One day, while still living in Qatar, I visited a very dear Brazilian friend, also expat in Doha. Upon entering her home, the sweetness of the “MPB”, Música Popular Brasileira came to hug me, reminding me with nostalgia that I had left Brazil for nearly three years already…
I plunged back into the greatest Brazilian hits and I realized that some had become absolutely timeless for me.
- Feijoada completa, Chico Buarque
I think I will always associate this song with my very first day in São Paulo since I heard it for the first time the day of my arrival.
- Vermelho, Fafa de Belém
The meaning of this song has never been very clear to me but it has been sometimes polemical since its title “red” was often associated with a political movement.
In any case, in many interviews, the Amazonian interpreter remained vague as to the meaning of the text.
- Aquarela do Brasil, repeated many time by several singers
Last but not least, Aquarela do Brasil is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic songs of Brazilian music. Marco Napolitano, a researcher at the University of São Paulo, explains that the composer Ary Barroso wanted to write a samba that would refer to the racial diversity of the country but would still be accepted by the white elites, then rejecting any legacy deemed to be too African.
It hints at an idealized image of Brazil, very in vogue in the 1930s. Nevertheless, it remains in the collective imagination, both Brazilian and foreign.