Fidelidade Partidária

“Fidelidade Partidária” (Nei Lopes & Wilson Moreira, 1985)


Minha tia-avó Rosária, partideira centenária, // My great-aunt Rosária, centenarian partideira
Perguntou pra mim: “Meu neto, //Asked me, “Grandson,
O que é fidelidade partidária?”. // What’s party loyalty?”
Pergunta assim tão sumária // Such a summary question
Tem que ter a necessária resposta // Requires the necessary response
E eu respondo certo o que é fidelidade partidária. // And I respond correctly what party loyalty is:
Por verde-amarelo na indumentária // Putting green-and-yellow in your wardrobe
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Feijão com arroz na sua culinária // Beans with rice in your cooking
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Ajudar quem tem situação precária // Helping someone who’s down and out
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Não fazer acordo com a parte contrária // Not making deals with the other side
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Olhar mulher feia e ficar com urticária // To look at an ugly woman and get hives
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Gritar que tem gringo pintando na área // To call out whenever there are gringos showing up
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Gostar de partido igual tia Rosária // And to love partido (party) as much as aunt Rosária
Isso é fidelidade partidária… // That’s party loyalty

Minha tia-avó Rosária, partideira centenária, // My great-aunt Rosária, centenarian partideira
Perguntou pra mim: “Meu neto, //Asked me, “Grandson,
O que é fidelidade partidária?”. // What’s party loyalty?”
Pergunta assim tão sumária // Such a summary question
Tem que ter a necessária resposta // Requires the necessary response
E eu respondo certo o que é fidelidade partidária. // And I respond correctly what party loyalty is:
Rejeitar propina na conta bancária // To reject kick-backs in your bank account
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Não ter filial nem subsidiária // Not having branches or subsidiaries
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Amar a patroa mais que a secretária // Loving your wife more than your secretary
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Só fazer amor na sua faixa etária // Only making love with people in your age range
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Mas dar uma força pras celibatárias // But showing support for the single ladies
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Que tenham bons dentes na arcada dentária // Who have good teeth in their dental arch
(É fidelidade partidária…) // (That’s party loyalty)
Gostar de partido igual tia Rosária // Liking partido as much as aunt Rosária
Isso é fidelidade partidária…// That’s party loyalty

Por verde-amarelo na indumentária // Putting green-and-yellow in your wardrobe
Rejeitar propina na conta bancária // Rejecting kick-backs in your bank account
Feijão com arroz na sua culinária // Beans with rice in your cooking
Não ter filial nem subsidiária // Not having branches or subsidiaries
Ajudar quem tem situação precária // Helping someone who’s down and out
Amar a patroa mais que a secretária // Loving your wife more than your secretary
Não fazer acordo com a parte contrária // Not making deals with the other side
Só fazer amor na sua faixa etária // Only making love with people in your age range
Ver mulher feia e ficar com urticária // To see an ugly woman and get hives
Mas dar uma força pras celibatárias // But to show support for the single ladies…
(Gritar que tem gringo pintando na área // To call out when there are gringos showing up)
Que tenham bons dentes na arcada dentária // …Who have good teeth in their dental arch
Gostar de partido igual tia Rosária // And to love partido as much as aunt Rosária
Isso é fidelidade partidária…// That’s party loyalty

— Commentary —

Samba de Fato CCBB
Nei Lopes is seated, third from right, in this photo, between Arlindo Cruz and Xangô da Mangueira. Also pictured: Pedro Amorim, Marquinho China, Tantinho da Mangueira, Pedro Miranda, Paulino Dias, Casquinha, Cristina Buarque, Pretinho, Dona Ivone Lara.

In 1985, Brazil’s floundering military government allowed the first elections of a civilian president since 1964. The elections would still be indirect – through the Electoral College – which represented an attempt at keeping power in the hands of the military-backed Democratic Social Party (PDS). The PDS had the majority in the Electoral College (356 out of 686), apparently guaranteeing a PDS victory in indirect elections.

Through aggressive, divisive campaigning, Paulo Maluf won the PDS nomination. He was an antagonistic figure, however, and with the weakened military government, PDS politicians began to defect en masse from the party, suddenly giving the advantage to opposition candidate Tancredo Neves, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). Neves’s PMDB formed a powerful coalition known as Aliança Democrática (Democratic Alliance) with PDS defectors, including vice-presidential candidate and former PDS fat cat José Sarney.

Maluf felt power slipping through his hands and made a desperate attempt to use the principle of party loyalty to kill the opposition’s momentum. He asked the Superior Electoral Court to apply the principle of party loyalty to the Electoral College, and had the PDS announce that it would “purge from the party any PDS Electoral College member who didn’t vote for the party’s official nominee.” But the Court ruled against Maluf in November 1984, deeming that the principle of party loyalty didn’t apply to the College. Neves went on to win the election, but died before taking office, making José Sarney Brazil’s first civilian president since 1964.

In response to news surrounding Maluf’s frantic manipulation of the principle of party loyalty, Nei Lopes composed this samba together with Wilson Moreira. The song uses a play on the word for “party” –partido – which also refers to this style of samba, partido alto; “partideiro/a”  is someone who sings partido, a style heavy on improvisation and question-and-answer, call-and-response choruses. The record label pushed Nei Lopes to have rock guitarist Evandro Mesquita of Blitz record guitar on the album; you can hear a little banter between the two on this recording.

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