Most of our readers (84% at least) probably know that today is a very important day in our country’s history (for those that don’t know, we are 7 proud Portuguese).
38 years ago today, a 48 years old dictatorship was overthrown by a rebellious military movement. Long story cut short, this day marks the start of the modern Portugal, with all its social and economical ups and downs.
During the long years of oppression, many were the voices against the regime,Estado Novo, and most were exiled or arrested by the political police.
One of the most important voices was that of José Afonso, popularly know as Zeca. He was instrumental in the uprising of the genre Música de Intervenção or protest song in Portugal. His unmistakable voice and wonderful melodies are still present in our memory and haven’t aged a year although he died 25 years ago.
Most people associate him to the carnation revolution, but he is much more than that. Even if the subliminal meaning hidden in his songs is ignored, they still constitute some of the best music made in Portugal in the XXth century.
Zeca died in our hometown in 1987, after living there for 20 years, teaching history at a public school (my dad was his student, for example). His funeral was attended by 30,000 people, who accompanied the coffin for 2 hours to cover just 1.3km.
But enough nostalgy. It was time for us to post Portuguese music in our blog, and who better to start it than the greatest singer-songwriter we had (and we have a few worth noting, like Sérgio Godinho, Fausto, etc…)?
So, here you have O Redondo Vocábulo (the round vocable)
and A Morte Saiu à Rua (death went to the street), this time in his last concert (1983)
and finally, a very beautiful song, both musically and lyrically, Cantigas do Maio (songs of may)
I went to see my love
Down there in a garden
I gave her a red rose
For her to remember me
Green fields, green countrysides
Where my passion is
The swallows don’t stop
Some come back others don’t
See you soon, I’ll be back with more rock operas 🙂