
nova in Rio, a lyricist from our generation who was then beginning
his career as a TV journalist, baptized the movement “tropicalismo” and,
extracting from the word itself a repertoire of
attitudes, a folkloric wardrobe, capitalizing on the stereotype of the old-time
Brazilian gentleman in his perennial white suit
and straw hat, taking cough syrups with odd names, languishing under a palm
tree—he inaugurated in a naïve and
unpretentious way what would come to be a long series
of typical interpretations of the movement’s character.

“It was in fact a declaration of support for a trend that was rejected by all of
his (and our) colleagues in Rio. As for me, having resigned myself to
“Tropicália” for lack of a better option—and
thinking that the song in the end would not be much affected by the title—I didn’t
swallow that tropicalista syrup. The
old-fashioned or folksy images annoyed me—unlike
tropicália, which was a new word,
tropicalismo sounded worn out to me. I had already heard it with a different
meaning, perhaps connected to the Pernambucan sociologist Gilberto Freyre
(which later proved to be the case).

“At any rate the word seemed to exclude some of the elements we
wanted most to stress, above all the internationalizing, anti-nationalizing ones, those
that proposed a necessary identification with the whole urban culture of the West.
It was a measure of consolation that the newspapers called “hippies” or
“rockers” and our music “pop,” and that
some intellectuals connected us to the avant-garde, ranging from John Cage to Godard.

“But the definitive commentary about the
tropicalista label that had just been attached to us was made by Dr. José
Gil Moreira, Gilberto Gil’s father: “I’m a tropicalist,” he said laughing, “since
I’ve been a specialist in tropical diseases for decades!” In fact, the entry
“Tropicalista” in the Aurélio Dictionary of the
Portuguese Language states: “I. The author
of treatises on topics related to tropical regions. 2. A specialist in diseases
from those regions.”

(In the latest version of Aurélio, the first definition of the word ‘tropicalista’ is
‘relating to tropicalismo.’)

“In passing through Camden—it has to do with a
Brazuca who loves amulets— I hear a recorded voice fancying to see a lion
cub, and I also feel like a puppy ‘raio da
manhã’ in the middle of fog and crowds down there, recalling my tribe of
new Baianos ever new poets, mostly after
another voice turning up from the same stereo whispering to me that ‘love is
like a grain’. Both recorded voices embrace me, and for a while I understand
that ‘o cu do mundo” (the world’s asshole—far away) is a
cool place in my soul. I ask, and the Briton says ‘alas!’ Gilberto Caetano Gil Veloso,
got it?”
Cesário is an actor and PhD researcher at Department of Studies, Exeter
University, UK. His research is granted by Brazilian CAPES, from Ministry of
Education. He can be found virtually in

C.A.Pimentel-de-Alencar@exeter.ac.uk

Cultural Storm

It is probable that none of the people involved in the Tropicalismo
movement had ever imagined the controversy they
stirred up, nor that it would divide the population the way it did. The debate
raged in the press, at public meetings, and
cultural icons of Brazil wrote about it, pro and
con. It is likely that the hullabaloo would have continued much longer, had it not been
for the exile of the two principals of the movement. As long as they remained in
Brazil, however, they were targets of many attacks.

On the evening of June 6, 1968, organized by the students of the Faculdade
de Arquitetura e Urbanismo—FAU, located in Rua Maranhão, in São Paulo,
Caetano, Gil, and Torquato Neto were invited to a debate on the ideas of Tropicalismo.
But, the audience was already prepared—it was a trap to provoke and insult them.

At the door of FAU, students distributed, beforehand, a type of manifesto
against Tropicalismo, which the father of ‘theater of the oppressed,’ Augusto Boal, wrote
for the occasion of the 1a Feira Paulista
de Opinião (São Paulo’s First Opinion
Market), the debut of which happened the evening before, at the Teatro Ruth Escobar.

Carlos Calado, in the book Tropicália—the history of a
revolution, details the episode.

“In that text, entitled ‘Chacrinha* and Dercy of Sapato Branco (White shoe)’,
the director of Teatro de Arena expounds his criticism against the tropicalistas,
obviously having the ideas of the theater of
Zé Celso Martinez Corrêa, the Oficina,
right in his sights. After labeling the movement as ‘neo-romantic’ (accusing it of
attacking only society’s appearances),
‘inarticulate’ (for limiting itself only to criticizing,
without attaching itself to any ‘system’), Boal issued an ironic challenge.

“I’ll begin believing a little more in
that movement when a tropicalist has the courage to do what Beaudelaire already did
in the last century: walked with his hair dyed green, with a colorful turtle fastened with
a rose colored ribbon. On the day that one of them does something like that and is
capable of giving a headache to a cop… (it will without a doubt be a contribution to
the Brazilian revolution.)”

*Chacrinha, a radio and later television personality, whose programs
saturated the airwaves of Brazil for decades. His nickname “O Velho Guerreiro,” The
Old Warrior, was also the name of one of his programs. Gilberto Gil pays homage
to him in his song “Aquele Abraço.”
Chacrinha was also known as the first communicator of Brazil and the “clown of the people.”

“With such a friendly reception, the circus was already armed to catch fire.
It was not insignificant that, when the event was publicized in that Thursday’s
edition, Folha de S. Paulo anticipated the
temperature in the auditorium of the FAU:
“They say that things will heat up.” To debate
with the invited guests, the organizers had selected two well known opponents
of Tropicalismo: the composer Maranhão (also an alumnus of FAU) and the
journalist Chico de Assis. Sensing that the atmosphere would be unfavorable,
Guilherme Araújo decided to reinforce the
tropicalist team, inviting the ‘concrete poets’ (a
style of poetry) Augusto de Campos and Décio Pignatari.

Augusto, who ended up writing the book “Balanço da Bossa,” which
included his articles already published in the
press about the music of Caetano and Gil, was the first to speak. Making a type of
introduction, he observed the road to innovation opened by
bossa nova was abandoned, especially after ’64, when an atmosphere
of repulsion at any foreign influence seemed to be instituted in Brazil’s popular
music. Therefore, in his opinion, the tropicalist incursions of Caetano and Gil were
‘a
true revolution against fear.’

Pignatari then expressed himself, indicating the connection of the new
movement with the modernist ‘cannibalism:’

“Our Tropicalismo is to gather strength. That of Gilberto Freyre is the tropic
seen from the big house. We watch from the slave quarters. So, as Oswald de
Andrade said, we are not in the Stone Age. We are
in the age of throwing stones. It is of interest to know how to eat and swallow, which
are critical acts, as done by Caetano and Gil.”

“Unruly since the beginning, the audience proceeded toward an open
confrontation when Gilberto Gil touched on a delicate point: the commercial side of art.
We did not make our music a commodity.
But it only comes through when it is sold,”
said the composer. The jeers exploded. And increased when Caetano
mentioned Chacrinha. In addition to firecrackers, which continued
to blow up near the table, even bananas were hurled at the
guests. Accustomed to more inflammatory controversy, with a lot of
presence of spirit, Pignatari was not intimidated: he got up and booed
the audience.

“The firecrackers and bananas launched at the tropicalists
carried an evident vision: From then on, they began to confront
something quite a bit more concrete than criticisms and provocations.”

Singer Rita Lee thinks that an artist who already revolutionized a time in his life,
has fulfilled the greater part of his work. She thinks that the changes in the works of
Gil and Caetano, today less shrill, would not be proof of artistic accommodation. “It is
a process of expansion of consciousness, which makes up a part of our
improvement,” says Rita.

Sweet Barbarians

On June 24, 1976, Caetano, Gil, Maria Bethânia, and Gal Costa formed the
group Doces Bárbaros, Sweet Barbarians, and débuted at Anhembi, in São Paulo, and
in July of the same year, their first compact, recorded in a studio with songs from
the show, was released. Shortly thereafter, during their tour, Gilberto Gil and
drummer Chiquinho Azevedo were arrested for carrying marijuana in Florianópolis,
Santa Catarina. The imprisonment causes a great national controversy. Caetano
affirms that he does not use drugs, thus justifying his nickname ‘Caretano,’ straight arrow,
which he was given by friend Rogério Duarte,
one of the mentors of the tropicalist movement. In October, the album with material
from the show Doces Bárbaros, which would also become a film with direction by
Jom Tob Azulay, was released.

Perhaps it was more of an experiment or an expression of mutual friendship,
but the group did not continue to record. Years
later, however, Pão Music, an organization responsible for wonderful, free music
arrangements and concerts, decided to reunite the four Baianos, celebrating
their 25th anniversary and introducing
younger generations to a piece of Brazilian
history with four of the greatest representatives
of MPB.

The production of a CD and DVD were also part of the plan. Getting the four
together involved a great deal of complex negotiations with the respective record
companies of the four as well as coordinating with their busy schedules. In addition,
this would not just be the revival of a revolutionary period of MPB but also the
commemoration of the 60th birthdays of
both Caetano and Gil as well as their 35 years of career.

The Doces Bárbaros in London

On June 1, 1994 the four got together with 50 members of the Mangueira
samba school gathered in London. Singing to an audience of five thousand people, the majority of whom were
Brazilians, the four Baianos kissed and hugged on stage, emotional about the reunion in
the city where Caetano and Gil were exiled. They had returned as virtual ambassadors.

The show started with Gal and Bethânia singing Gil’s “Esotérico” accompanied
by the other two on guitars, reviving the Doces Bárbaros tour of 1976. Gal was dressed
in the famous red dress with a rose in her hair, Bethânia in white, Caetano in a black
suit and green and yellow shirt, and Gil in a white suit.

Bethânia then sang four songs by herself with her band, resulting in loud
applause from the audience. This increased when Caetano replaced his sister and
sang “Sampa” (song dedicated to São
Paulo). “This song is as if London were São
Paulo,” he said, comparing the city of his exile
with the city known as the “tomb of samba.”

He continued to sing “Leãozinho,”
Little Lion and “Você é Linda,” You are
Beautiful and closed his set with “Qualquer
Coisa,” Anything. The audience followed him
off the stage with a standing ovation. Then appeared Gal and Gil with his band,
including Moreno, son of Caetano, on percussion. The audience was delirious to
hear Gal sing Ary Barroso’s beautiful
“Aquarela do Brasil,” Watercolor of Brazil.
After many more songs, the members of Mangueira appeared for a splendid
crescendo, in which they performed that year’s samba music with the four
Baianos.

The Lyrics

Certainly, both artists have written beautiful, lyrical
and romantic songs, known and loved by every Brazilian, but
a great part of their body of work has strong political
statements about the Brazilian experience, including politics, crime,
cultural movements, etc. It appears, to this author at least, that
their collective creativity has increased exponentially over the
years as well as their courage to explore areas as yet undiscovered
by other artists. Thus, they have always been in the vanguard
of musical creativity.

The song, which eventually gave name to the
movement was “Tropicália” by Caetano.

Tropicália

Sobre a cabeça os aviões

sob os meus pés os caminhões

aponta contra os chapadões

meu nariz

eu organizo o movimento

eu oriento o carnaval

eu inauguro o monumento

no Planalto Central do país

viva a Bossa-sa-sa

viva a palhoça-ça-ça-ça-ça

o monumento é de papel crepom
e prata

os olhos verdes da mulata

a cabeleira esconde atrás da verde mata

o luar do sertão

o monumento não tem porta

a entrada de uma rua antiga, estreita
e torta

e no joelho uma criança sorridente,
feia e morta

estende a mão

viva mata-ta-ta

viva mulata-ta-ta-ta-ta

no pátio interno há uma piscina

com água azul de Amaralina

coqueiro, brisa e fala nordestina

e faróis

na mão direita tem uma roseira

autenticando eterna primavera

e nos jardins os urubus passeiam

a tarde inteira

entre os girassóis

viva Maria-ia-ia

viva Bahia-ia-ia-ia-ia

no pulso esquerdo bang-bang

em suas veias corre muito pouco sangue

mas seu coração balança

a um samba

de tamborim

emite acordes dissonantes

pelos cinco mil alto-falantes

senhoras e senhores ele põe os
olhos grandes

sobre mim

viva Iracema-ma-ma

viva Ipanema-ma-ma-ma-ma

domingo é o fino da bossa

segunda-feira está na fossa

terça-feira vai à roça

porém

o monumento é bem moderno

não disse nada do modelo do meu terno

que tudo mais vá pro inferno

meu bem

viva banda-da-da

Carmen Miranda-da-da-da-da

Tropicália

Above my head the planes

below my feet the trucks

my nose head on with
the highlands

I lead the movement

I direct the Carnaval

I unveil the monument
in my homeland’s central plain

viva the bossa-sa-sa

viva the gra-gra-grass shacks

the monument is of paper and

silver

the green eyes of the mulatto woman

the long hairdo hides behind the green forest

the moonlight of the arid north

the monument doesn’t have a door

the entrance from an old street, narrow
and crooked

and on the knee a smiling child,
ugly and dead

extends its hand

viva mata-ta-ta

viva mulata-ta-ta-ta-ta

on the indoor patio there is a swimming pool

with blue water from Amaralina

coconut palm, breeze, and northeastern
dialect and lighthouses

in the right hand, a rosebush

authenticating eternal spring

and in the gardens the vultures spend

the entire afternoon

among the sunflowers

viva Maria-ia-ia

viva Bahia-ia-ia-ia-ia

in the left wrist bang-bang

in your veins runs a lot less blood

but your heart swings

to a samba

on tambourine

dissonant chords are emitted

from five thousand loud speakers

ladies and gentlemen he sets

his big eyes

on me

viva Iracema-ma-ma

viva Ipanema-ma-ma-ma-ma

Sunday is the business of bossa

Monday is in the blues

Tuesday go to the country

however

the monument is quite modern

didn’t say anything about the model of my suit

to hell with everything

my dear

viva a banda-da-da

Carmen Miranda-da-da-da-da

Launched at the same time as “Alegria, alegria”
Gilberto Gil’s “Domingo no Parque,” Sunday in the Park, was a
great success but also marked a departure from the romantic song
so often heard on the radio. It has gone on to become a classic.

 

Domingo no Parque

O rei da brincadeira—ê, José

O rei da confusão—ê, João

Um trabalhava na feira—ê, José

Outro na construção—ê, João

A semana passada, no fim da semana

João resolveu não brigar

No domingo de tarde saiu apressado

E não foi pra Ribeira jogar

Capoeira

Não foi lá pra Ribeira

Foi namorar

O José como sempre no fim da semana

Guardou a barraca e sumiu

Foi fazer no domingo um passeio
no parque

Lá perto da Boca do Rio

Foi no parque que ele avistou

Juliana

Foi que ele viu

Juliana na roda com João

Uma rosa e um sorvete na mão

Juliana, seu sonho, uma ilusão

Juliana e o amigo João

O espinho da rosa feriu Zé

E o sorvete gelou seu coração

O sorvete e a rosa—ô, José

A rosa e o sorvete—ô, José

Oi, dançando no peito—ô, José

Do José brincalhão—ô, José

O sorvete e a rosa—ô, José

A rosa e o sorvete—ô, José

Oi, girando na mente—ô, José

Do José brincalhão—ô, José

Juliana girando—oi, girando

Oi, na roda-gigante—oi, girando

Oi, na roda-gigante—oi, girando

O amigo João—oi, João

O sorvete é morango—é vermelho

Oi, girando, e a rosa—é vermelha

Oi, girando, girando—é vermelha

Oi, girando, girando—olha a

faca

Olha o sangue na mão—ê José

Juliana no chão—ê, José

Outro corpo caído—ê, José

Seu amigo João—ê, José

Amanhã não tem feira—

ê, José

Não tem mais
construção—ê, João

Não tem mais brincadeira—
ê, José

Não tem mais
confusão—
ê, João

 

Sunday in the Park

The king of fooling around—eh, José

The king of confusion—eh, João

One worked at the market—eh, José

The other in construction—eh, João

Last week, on the weekend

João decided not to fight

On Sunday afternoon he went out hastily

And did not go to Ribeira* to play

Capoeira

He did not go to Ribeira

He went out with his girlfriend

José as always on the weekend

Closed up his booth and disappeared

He went to take a walk
in the park

There, near Boca do Rio*

It was in the park that he caught sight of

Juliana

That’s what he saw

Juliana on the Ferris wheel with João

A rose and an ice cream in her hand

Juliana, his dream, an illusion

Juliana and his friend João

The rose’s thorn stuck Zé

And the ice cream froze his heart

The ice cream and the rose—oh, José

The rose and the ice cream—oh, José

Hey, dancing in the breast—oh, José

Of José the jokester—oh, José

The ice cream and the rose—oh, José

The rose and the ice cream—oh, José

Hey, spinning in the mind—oh, José

Of José the jokester—oh, José

Juliana spinning—hey, spinning

Hey, on the giant wheel—hey, spinning

Hey, on the giant wheel—hey, spinning

The friend João—hey, João

The ice cream is strawberry— it is red

Hey, spinning, and the rose—it is red

Hey, spinning, spinning—it is red

Hey, spinning, spinning—look at
the knife

See the blood on the hand—eh, José

Juliana on the ground—eh, José

Another body has fallen—eh, José

His friend João—eh, José

Tomorrow there will not be a market
—eh, José

There is no more construction—eh, João

There is no more fooling around
—eh, José

There is no more confusion—
eh, João

*Both are neighborhoods of
Salvador, Bahia

A song, which has become almost an anthem for those
who lived through that time and a well known song to others,
who have come since, is the following, by Caetano:

Alegria, Alegria

Caminhando contra o vento

sem lenço, sem documento

no sol de quase dezembro

eu vou

o sol se reparte em crimes

espaçonaves, guerrilhas

em Cardinales bonitas

eu vou

em caras de presidentes

em grandes beiaw6kx de amor

em dentes, pernas, bandeiras

bomba e Brigitte Bardot

o sol nas bancas de revista

me enche de alegria e preguiça

quem lê tanta notícia

eu vou

por entre fotos e nomes

os olhos cheios de cores

o peito cheio de amores vãos

eu vou

por que não, por que não

ela pensa em casamento

e eu nunca mais fui à escola

sem lenço, sem documento

eu vou

eu tomo uma coca cola

ela pensa em casamento

e uma canção me consola

eu vou

por entre fotos e nomes

sem livros e sem fuzil

sem fome sem telefone

no coração do Brasil

ela nem sabe até  pensei

em cantar na televisão

o sol é tão bonito

eu vou,

sem lenço sem documento

nada no bolso, ou  nas mãos

eu quero seguir vivendo, amor

eu vou

por que não, por que não?

Joy, Joy

Walking against the wind

without handkerchief, without document

in the almost December sun

I go

he sun scatters in crimes

spaceships, guerrillas

in beautiful Cardinales

I go

in the faces of presidents

in great kisses of love

in teeth, legs, flags

the bomb and Brigitte Bardot

the sun on the newsstand

fills me with happiness and laziness

who reads so much news

I go

among photos and names

my eyes filled with colors

my breast filled with useless loves

I go

why not, why not

she thinks of marriage

and I never went back to school

without handkerchief, without document

I go

I drink a Coca-Cola

she thinks of marriage

and a song consoles me

I go

among photos and names

without books and without rifle

without hunger, without telephone

in the heart of Brazil

she doesn’t even know that I thought
of  singing on television

the sun is so beautiful

I go,

without handkerchief, without document

nothing in my pockets or in my hands

I want to go on living, love

I go

why not, why not?

Delirium Musicalis

Gilberto Gil says: “I had been a prisoner for some
three weeks when sergeant Juarez asked me if I didn’t want a
guitar. I said yes. And he brought me one with permission of
the commander of the barracks. The guitar stayed with me for
two weeks. There I, who had not had the stimulus to compose (I
was without the `voice’ of the music, the instrument), made
“Cérebro Eletrônico,” Electronic Brain, and two others—also under
that approach, or delirium, scientific-esoteric, which possibly
was only in the outline, and I forgot.

The fact that I had been violated at the very base of
my existential condition—my body—and to see me deprived
of liberty of action and movement, of the full dominion of
space-time, of free will and decision, had perhaps brought me
to dream with substitutes and, unconsciously, think of mental
and physical extensions of man and his mechanical creations; of
the remote action commands, which augment one’s capacity to
act and create. Because these are the ideas that run through
those three songs.

Cérebro Eletrônico

O cérebro eletrônico faz tudo

faz quase tudo

quase tudo

mas ele é mudo

O cérebro eletrônico comanda

manda e desmanda

ele é quem manda

mas ele não anda

Só eu posso pensar se Deus
existe

só eu

só eu posso chorar quando estou triste

só eu

eu cá com meus botões de carne
e osso

hum hum

eu falo e ouço

hum hum

eu penso e posso

Eu posso decidir se vivo ou morro

porque

porque sou vivo, vivo pra cachorro

e sei

que cérebro eletrônico nenhum
me dá socorro

em meu caminho inevitável para a morte

Porque sou vivo, ah, sou muito vivo

e sei

que a morte é nosso impulso primitivo

e sei

que cérebro eletrônico nenhum
me dá socorro

com seus botões de ferro e seus olhos
de vidro.

Electronic Brain

The electronic brain does everything

does almost everything

almost everything

but it is mute

the electronic brain commands

arranges and disarranges

it takes care of things

but it doesn’t walk

only I can think about whether God
exists

only I

only I can cry when I am sad

only I

I’m here with my buttons of meat
and bone

hum hum

I speak and listen

hum hum

I think and can

I can decide if I live or die

because

I’m alive, so damned alive

and I know

that no electronic brain
gives me help

on my inevitable road toward death

because I’m alive, very much alive

and I know

that death is our primitive impulse

and I know

that no electronic brain
gives me help

with its buttons of iron and its eyes
of glass.

Inspired by an event he witnessed at a celebration at the new Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado
in Pelourinho, dedicated to the famous Brazilian writer, Caetano wrote the following song—a
rap—with music by both of them. It is a riveting song and a strong political statement about racism.

Haiti

Quando você for convidado pra subir
no adro

da Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado

pra ver do alto a fila de soldados,
quase todos pretos

dando porrada na nuca de malandros
pretos

de ladrões mulatos e outros quase
brancos

tratados como pretos

só pra mostrar aos outros quase
pretos

(e são quase todos pretos)

e aos quase brancos pobres
como pretos *

como é que pretos, pobres e mulatos

e quase brancos quase pretos de tão
pobres são tratados

e não importa se olhos do mundo
inteiro

possam estar por um momento
voltados para o largo

onde os escravos eram castigados

e hoje um batuque um
batuque

com a pureza de meninos uniformizados
de escola secundária

em dia de parada

e a grandeza épica de um povo
em formação

nos atrai, nos deslumbre e estimula

não importa nada: nem o traço
do sobrado

nem a lente do Fantástico, nem o disco
de Paul Simon

ninguém, ninguém é cidadão

se você for ver a festa do Pelô

e se você não for

pense no Haiti, reze pelo Haiti

o Haiti é aqui—o Haiti não é aqui

E na TV se você vir um deputado em
pânico mal dissimulado

diante de qualquer, mas qualquer mesmo,
qualquer qualquer

plano de educação que pareça fácil

que pareça fácil e rápido

e vá representar uma ameaça
de democratização

do ensino de primeiro grau

e se esse mesmo deputado defender

a adoção da pena capital

e o venerável cardeal disser

que vê tanto espírito no feto

e nenhum no marginal e se,

ao furar o sinal, o velho sinal

vermelho habitual,

notar um homem mijando na
esquina da rua

sobre um saco brilhante de lixo do Leblon

e ao ouvir o silêncio sorridente de
São Paulo

diante da chacina

111 presos indefesos,

mas presos são quase todos pretos

ou quase pretos, ou quase brancos
quase pretos de tão pobres

e pobres são como podres e todos sabem

como se tratam os pretos

e quando você for dar uma volta no Caribe

e quando for trepar sem camisinha

e apresentar sua participação inteligente
no bloqueio a Cuba

pense no Haiti, reze pelo Haiti

o Haiti é aqui, o Haiti não é aqui.

* line eliminated in future recordings

Haiti

When you are invited up
on the terrace

of the Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation

to watch from above the row of soldiers;
almost all black

beating on the necks of black good for
nothings

of mulatto thieves and other almost
white ones

treated like the black ones

just to show the other almost
black ones

(and they are almost all black)

and the almost white poor like
black ones

how it is that blacks, poor, and mulattos

and almost white ones, almost black and
poor are treated

and it doesn’t matter if the eyes of the
whole world

might for a moment be turned to
the square

where the slaves were punished

and today a pounding of drums,
pounding of drums

with the purity of boys in secondary
school uniforms

on parade day

and the epic grandeur of a people
in formation

it attracts us, astonishes and stimulates us

nothing matters: not the trace of the
mansion’s architecture

not the lens from Fantástico, not
Paul Simon’s record

no one, no one is a citizen

if you go to the party there at Pelô,

and if you don’t go

think of Haiti, pray for Haiti

Haiti is here—Haiti is not here

And on TV, if you see a congressman
in badly concealed panic

when faced by any, absolutely any, any any

plan for education that seems easy

that seems fast and easy

and will represent a threat to democratize

primary school education

and if this same congressman
should defend

the adoption of capital
punishment

and the venerable cardinal should declare

that he sees so much soul in the fetus

and none in the criminal and if,

when you run a light, the old familiar light

red as usual

you notice on a street corner
a man pissing

on a shiny bag of garbage from Leblon

and when you hear the smiling silence of
São Paulo

in response to the massacre

111 defenseless prisoners

but prisoners are almost all black

or almost black, or almost white
almost black and so poor

and poor men are rotten, and everyone knows

how blacks are treated

and when you go on holiday in the Caribbean

and when you go fuck without a condom,

and participate intelligently
in the blockade of Cuba

Think of Haiti, pray for Haiti

Haiti is here, Haiti is not here.

 

One of the duo’s most complex (the English translation in this case should be
taken only as a very distant taste of what the words and allusions mean) and beautiful songs has melody by Gil and lyrics
by Caetano and talks about the Brazilian style of film making, known as Cinema Novo,
whose most important director was the late
Baiano, Glauber Rocha, a friend of Caetano’s but
also someone he describes as so shy and withdrawn, conversation with him never came easily.
The lyrics make numerous references to important Brazilian movies.

Cinema Novo

O filme quis dizer “Eu sou o samba”

a voz do morro rasgou

a tela do cinema

e começaram a se configurar

visões das coisas grandes e pequenas

que nos formaram e estão a nos formar

todas e muitas; deus e o diabo,

vidas secas, os fuzis,

os cafajestes, o padre e a moça, a

grande feira, o desafio

outras conversas, outras conversas
sobre os jeitos do Brasil

outras conversas sobre os jeitos do

Brasil

A bossa nova passou na prova

nos salvou na dimensão da eternidade

porém aqui embaixo “a vida”,
mera
“metade de nada”

nem morria nem enfrentava
o problema

pedia soluções e explicações

e foi por isso que as imagens
do país
desse cinema

entraram nas palavras das canções

Primeiro foram aquelas que
explicavam

e a música parava pra pensar

mas era tão bonito que parasse

que a gente nem queria reclamar

depois foram as imagens que
assombravam

e outras palavras já queriam se cantar

de ordem de desordem de loucura

de alma à meia-noite e de indústria

e a terra entrou em transe é

no sertão de Ipanema

em transe é, no mar de Monte Santo

e a luz do nosso canto, e as vozes

do poema

necessitaram transformar-se tanto

que o samba quis dizer, o samba

quis dizer:

eu sou cinema

Aí o anjo nasceu, veio o bandido

meteorango,

Hitler terceiro mundo, sem
essa aranha,

fome de amor

e o filme disse: eu quero ser poema

ou mais: quero ser filme e
filme-filme

acossado no limite da garganta
do diabo

voltar à Atlântida e ultrapassar o eclipse

matar o ovo e ver a Vera Cruz

e o samba agora diz: eu sou a luz

da lira do delírio, da

alforria de Xica

de toda nudez de Índia de flor de

macabéia, de asa branca

meu nome é Stelinha, é Inocência

meu nome é Orson Antonio Vieira
Conselheiro de Pixote

super outro

quero ser velho, de novo eterno,
quero ser novo de novo

quero ser ganga bruta e clara gema

eu sou o samba, viva o cinema—
viva o cinema novo.

New Cinema

The film wanted to say “I am samba”

the voice from the slums on the
hill tore open the movie screen

and visions of things large and small

that formed us and are forming us

began to configure

all and many: black god and white devil,
parched lives, the rifles

the scum, the priest and the maiden,
the great fair, the challenge

other conversations, other conversations
about the ways of Brazil

other conversations about the ways of

Brazil

Bossa nova passed the test

saved us in the dimension of the eternal

but down here “life,”
a mere “half of nothing”

wouldn’t even die and wouldn’t face
the problem

it asked for solutions and explanations

and that was why the images from
the country of this cinema

entered the words of the songs

First there were those that
explained

and music stopped to think

but it was so beautiful that it should stop

we didn’t even want to complain

later there were the images that
haunted us

and other words wanted to be sung

of order of disorder of madness

of a soul a midnight and of industry

and the earth became entranced

on the dry wilderness of Ipanema

in a trance on the sea of Monte Santo

and the light in our song, and the voices
of the poem

needed so badly to transform themselves

that the samba wanted to say, the samba
wanted to say:

I am cinema

And then the angel was born,
the meteorango bandit arrived

third world Hitler, without
that spider,

hunger for love

and the film said: I want to be a poem

furthermore: I want to be a film and a
film film

breathless at the limit of the
devil’s throat

return to Atlantida and go beyond the eclipse

kill the egg and see Vera Cruz

and now samba says: I am the light

from delirium’s lyre, from the

emancipation of Xica

from all the nakedness of the Indian flower of
Macabeia from white wing

my name is Stelinha, it’s Inocencia

my name is Orson Antonio Vieira
Conselheiro de Pixote

super other

I want to be old, again eternal,
I want to be new again

I want to be ganga bruta and clara gema

I am the samba, long live cinema—
long live the new cinema.

Another creative and innovative way the two artists show off
their imagination is in the song “Da Da.”

A deus

Deus a

Afrodite

De ti

Ti ve

Vi da

Da da

A deus

Good-bye

Goddess

Afrodite

From thee

I had

Life

Given

To God

Romantic or tragic, politically rebellious or universally
soothing, their music always leaves us with food for thought. It provokes
and stirs up controversy, makes us smile or cry but never leaves us cold
or indifferent. Perhaps it would be appropriate to say what Caetano
tried to say that night in São Paulo in his tribute to Cacilda Becker. Long
live Caetano and Gil!

Kirsten Weinoldt was born in Denmark and came to the U.S. in 1969. She fell in love with Brazil after seeing Black Orpheus many years ago and has lived immersed in Brazilian culture ever since. Her e-mail:
kwracing@erols.com

London, London
(Caetano Veloso)

I’m wandering round and round nowhere to go
I ‘m lonely in London London is lovely so
I cross the streets without fear
Everybody keeps the way clear
I know, I know no one here to say hello
I know they keep keep the way clear
I am lonely in London without fear
I’m wandering round and round here nowhere to go

While my eyes
Go looking for flying saucers in the sky
But my eyes
Go looking for flying saucers in the sky

Oh Sunday, Monday Autumn pass by me
And people hurry on so peacefully
A group approaches the policeman
He seems so pleased to please them
It’s good at least to live and I agree
He seems so pleased at least
And it’s so good to live in peace
And Sunday, Monday, years and I agree

While my eyes
Go looking for flying saucers in the sky
But my eyes
Go looking for flying saucers in the sky

I choose no face to look at, choose no way
I just happened to be here and it’s ok!
Green grass blue eyes, grey key God bless
Silent pain and happiness
I came around to say yes, and I say
Green grass blue eyes, grey key God bless
Silent pain and happiness
I came around to say yes, and I say

While my eyes
Go looking for flying saucers in the sky
But my eyes
Go looking for flying saucers in the sky

Caetano on writing in a foreign language: “It’s not hard for me to write
lyrics in English. What drives me nuts is the curiosity to know what do they
mean.”

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