Apesar de você

Lyrics from “Apesar de você” by Chico Buarque (1970)
Album: Chico Buarque (Samambaia) 1978

Good audio version: Apesar de você

Tomorrow will be another day…

Today, you’re the one who calls the shots
That’s it,  it’s been spoken
There’s no arguing
My people walk around today
Speaking to the side and looking toward the ground
Got it?
You, who invented this State,
Invented by inventing
All darkness
You who invented sin
Forgot to invent forgiveness

In spite of you
Tomorrow will be another day
I ask you, where will you hide
From the great euphoria?
How will you prohibit
When the rooster insists on crowing?
New water flowing,
And our people loving one another, without stopping

When the moment arrives
This suffering of mine
I’m going to charge with interest, I swear
All this love repressed
This scream contained
This samba in the dark

You who invented sadness
Now kindly “disinvent” it
You’re going to pay – and doubled
Every tear that rolled
In this anguish of mine

In spite of you
Tomorrow will be another day
I will still pay to see
The garden bloom
The one you didn’t want to

You’re going to become embittered
Seeing the day break
Without asking your permission
And I’m going to die of laughter
And that day is bound to come
Sooner than you think
In spite of you

In spite of you
Tomorrow will be another day
You will have to see
The morning reborn
And pour out poetry

How will you explain to yourself
Seeing the sky clear, suddenly
With impunity?

How are you going to stifle
Our chorus singing
Right in front of you
In spite of you

In spite of you
Tomorrow is going to be another day
You’re going to to be out of luck
Etcetera and so on
La la-ya, la la-ya, la….

–Interpretation–

After spending approximately a year in Italy in exile from Brazil’s military dictatorship,  Chico Buarque returned to Brazil in 1970 and met with a rigid censorship machine — a result of Ato Institucional V, which institutionalized the pre-release censorship process.

In an interview in September 1971, Chico lamented, “Of every three songs I write, two are censored. After being censored so much, something troubling is happening with me: I’m beginning to self-censor, and that is terrible.”

The censors had grown particularly harsh with Chico after their inadvertent release of his thinly veiled protest anthem “Apesar de você.”

Chico wrote and released “Apesar de você” as a single in 1970. The censors initially approved the song and it became a quick hit on the radio. As the song became popular, rumors spread that it was dedicated specifically to general Médici, who served as president from 1969 – 1974.(Chico says the “you” in the song actually referred to the entire system.) To the censors, Chico argued that he had written the song for a rooster that mistakenly believed that the day only broke as a result of his song, until one night when the rooster lost track of time and realized that day broke in spite of him. Unconvinced, the censors banned the song and punished those who had let it through.

After the song was banned, Chico says he received the treatment of a traitor who had attempted to dupe the censors.  As a result, he faced even more stringent censorship. “Apesar de você” was re-approved and re-released on the album Chico Buarque (Samambaia) in 1978, as the government began a gradual political liberalization process during Ernesto Geisel’s presidency.

(The source for most of this post is the book Chico Buarque para Todos by Regina Zappa, Rio de Janeiro, 1999.)

Post by Victoria Broadus (About)

2 thoughts on “Apesar de você”

  1. Thank you very much. I love Brasilian music and some other aspects of their culture and certainly appreciate the effort of individuals like you.

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