Samba Lesson # 4 (Part 1)

Bezerra da Silva is great!  I like his voice and the topics of his songs.  His songs are about social issues, corruption, drug trade and gang violence.  According to Wikipedia Bezerra de Silva was called the Sambandido (samba bandit) and he didn’t like that term.  He was known for recording sambas from unfamed composers who led difficult lives in environments where criminal activities were a way of life.

Samba Lesson # 3 (Part 2)

Zeca Pagodinho is the artist for Lesson 3.  He is from Rio (all the good ones are) and his songs sing about the Carioca lifestyle.  Cariocas are what we call people from Rio.  The word Carioca has its origins in the Tupi language (Tupi Guarani Indians) and means white man’s house.  The name Carioca was given to people in Rio by the Portuguese.

Now back to Zeca Pagodinho.  His songs talk about the maliciousness of Cariocas and their wheeling and dealing ways.  A Carioca outsmarts any other Brazilian and can find his way around the rules.  Cariocas are also carefree and easy going.  Their biggest worry is whether their soccer team is winning or whether the rain will clear up in time for a game of frescoball on the beach.

One important note about Zeca Pagodinho.  He was known to bring his own cooler of beer everywhere he went…I suppose just in case the person or place he was visiting ran out of cold beer.  That’s also a big worry for Cariocas.  If you ever host a Carioca, make sure your beer is ice cold:  “Geladinha”.  By the way, when I say “he was known” it doesn’t mean Zeca Pagodinho is dead.  He’s very much alive.  Heard he quit drinking, though.

I have some stories to tell you about one of my visits to Rio…but let’s save that for later.  We need to catch up on our samba lessons.

Samba Lesson # 1 (continued)

Martinho da Vila’s music is being played in the background for both parts of Lesson 1.  His voice and the stories he tells are lovely.  He is associated with the Samba School Vila Isabel.  One of the song titles is: “Quando Essa Onda Passar”.  The song talks about the Favelas –the poorest neighborhoods that usually have the best views in Rio, right on the mountainside, overlooking the ocean.  The title of the song means:  “When this wave passes.”  Martinho is saying that when things get better in the Favelas he wants to take us there.  He wants us to be able to visit someday to see the beauty of the favelas.  He talks about things you can see in the favelas…like you can watch a fireworks show from the door of a small shop or you can see the beauty of the city (Rio) from the hilltop.

The other song you hear in Lesson 1 is “Aquarela do Brasil”.  The song describes the entire country’s landscape and culture state by state.  (All the special things about Brasil).  It’s a good song to learn to dance with because it has a slower beat.

The first lesson is simple.  But you really need to practice before you can move on to the next lesson.  Master it!