Amor a Natureza

Lyrics from “Amor a Natureza” by Paulinho da Viola

Album: Coração Leviano

—–

Relic of national folklore

A rare jewel that I present

In this landscape that I find myself

In the heart of passion and torment

Without any illusion

In this scene of sorrow

I recall moments of real bravery

Of those who fought with ardor

In the name of love for nature (bis.)

Ashen clouds of smoke

Moistening my eyes

With affliction and weariness

Immense blocks of concrete

Occupying every space

In what was once the most beautiful city

That the entire world consecrated

With her beaches, so beautiful, so full of grace, of dreams, of love

Contempt floats in the air

Flouting reason

Man doesn’t known if he’ll find a way to set the situation right

A seed thrown into such fertile soil oughtn’t die

It’s always a new hope that we all nurture to survive

—  Interpretation —

This song mourns the destruction of Rio de Janeiro’s natural beauty in the mid- to late-20th century, decades before such environmentalism became fashionable.  The song was released in 1975, when an oppressive military regime was in power in Brazil; the regime promoted ideals such as “modernity” and industrialization above any concerns about environmental protection or human rights.

The composer and singer Paulinho da Viola (roughly, Paulie the Guitarist) is one of Brazil’s most recognized and revered sambistas.  Born Paulo César Batista de Faria on November 12, 1942, in Rio de Janeiro, Paulinho is the son of another well-known sambista, the late César Faria.  Faria often played with such well-known names as Pixinguinha and Jacob do Bandolim; at home and around the neighborhood, Paulinho observed and learned from these samba masters, and began to write and play his own music.  At 22, while he was working in a bank in Rio de Janeiro, Paulinho was reunited with producer and composer Hermínio Bello de Carvalho, whom he had met years earlier through his father. The two began writing songs together.  Soon after, Paulinho left the bank to join the samba scene full time.

While other sambistas incorporated sharp political commentary into their lyrics — a defining characteristic of MPB — Paulinho generally stuck to traditonal samba themes such as love and longing, and his samba school Portela or the rival school, Mangueira.  Paulinho’s softspoken political stance — together with his gentle singing voice and easy smile — have perhaps contributed to his almost universal appeal throughout Brazil.

Post by Victoria Broadus (About)

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