Resposta ao tempo

Lyrics from “Resposta ao tempo” by Aldir Blanc and Cristóvão Bastos (1998)

Batidas na porta da frente // Knocks on the front door
É o tempo // It’s time
Eu bebo um pouquinho // I drink a little
Pra ter argumento // To have something to say
Mas fico sem jeito // But I get flustered,
Calado, e ele ri // Silent, and he laughs
Ele zomba // He scoffs at
Do quanto eu chorei // How much I’ve cried
Porque sabe passar // Because he knows how to go by
E eu não sei // And I don’t

Num dia azul de verão // On a blue summer day
Sinto o vento // I feel the wind
Há folhas no meu coração // There are leaves in my heart
É o tempo // It’s time
Recordo um amor que perdi // I recall a love I lost
Ele ri // He laughs
Diz que somos iguais // He says we’re the same
Se eu notei // Have I noticed?
Pois não sabe ficar // Because he doesn’t know how to stay put
E eu também não sei // And neither do I

E gira em volta de mim // And he turns around me
Sussurra que apaga os caminhos // Whispers that he darkens the way
Que amores terminam no escuro // That loves end in the dark
Sozinhos // Alone

Respondo que ele aprisiona // I respond that he imprisons
Eu liberto // – I set free
Que ele adormece as paixões // He puts passions to sleep
Eu desperto //- I awaken them

E o tempo se rói // And time gnaws away at himself
com inveja de mim // With envy of me
Me vigia querendo aprender // He observes me closely, trying to learn
Como eu morro de amor // How I die of love
Pra tentar reviver // In an attempt to revive

No fundo é uma eterna criança // Deep down, he’s an eternal child
Que não soube amadurecer // Who didn’t know how to grow up
Eu posso, ele não vai poder // I’m able – he won’t be able to
Me esquecer // Forget me

Respondo que ele aprisiona // I respond that he imprisons
Eu liberto // -I set free
Que ele adormece as paixões // He puts passions to sleep
Eu desperto // -I awaken them

E o tempo se rói // And time gnaws away at himself
Com inveja de mim // With envy of me
Me vigia querendo aprender // He observes me, wishing to learn
Como eu morro de amor // How I can die of love
Pra tentar reviver // To try to revive

No fundo é uma eterna criança // Deep down, he’s an eternal child
Que não soube amadurecer // Who didn’t know how to grow up
Eu posso, e ele não vai poder // I’m able, he won’t be able to
Me esquecer (2x) // Forget me

— Commentary —

Aldir Blanc é compositor carioca. É o poeta da vida, do amor, da cidade. É aquele que sabe retratar como ninguém o fato e o sonho. … Todo mundo é carioca, mas Aldir Blanc é carioca mesmo. [Aldir Blanc is a carioca composer. He’s a poet of life, love, and the city. He knows how to portray its reality and dreams like no other. … Everyone is carioca, but Aldir Blanc is truly carioca.]

– Dorival Caymmi, 30 August 1996

Cristovão e Nana Caymmi
Cristóvão Bastos with Nana Caymmi in 2015, during rehearsals for Prêmio da Música Brasileira 2015.
aldir blanc_magro
Aldir Blanc, c. 1980

In 1997, the year before this song’s release, Aldir Blanc and Cristóvão Bastos offered Nana Caymmi the song “Dores Dolores,” but Nana – who was getting ready to record her 1998 album – wasn’t moved by the song, and Clarisse Grova ended up recording it. Hurriedly, Cristóvão, a brilliant composer and pianist who accompanied Caymmi for years on piano, composed the melody for “Resposta ao tempo,” and Aldir Blanc wrote the lyrics. Caymmi loved the song so much that it became the title track of her 1998 album.  Meanwhile, Mariozinho Rocha, musical director for media giant Globo TV, heard “Resposta ao tempo” and immediately chose it for Globo’s upcoming soap opera. But because of a problem with another song, the station ended up using “Resposta ao tempo” even sooner, as the opening track for the 1998 mini-series Hilda Furacão

“Resposta ao tempo” became one of Nana Caymmi’s most beloved songs, the most applauded of her repertory to this day, according to Cristóvão. And Cristóvão, Aldir and Nana were called back to compose and record the opening song for Globo’s soap opera Suave venenowhich ran in 1999.

Aldir recorded “Resposta ao tempo” on his 2005 album Vida noturna (video below).

Among Cristóvão Bastos’s other best-loved compositions is “Todo o sentimento” (1987), composed with Chico Buarque, and also recorded by Nana Caymmi, in 1997.

Main source for this post: Aldir Blanc: Resposta ao tempo by Luiz Fernando Vianna

“Pelas ruas da cidade” & “Reserva de domínio”

“Pelas ruas da cidade” – Paulo César Pinheiro (1980)


Ando pelas ruas da cidade // I stroll down the city streets
Meio abandonado de carinho// Rather forsaken of love
Como a lamentar a mocidade// As if lamenting the youth
Que desperdicei pelo caminho// That I wasted along the way
Ando pelas ruas da cidade// I stroll down the city streets
Só, mas livre como um passarinho//Alone, but free as a bird
Tenho no meu peito uma saudade que me dói// I carry in my breast a saudade that hurts
Mas prefiro viver sozinho// But I prefer to live alone
Inda relembro as minhas horas de felicidade// I still remember my moments of happiness
E como joguei tudo fora sem necessidade// And how I threw it all away for nothing
Mas nada do que eu fiz na vida// But nothing that I did in life
Foi contra a vontade// Was against my will
Duro é ter nos ombros// It’s hard to bear on your shoulders
O peso da idade// The weight of age
Nem feliz nem triste// Neither happy nor sad
Só sem novidade// Merely with nothing new to tell
Ando pelas ruas da cidade// I stroll down the city streets


Reserva de Domínio” – Mauro Duarte & Paulo César Pinheiro (1985)


Um coração tão machucado como o meu// A heart as hurt as mine
Não tem mais força pra aguentar uma outra dor // No longer has the strength to stand a new wound
já está cansado de aventuras // it’s tired of wild affairs
foram tantas amarguras // there’ve been so many bitter stories
tá difícil de encarar um novo amor // it’s hard to face a new love
Mas sei que muitas insistências vão surgir // But I know that many demands will emerge
Com a carência que hoje existe por aí // With the loneliness that’s around today
Pois a alma aflita pelo tédio // Because the soul afflicted with tedium
Mediante a tanto assédio // Under such assail
Se também se descuidar vai sucumbir // Must take care, or it will succumb as well
Mas tem que suportar// But one needs to just bear it
sem se preocupar // Without paying any mind
Com as palavras atiradas pelo chão // to the words tossed on the ground
Com promessas pertubando o coração // to promises disquieting the heart
São juras e mais juras desvairadas // There are vows, and more frantic vows
Que eu presumo aparecer// That I suspect will surface
Mas pra não sofrer // But so as not to suffer
Tenho que me armar // I need to arm myself
Pro domínio não perder // So as not to lose control
Sei que água mole em pedra dura // I know that soft water on hard rock
Tanto bate até que fura // Beats until it bores through
É o que não pode acontecer //And that’s just what can’t happen

— Commentary-

MauroDuarteePauloCPinheiroREDUZ.jpg
Mauro Duarte and Paulo César Pinheiro’s friendship and musical partnership brought about some of the most beautiful MPB songs. Mauro also introduced Paulinho Pinheiro to Clara Nunes, his wife and muse until her untimely death in 1983.

Paulo César Pinheiro is best known for his ingenious lyrics for songs written with brilliant composers like Baden Powell, Mauro Duarte, Mauricio Tapajós, Eduardo Gudin, Guinga, João Nogueira, and many more of the most renowned names in Brazilian popular music of the past fifty years.

But he recalls that his partner Mauro Duarte observed that he often revised the melodies he was working with, either working on them with his partners or tweaking and adding to them after he’d received them.

One day as Paulinho and Mauro worked on a song together, Mauro remarked, “You’re doing just about everything alone, why don’t you start composing songs on your own, without a partner? You know how to do it, chefia.”  

Mauro’s suggestion rattled around in Paulinho’s head until one day, as he rambled down the beach in Leblon, he began whistling a tune, recalling and mimicking phrases he’d heard Copinha play on the flute. He quickly ended up with a beautiful tune for a samba, and says by the time he got home, he had the whole song written in his head, and ran to record it. That was the first of over 150 songs Paulo César Pinheiro went on to compose on his own, a beautiful response to the coaxing of his close friend and partner Mauro Duarte.

In turn, a few years later, Pinheiro came up with a tune that everyone loved but that he just couldn’t find words for. No theme came to him; it was as if he had a block with that specific melody. Mauro would sing the tune back to Paulinho when they met up, and ask him eagerly about how the lyrics were coming along. So Paulinho decided to challenge Mauro the same way Mauro had challenged him: “Why don’t you write the lyrics? If you like this samba so much, and are in such a hurry, take a pen to it.”

Mauro accepted the challenge. A little over a week later he brought the song back to Paulinho, bashfully apologizing for the lyrics before he sang them, saying he wasn’t sure if they’d turned out ok. Paulinho grew nervous: he didn’t want to hurt his friend’s feelings.

But as Mauro sang, Paulinho recalls, “He gave me goosebumps. He’d gotten it so perfectly right. The lyrics were beautiful. I was surprised and content, and he even more so. And that’s how, for the first time, on a melody of mine, the lyrics were written by someone else.”

Source for this post: Paulo César Pinheiro: Histórias das Minhas Canções

Novos rumos

Lyrics from “Novos rumos” (Rochinha & Orlando Porto, 1958)

Vou imprimir novos rumos // I’m going imprint new routes
Ao barco agitado que foi minha vida // Upon this unsteady boat that has been my life
Fiz minhas velas ao mar // I’ve set out to sea
Disse adeus sem chorar // Bid farewell without tears
E estou de partida // And I’m on my way out
Todos os anos vividos // All my years lived
São portos perdidos que eu deixo pra trás // Are lost ports that I leave behind
Quero viver diferente // I want to live differently
Que a sorte da gente // Cause the luck that we have
É a gente que faz // Is the luck that we make
Quando a vida nos cansa // When life wears us down
E se perde a esperança // And all hope is lost
O melhor é partir // It’s best to depart
Ir procurar outros mares // In search of new seas
Onde outros olhares nos façam sorrir // Where new glances might make us smile
Levo no meu coração // I carry in my heart
Esta triste lição que contigo aprendi // The sad lesson I learned with you
Tu me ensinaste em verdade // You taught me, in truth,
Que a felicidade está longe de ti // That happiness is far from you

— Commentary —

Paulinho-Elton-Medeiros-e-Clementina-de-Jesusnum-sarau-na-casa-de-Jacob-em-Jacarepagua-inedita (1)
Paulinho da Viola, Elton Medeiros and Clementina de Jesús in Jacob do Bandolim’s home. Paulinho da Viola has long been one of the strongest links between the worlds of samba and choro.  He grew up amidst chorões: His father, César Faria, played guitar for many years with Jacob do Bandolim, one of Brazil’s greatest choro composers. 

Beginning in the 1930s, composers in Rio de Janeiro, particularly, increasingly wove together the intricate melodic  aspects of choro, which had emerged with the “Brazilianization” of polka in the late 1800s, with certain elements – percussion, instrumentation, and/or lyrics, for example – more typical of samba, which was at the same time growing more distant from maxixe. This general approximation of the two genres formed a sub-genre known as “samba-choro,” and this lilting song is a perfect example of that sub-genre. Generally samba-choros with lyrics may simply be called sambas, or samba-canção,  and those without lyrics – Jacob do Bandolim’s “Bole Bole,” for example – are called choros.

“Novos Rumos” gained new recognition with Paulinho da Viola’s recording on his 1996 album Bebâdosamba, and the song so fits Paulinho da Viola’s style that it’s often mistakenly attributed to him. But it was composed by Rochinha and Orlando Porto, and Silvio Caldas was the first to record it, in 1958: