“Inteligência” & “És partideiro”

Lyrics from “Inteligência” by Aniceto do Império (1976)


Se os bichos são inteligentes // If animals are intelligent
por que não as criaturas? (2x) // Why not creatures? [i.e. people]
qual é a pedra mais doce? é rapadura // What’s the sweetest rock? It’s rapadura
qual é a defesa do banguela? é dentadura // What’s the defense of the toothless?  It’s dentures
cite uma cidade do oriente: Cingapura // Cite a city in the Orient: Singapore
Quando o malandro perde o conceito: quando dedura // When a malandro ruins his rep: when he snitches
qual é a ave de perna mais fina? é saracura // What’s the bird with the thinnest legs? It’s saracura

(refrain)

o nome do miúdo do porco: é frissura // The name of pork innards: is fissura
um arranhão inflamado: sutura // An inflamed scratch: stitches
a residência do falecido: é sepultura // The residency of the deceased: is the sepulture
o arco d’pua sobre a madeira: rodando fura // A hand-drill on wood: rotating, drills
o Aniceto com uma Loira e você com uma escura // Aniceto with a blonde – and you with a darker woman

(refrain)

mulher muito ciumenta: ninguém atura // A really jealous woman: no one can stand
qual a formiga de cabeça grande: é tanajura // What’s the ant with a big head: it’s tanajura
quando a mulher engana o homem? é quando jura // When a woman fools a man? is when she swears [takes vows]
A nossa mãe jurou ao nosso pai // Our mother made vows to our father
– Entretanto é uma boa criatura // But still, she’s a good creature
uma escrita rabiscada: rasura // A scratched-out bit of writing: erasure
e se é certo e sem rabisco: lisura (2x) // And if it’s true and has no scratches: it’s candor (2x)

a pretinha abrindo o’ óculos: é ter cultura // A black girl getting out glasses: that’s to be cultured
vou construir meu barraco: em Cascadura // I’m gonna build my shack: in Cascadura
qual o indispensável: licença da prefeitura // What’s essential: a license from city hall

(refrain)

o casado que namora: é cara dura // The married man who dates around: is brazen-faced
quando a mulher engana o homem: quando ela jura // When a woman fools a man? is when she swears [makes vows]
será que vocês adoraram ou gostaram da minha censura // Could it be you all adored or liked my commentary?
Não me fale mal das mulheres // Don’t badmouth women to me
– Fico invocado – E ninguém me segura // I get angry and nobody can hold me back
apesar de que passaram bem no teste – boa investidura (2x) // Even though you passed the test well – good investiture (2x)
Por isso então bate palmas para ela, a moçada de Cascadura // So clap your hands for this young crowd from Cascadura…
é só chegar na jogada, segura na palma .. ninguem atura // you just come into the game, keep it going with your hands, nobody can bear it…

__________

“És partideiro”
Aniceto do Império, 1984

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnykMWep5i0

Se você é partideiro, saberá me informar // If you’re a partideiro [someone who sings partido alto style of improvised samba]
do partido para a chula, a diferença que há (x2) // You’ll be able to tell me, between partido and chula, what’s the difference
me responda bem direitinho // Answer me carefully
não pise na bola, não vá vacilar // Don’t blow this, don’t go messing up
Se de fato és partideiro // If you’re in fact a partideiro
Por que tanto imaginar // Why so much reflection
(refrain)
versos decorados não aceito // I won’t accept memorized verses
quero é ver você improvisar // What I want is to see you improvise
dentro do contexto // Within the context
não rima “damá” com maricá // Don’t rhyme “damá” with Maricá [i.e. don’t make up words or change the emphasis — dama to “damá” to force a rhyme]
(refrain)
chula raiada é cantada // Chula raiada is sung
é preciso estribilhar // It’s necessary to sing a refrain
assim disse o que te conhece // That’s what the one who knows you says
o partido alto em qualquer lugar // Partido alto, all over

(refrain)

eu quero deixar um substituto // I want to leave a substitute
para me apresentar // to represent me
recordando as minhas memórias // recalling my memories
quando Jesus me levar// when Jesus takes me
(refrain)

— Commentary —

After work at the port, Aniceto (standing, left corner) used to get together with other longshoremen to sing and compose sambas.
After work at the port, Aniceto (standing, left corner) used to get together with other longshoremen to sing and compose sambas.

Aniceto de Menezes e Silva Júnior — who became known and revered in the samba world as Aniceto do Império — was born on March 11, 1912, in the Estácio neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.  Today he would be 103 years old.

Aniceto was a leader among sambistas in Rio, still considered the best ever at improvised verses in partido-alto style samba and an ingenious innovator in the question-and-answer style like in “Inteligência” above. Aniceto was a leader at the port, too, where he worked most of his life as a stevadore and headed the dockworkers’ union.

Aniceto was one of the founders of the Império Serrano samba school in March 1947.
Aniceto was one of the founders of the Império Serrano samba school in March 1947.

Alongside Silas de Oliveira, Mano Décio da Viola (an inspiration for Paulinho da Viola’s artistic name), and several others, Aniceto founded one of Rio de Janeiro’s most beloved samba schools, Império Serrano, just around his birthday in 1947. He was quickly named the school’s official orator.

In this very brief documentary with footage from the early 1980s, Brazil’s legendary music critic Sérgio Cabral calls Aniceto Brazil’s greatest improvisor of all time; the reporter, in turn, asks Aniceto how he does it — does he think of what he’s going to say as he’s singing? How does he achieve such brilliant rhymes?  Aniceto responds, “I’m a partideiroto be a partideiro, you have to have the gift. I was lucky enough to be born with the gift. A gift isn’t something you learn at school — you have it with you from the cradle.” Aniceto passed away on July 19, 1993.

After work at the port, Aniceto gathered fellow longshoremen to sing and compose sambas.
After worked all his life as a longshoreman at Rio’s port.
Aniceto_Port1
Aniceto working at Rio’s docks.

 

“Coisas banais” and “Preciso me encontrar”

Lyrics from “Coisas banais” by Candeia and Paulinho da Viola (1970)


Look here, that’s not how we treat what we have
If our love is true, pride, vanity and disaffection are mundane things
That only serve to hurt our love
If you wish to leave, take the longing, take the pain
And leave peace
When love is true, it’s not implored, nor held back by mundane things
Look here…


Lyrics from “Preciso me encontrar” by Candeia (1976)



Let me go, I need to wander
I’ll go around, seeking
To laugh, so as not to cry (repeat)
I want to watch the sun rise, to see the rivers’ waters flow
To hear the birds sing
I want to be born, I want to live
Let me go, I need to wander
I’ll go around, seeking
To laugh, so as not to cry
If anyone asks after me, tell them I’ll only come back after I find myself
I want to watch the sun rise, to see the rivers’ waters flow
To hear the birds sing
I want to be born, I want to live… (repeat)

— Interpretation —

Candeia singing with Martinho da Vila.
Candeia singing with Martinho da Vila.

Antônio Candeia Filho, known popularly as Candeia, lived a short and rough life: He died suddenly at age 43 after having spent the last 13 years of his life in a wheelchair.  But just as the hardship of being bound to a wheelchair made his music richer, his tragic early death makes his lyrics all the more poignant to listeners today. His moving poetic verses about life, race, social justice, love, samba and beer are some of Brazil’s most beloved, although — in part because of his short life —  people often don’t know they were written by Candeia.

Candeia was born on August 17, 1935, in the Oswaldo Cruz neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. His father, Jairo, was a flautist, and from a very young age Candeia was surrounded by musicians. He learned to play guitar and cavaquinho and began to frequent the neighborhood samba school Portela. He played capoeira and participated in Candomblé rituals, developing an interest in Afro-Brazilian culture and social awareness that deepened later in his life.

Candeia, Waldir 59, e Darcy in the "Ala dos Impossíveis"
Candeia, Waldir 59, e Darcy in the “Ala dos Impossíveis.” Photo via Portela Archives.

At 22, Candeia passed the test to enter the police force, where he earned a reputation for being harsh and unforgiving. Bars in Lapa reportedly closed up when he came around because everyone left in fear; his close friend and musical partner Waldir 59 recounts that mutual friends warned him to stop hanging around Candeia so much: “He pardoned no one. He even put his adoptive brother Ronaldo in jail.”

The run-in that left Candeia in a wheelchair happened on December 13, 1965. He left a party at Portela to bring a girl home (his wife, dona Leonilda, said the accident would never have happened if he’d brought her to the party instead of fooling around). Waldir 59 went with him — mostly because he was worried about Candeia leaving in such a drunken state.  As they drove down the final stretch of Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue – the avenue that hosts  Rio’s Carnival parades – nearing Av. Presidente Vargas, Candeia crashed into a fish truck. He pulled around, got out, and saw that his fender was bent;  then he drew his gun and shot the truck’s tires. He threatened the men in the front of the truck, and as Waldir 59 recounts in the biography Candeia: Luz da Inspiração, the “Italian in the back of the truck” shot Candeia down.

The five gunshot wounds left Candeia paralyzed from the waist down.  His friend and biographer João Baptista remarked, “I think Candeia began to rethink some things after he was paralyzed,”and writes that the vast majority of his interviewees agreed that Candeia’s music became much stronger – both lyrically and socially – after the accident.

For a while Candeia believed he might walk again. But nearly two years to the day after the shooting, he wrote that he and his family members were losing hope for recovery, continuing, “I’m gradually losing interest in the present and the future; I see myself tied up in a boat headed slowly toward the precipice. In spite of all these adversities, I will continue to fight, do my exercises and take my medicine. I will never give in to despondency or despair.”

CANDEIA-34 conversa de botequimOne way Candeia dealt with his isolation and fought off despondency was by hosting more and more lively samba parties, or pagodes, at his house. Friends remember his phone calls: “Come on over — I’ll pay for the taxi.”

He wrote touching verses about his situation, most famously in “Preciso me encontrar,” “De qualquer maneira” (“I’ll sing no matter what, no matter what, my enchantment, I’ll samba…seated in a king’s throne, or here in this chair…”) and “Pintura sem arte” (“I feel like a fallen leaf, I’m the goodbye of one who’s departing, for whom life is a painting without art…”)

He also dedicated himself to activism, defending Afro-Brazilian culture and fighting the prioritization of  outsiders’ — often rich, white outsiders — interests in samba schools:

Candeia was a fixture of Portela samba school, a close friend and partner of Waldir 59, Paulinho da Viola, and Monarco (who laments he only wrote one samba with Candeia, “Portela, uma familia reunida“).  He began composing sambas at a very young age, and became while he became best known for his partido alto-style sambas — with improvised verses mixed in with a refrain — his samba-enredos were tremendously popular as well, and brought Portela six Carnival titles, in 1953 (“Seis datas magnas” composed with Altair Marinho, won perfect scores in all categories), 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959 and 1965, the latter five all composed with Waldir 59.

Candeia at Quilombo samba school, c. 1977.
Candeia at Quilombo samba school, c. 1977.

But in the 1970s Candeia grew fed-up with grave problems he identified within the school. As Tantinho da Mangueira relates in this documentary clip, “people began to hang around the samba schools who had  nothing to do with samba, as far as we were concerned.”  Candeia felt samba was in danger of going from being a genuine popular manifestation to being a mere consumer product. He and other Portelenses wrote a letter to the president of Portela complaining that the leadership had grown too autocratic, and was pushing imitation rather than innovation — seeking to copy whatever was commercially popular at the time.  Candeia offered suggestions for how to take Portela back down the right path, but felt his concerns were not heard. So he founded a new samba school and cultural center, Grêmio Recreativo de Arte Negra e Samba Quilombo (Quilombos were runaway slave settlements, as described in this post), inaugurated in January 1976 in Coelho Neto, Rio de Janeiro. In December of that year the school received a US$20,000 grant from the Inter-American Foundation in the United States to fabricate Carnival costumes, school uniforms and educational materials about Afro-Brazilian history and culture. Almost every night Quilombo hosted debates and conferences about Afro-Brazilian contributions to Brazilian culture and national identity.  And in Carnival 1977, with the participation of stars like Paulinho da Viola, Martinho da Vila, Xangô, Clementina de Jesús, and others, the school’s parade was a hit.

Candeia’s untimely death from a heart attack on November 16, 1978, inspired a number of sambas in his honor, including “Silêncio de um bamba,” by his friends Wilson Moreira and Nei Lopes, and “O sonho não acabou,” by Luiz Carlos da Vila.

Lyrics in Portuguese: Coisas banais
Repare bem, não é assim
Que a gente faz com o que tem
Se a gente ama de verdade
Orgulho, vaidade, desamor
São coisas banais que só têm utilidade
Pra machucar o nosso amor

Se quiseres ir embora, leve a saudade
Leve a dor e deixe a paz
Quando o amor é de verdade, não se implora
Nem se prende a coisas banais
Repare bem

Lyrics in Portuguese: Preciso me encontrar

Deixe-me ir
Preciso andar
Vou por aí a procurar
Rir pra não chorar
Deixe-me ir
Preciso andar
Vou por aí a procurar
Rir pra não chorar

Quero assistir ao sol nascer
Ver as águas dos rios correr
Ouvir os pássaros cantar
Eu quero nascer
Quero viver

Deixe-me ir
Preciso andar
Vou por aí a procurar
Rir pra não chorar
Se alguém por mim perguntar
Diga que eu só vou voltar
Depois que me encontrar

Quero assistir ao sol nascer
Ver as águas dos rios correr
Ouvir os pássaros cantar
Eu quero nascer
Quero viver

Deixe-me ir
Preciso andar
Vou por aí a procurar
Rir pra não chorar

Deixe-me ir preciso andar
Vou por aí a procurar
Rir pra não chorar
Deixe-me ir preciso andar
Vou por aí a procurar
Rir pra não chorar

Main source for this post: Candeia: Luz da Inspiração by João Baptista M. Vargens