National Mêlée

National Mêlée

The Brazilian national anthem has a story that involves Don Pedro I,
the Portuguese prince who declared Brazil independent from Portugal and then became the
first emperor of the new country.
By Alessandra Dalevi

Together with the French La Marseillaise, Brazil’s national anthem gets top
votes from musical experts for the excellence of its melody. While to the French it is a
"call-to-arms" battle hymn, the Brazilian anthem is a pastoral song talking
about "smiley pretty fields". What some experts are not able to explain is why
the author of such a musical jewel, Francisco Manuel da Silva (1795-1865), did not produce
other praiseworthy pieces. The answer might be that da Silva did not compose the Hino
Nacional Brasileiro, that is, he borrowed from his master, Father José Maurício
Nunes Garcia (1767-1830), a priest who excelled as a classic composer.

This controversy is not new, and accusations that the Brazilian national anthem was
plagiarized have become more frequent since 1995 when "Matinas de Nossa Senhora da
Conceição," a religious composition was sung during Juiz de Fora’s (state of Minas
Gerais) Colonial Music Festival. The audience, made up mostly of music experts, was amazed
to discover in the homage to the Virgin Mary, a good portion very similar to the national
anthem. Chronologically is quite possible that this borrowing really happened and several
experts have been trying to establish the truth. Although not dated, the
"Matinas" was written in 1821 or 1822.

In an interview with weekly newsmagazine Veja, maestro Marcelo Antunes Martins,
who will soon release the first commercial recording of "Matinas", accuses Silva
of crass plagiarism: "Soon after composing "Matinas", Nunes Garcia became
sclerotic. He was incapable of recognizing his own compositions. Francisco Manuel da Silva
took advantage of his master’s disease to copy the theme."

For maestro Sergio Dias, however, there is no case of plagiarism, but a mere homage
from a student to his master. Others say that there was only a coincidence since both
composers, Nunes Garcia and his disciple, were influenced by the Italian opera through the
companies that started going to Brazil in 1821.

The Brazilian national anthem has a colorful story that involves even Don Pedro I, the
Portuguese prince who on September, 7, 1822 declared Brazil independent from Portugal and
then became the first emperor of the new country. It was Dom Pedro, a composer himself,
who wrote the first Brazilian national anthem, a song still sung in schools now known as "Hino
da Independência" (Independence Hymn). As for the official anthem it only got
its definitive lyrics in 1922, thanks to the sometimes convoluted poetic style of Joaquim
Osório Duque Estrada (1870-1927). In one of the older versions, Ovídio Saraiva de
Carvalho e Silva made references in his text to the monarchy and to a wise reign.

Hino Nacional Brasileiro

Music by Francisco Manuel da Silva
Lyrics by Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada

Ouviram do Ipiranga as margens plácidas
De um povo heróico o brado retumbante,
E o sol da liberdade, em raios fúlgidos,
Brilhou no céu da pátria nesse instante.

Se o penhor dessa igualdade
Conseguimos conquistar com braço forte,
Em teu seio, ó liberdade,
Desafia o nosso peito a própria morte!

Ó Pátria amada,
Salve! Salve!

Brasil, um sonho intenso, um raio vívido,
De amor e de esperança à terra desce
Se em teu formoso céu risonho e límpido
A imagem do Cruzeiro resplandece
Gigante pela própria natureza
És belo, és forte, impávido colosso,
E o teu futuro espelha essa grandeza,

Terra adorada,
Entre outras mil,
És tu, Brasil,
Ó pátria amada!
Dos filhos deste solo
És mãe gentil,
Pátria amada,

Deitado eternamente em
berço esplêndido,
Ao som do mar e à luz do céu profundo,
Fulguras, ó Brasil, florão da América,
Iluminado ao sol do Novo Mundo!

Do que a terra mais
Teus risonhos, lindos campos
têm mais flores,
"Nossos bosques têm mais vida,"
"Nossa vida" no teu seio "mais amores"

Ó pátria amada,
Salve! Salve!

Brasil, de amor eterno seja símbolo
O lábaro que ostentas estrelado,
E diga o verde-louro dessa flâmula
– paz no futuro e glória no passado –

Mas se ergues da justiça a clava forte,
Verás que um filho teu não foge à luta
Nem teme, quem te adora a própria morte,

Terra adorada!
Entre outras mil,
És tu, Brasil,
Ó pátria amada

Dos filhos deste solo
És mãe gentil,
Pátria amada,

Brazilian National Anthem

The peaceful banks of the Ipiranga
Heard the resounding cry of a heroic people,
And the dazzling rays of the sun of liberty
Bathed our country in their brilliant light.

If with strong arm we have succeeded
In winning a pledge of equality,
In your bosom, oh liberty,
Our hearts will defy death itself!

Oh adored Fatherland,
Cherished and revered,
All Hail! All Hail

Brazil, a sublime dream, a vivid ray
Of love and hope to earth descends, and
Where in your clear, pure, beauteous skies
The image of the Southern Cross shines forth.
Oh country vast by nature,
Fair and strong, a brave colossus,
Your future mirrors this greatness.

Oh land adored
Above all others,
It’s you, Brazil,
Beloved fatherland!
You are the gentle mother
of the children of this soil,
Beloved land,

Laid out eternally in the
splendor of nature,
In the sound of the sea and the light of heaven,
May you shine, oh Brazil, flower of America,
Illumined by the sun of the New World!

More flowers put forth in your fair,
smiling fields
Than in the most gorgeously
reputed lands;
"More life is to be found in our groves,"
"More love in our lives" in your embrace.

Oh adored Fatherland,
Cherished and revered,
All Hail! All Hail!

May the star-scattered banner flown by you,
Brazil, become a symbol of eternal love,
And may the green-gold flag proclaim always
– Peace in the future and glory in the past –

But if the mighty sword of justice is drawn forth,
You will perceive your children, who adore you,
Neither fear to fight, nor flee from death itself.

Oh land adored
Above all others,
It’s you, Brazil,
Beloved fatherland!

You are the gentle mother
Of the children of this soil,
Beloved land,


Hino da Independência

Music by Dom Pedro I (1798-1834)
Lyrics by Evaristo da
Veiga (1799-1837)

Já podeis da pátria
Ver contente a mãe gentil,
Já raiou a liberdade,
No horizonte do Brasil

Brava gente brasileira,
Longe vá temor servil,
Ou ficar a Pátria livre,
Ou morrer pelo Brasil

Os grilhões que nos forjava,
Da perfídia astuto ardil,
Houve mão mais poderosa
Zombou deles o Brasil

Brava gente …

Não temais ímpias falanges
Que apresentam face hostil
Vossos peitos, vossos braços,
São muralhas do Brasil

Brava gente, …

Parabéns, ó Brasileiros!
Já com garbo juvenil,
Do universo entre as nações
Resplandece a do Brasil

Brava gente, …

Independence Hymn

You already can, children
of the motherland,
See how happy is the gentle mother
Freedom has already risen
In the horizon of Brazil

Brave Brazilian people
Get rid of your servile fear
May the fatherland be free
Or we will die for Brazil

The shrewd ploy of treachery
Forged shackles for us
There was a more powerful had
Brazil mocked them

Brave people

Do not fear impious phalanxes
That present hostile demeanor
Your chests, your arms,
Are Brazil’s walls

Brave people…

Congratulations, oh Brazilians!
With juvenile gallantry
Among the universe nations
That of Brazil sparkles

Brave people…


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