Songs That Won’t Die

Songs That
      Won't Die

While bossa nova is used as a watershed, A Canção no
Tempo (The Song in Time), which took 12 years of research , deals also with breganejo,
BRrock, Jovem Guarda, Tropicalismo, and Clube da Esquina, among other musical currents and
By Alessandra Dalevi

Which are the most popular songs in Brazil, the tunes that survived at least for one
decade or up to eighty years and continue an enduring career still winning the public’s
heart and radio stations playtime?

Researchers Jairo Severiano and Zuza Homem de Mello have the answer on their two-volume
book A Canção no Tempo (The Song in Time), which took 12 years of research and
whose second volume has just been released.

The first volume came out in December 1997. The work is believed to be the most
complete research ever done in Brazil on popular music and it covers songs from 1901 to

Jairo Severiano, from the state of Ceará, is an authority in Brazilian popular music,
he is also a music producer, a music historian and a prolific author. His Discografia
Brasileira occupies a preeminent place in any Brazilian music bibliography. Journalist
Homem de Mello, from São Paulo, is also record producer as well as historian and a
musicologist having studied at the New York Juilliard School and the Tanglewood School of

And why have the authors excluded all tunes that came out after 1985? Severiano
explained that in an interview with Jornal do Brasil: "You need at least 10
years to be sure that certain song has really ingrained as a hit in the popular
memory." The authors used several criteria to decide which songs to pick, including
how many records were sold and how often they were played on radio, in movies and in dance
halls. The listed songs are classified in categories and commented.

Topping the chart as the most popular composer is Roberto Carlos, who also sings his
own songs and continues to be very active today. From a total of 2139 tunes
selected—578 of these were also commented—75 belong to Roberto Carlos, whose
oldest song in the list is "Parei na Contra Mão" (I Stopped the Wrong Way) from
1963. Seventy of these tunes were made in partnership with Erasmo Carlos.

Second place in the list with 40 hit songs is Chico Buarque, whose compositions are
much richer and more elaborate than those by the Carlos (no relationship between them)
duo. The roster continues with Vinícius de Moraes (39 hit songs) and Caetano Veloso and
Tom Jobim (33 each).

The first volume deals with songs that were hits from 1900 until 1957. It was a golden
era for the national popular music that was played extensively in radio and movies. This
latest work starts in 1958 coinciding with the bossa nova genesis.

The research included interviewing the songs’ composers in a way that in 90% of cases
the items covered contain information obtained directly from the authors. There are
revelations and tidbits as told by such names as Gilberto Gil, Edu Lobo, Moraes Moreira,
Elba Ramalho, Caetano Veloso all talking about the behind-the-scenes of their tunes.

While bossa nova is used as a watershed, the book deals also with breganejo,
BRrock, Jovem Guarda, Tropicalismo, and Clube da Esquina, among other musical currents and

The tunes

The first volume of A Canção no Tempo had analyzed and dissected such hits as
Ari Barroso’s "Aquarela do Brasil," Ataulfo Alves and Mário Lago’s "Ai que
Saudades da Amélia," and João Pernambuco and Catulo da Paixão Cearense’s
"Luar do Sertão".

Here’s a partial list of the hits mentioned in the second volume year by year:

1958: "Chega de Saudade" by Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes,
"Madureira Chorou" by Carvalhinho and Júlio Monteiro

1959: "Chiclete com Banana" by Gordurinha and Almira Castilho,
"Dindi" by Tom and Aloísio de Oliveira, and "Manhã de Carnaval" by
Luís Bonfá and Antônio Maria, and "A Felicidade" by Tom Jobim and Vinícius
de Moraes, composed for the film Orfeu do Carnaval (Black Orpheus).

1960: "Zelão," a socially conscious tune by Sérgio Ricardo; "Coração
de Luto" by Teixeirinha sells one million copies, a number unheard of at the time.

1961: "Ternura Antiga," by Dolores Duran and Ribamar, "Fica Comigo Esta
Noite," by Adelino Moreira and Nélson Gonçalves, "Insensatez" by Tom
Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes.

1962: "Estão Voltando as Flores" by Paulo Soledade, "Influência do
Jazz" by Carlos Lira, "Volta por Cima" by Paulo Vanzolini, "Na
Cadência do Samba" by Ataulfo Alves and Paulo Gesta, "Vou Ter um Troço"
(a Carnaval hit) by Arnô Provenzano, Otolindo Lopes and Jackson do Pandeiro. There were
also 13 foreign hits including "Et Maintenant" by Gilbert Bécaud and P.
Delano’s and "Let’s Twist Again by Kal Mann and David Appell.

1963: "Garota de Ipanema" by Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, "Mais
que Nada" by Jorge Ben (today Jorge Benjor),
"Parei na Contramão" by Roberto Carlos, and "Samba em Prelúdio" by
Baden Powell and Vinícius de Moraes.

1964: "Berimbau" by Baden Powell and Vinícius de Moraes, "Diz que Fui
por Aí" by Zé Keti and Hortênsio Rocha, "O Sol Nascerá" by Cartola and
Élton Medeiros, and "Luz Negra" by Nélson Cavaquinho and Amâncio Cardoso.

1965: "Arrastão" by Edu Lobo and Vinícius de Moraes, "Carcará"
by João do Vale and José Cândido, "Os Cinco Bailes da História do Rio" (samba-enredo)
by Silas de Oliveira, Bacalhau and Dona Ivone Lara, "Opinião" by Zé Keti,
"Pedro Pedreiro" by Chico Buarque de Holanda, smashing hit "Quero que Vá
Tudo pro Inferno" by Roberto and Erasmo Carlos, "Trem das Onze" by Adoniram

1966: "A Banda" by Chico Buarque, "Disparada" by Téo de Barros and
Geraldo Vandré, "Louvação" by Gilberto Gil and Torquato Neto, Procissão by
Gilberto Gil, "Upa Neguinho" by Edu Lobo and Gianfrancesco Guarnieri,
"Alegria, Alegria" (a Tropicalismo precursor) by Caetano Veloso,
"Carolina" by Chico Buarque, "Domingo no Parque" by Gilberto Gil,
"Ponteio" by Edu Lobo and Capinam, "Máscara Negra" by Zé Keti and
Hildebrando Pereira Matos.

1967: "Quem Te Viu, Quem Te Vê" and "Roda Viva" by Chico Buarque,
"Ronda" by Paulo Vanzolini, "Travessia" by Milton Nascimento and
Fernando Brant, "Vem Quente Que Eu Estou Fervendo" by Carlos Imperial and
Eduardo Araújo.

1968: "Alvorada" by Cartola, Carlos Cachaça and Hermínio Bello de Carvalho;
"Sabiá" by Chico Buarque; "Caminhando (Pra Não Dizer Que Não Falei de
Flores)" by Geraldo Vandré; "Geléia Geral" by Gilberto Gil; "Soy
Loco por Ti, America" by Gilberto Gil and Capinan; "Tropicália" by Caetano
Veloso; "Samba do Crioulo Doido" by Sérgio Porto.

1969: "Aquele Abraço" by Gilberto Gil, "Atrás do Trio Elétrico"
by Caetano Veloso, "Charles, Anjo 45" and "País Tropical" by Jorge
Ben, "Sinal Fechado" by Paulinho da Viola.

1970: "Azul da Cor do Mar" by Tim Maia, "Foi um Rio Que Passou em Minha
Vida" by Paulinho da Viola, "Madalena" by Ivan Lins and Ronaldo Monteiro de
Souza, "Pra Frente Brasil" by Miguel Gustavo.

1971: "Construção" by Chico Buarque.

1972: "Águas de Março" by Tom Jobim, "Pérola Negra" by Luís

1973: "Estácio Holy Estácio" by Luís Melodia, "Ouro de Tolo" by
Raul Seixas, "Só Quero um Xodó" by Dominguinhos and Anastácia,
"Viagem" by João de Aquino and Paulo César Pinheiro.

1974: "Quantas Lágrimas" by Manacéia.

1975: "De Frente pro Crime," "O Mestre-Sala dos Mares," and
"Dois pra Lá, Dois pra Cá" by João Bosco and Aldir Blanc; "O Mar
Serenou" by Wando; "Fé Cega, Faca Amolada" by Milton Nascimento and
Ronaldo Bastos; "Ponta de Areia" by Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brant.

1976: "Pavão Misterioso" by Ednardo

1977: "Maluco Beleza" by Raul Seixas and Cláudio Roberto,
"Romaria" by Renato Teixeira, "Saco de Feijão" by Chico Santana.

1978: "Força Estranha" by Caetano Veloso, "Maria, Maria" by Milton
Nascimento, "Folhetim" by Chico Buarque.

1979: "O Bêbado e o Equilibrista" by João Bosco and Aldir Blanc.

1980: "Admirável Gado Novo" by Zé Ramalho, "Lá Vem o Brasil Descendo
a Ladeira" by Moraes Moreira, "Meu Bem Querer" by Djavan.

1981: "Baila Comigo" by Rita Lee, "Dia Branco" by Geraldo Azevedo,
"Nos Bailes da Vida" by Milton Nascimento, "Luíza" by Tom Jobim.

1982: "Bum Bum Paticumbum Prugurundum" by Beto Sem Braço and Aluísio
Machado, "Portela na Avenida" by Mauro Duarte and Paulo César Pinheiro,
"Tropicana" by Alceu Valença and Vicente Barreto.

1983: "Como uma Onda" by Lulu Santos and Nélson Mota, "Coração de
Estudante" by Milton Nascimento and Wagner Tiso, "Pro Dia Nascer Feliz" by
Cazuza and Frejat, "O Amanhã" by João Sérgio.

1984: "Fullgás" by Marina Lima and Antônio Cícero, "Me Chama" by
Lobão, "Óculos" by Herbert Vianna, "Vai Passar" by Chico Buarque and
Francis Hime.

1985: "De Volta pro Aconchego" by Dominguinhos and Nando Cordel,
"Geração Coca-Cola" by Renato Russo, "Papel Machê" by João Bosco
and Capinan.

comments to

You May Also Like


How could something as apparently benign as a team sport become the greatest unifying ...

Brazil Wants to Learn Affirmative Action from the US

Brazil’s Minister of Education, Tarso Genro, and the United States Ambassador to Brazil, John ...

Milton Nascimento Back in California for Stanford Jazz Festival

Brazilian music legends Milton Nascimento and Oscar Castro-Neves will be on the campus of ...

Poverty and Fear Make Brazil a Land of Many Faiths

Believers in Brazil can choose from a wide variety of religions. The main reason ...

Stop Complaining on a Full Stomach, Brazil Tells Businessmen

The financial sector in Brazil is complaining for nor reason, says Guido Mantega, the ...


By It is often said that Brazilians live under a racial democracy, meaning that ...

Brazil Starts Year with Bang Exporting Half a Billion Bucks a Day

The international trade flow began the year at a rhythm similar to last year. ...

Brazilians Hopeful Interest Rates Will Be Put on Hold

Brazil’s central bank today could interrupt an eight-month cycle of monetary policy tightening, according ...

To End Chaos Brazil Airport Authority Forbids Sale of Tickets

In an attempt to control the chaotic situation in the airports, the Brazilian airport ...

A Sampling of Brazil

The second decade of the 20th Century is represented by the Picasso-influenced modern wave ...