Futuros Amantes

Lyrics from “Futuros Amantes” by Chico Buarque (1993)

(After the song in this video Chico comments on Brazilian songs about love and heartbreak, mentioning some of his favorites.)

Don’t get flustered, nothing needs to happen right now
Love’s in no hurry, it can wait in silence
Buried deep in a bureau
In the poste-restante
Millennia, millennia up in the air
And who knows maybe then Rio will be some submerged city
The deep sea divers will come to explore your home
Your room, your things, your soul, your garrets
Wise men in vain will try to decode the echo of ancient words
Fragments of letters, poems, lies, portraits
Vestiges of an unknown civilization
Don’t get flustered, nothing needs to happen right now
Loves will always be lovable
Future lovers, perhaps, will love one another
Without realizing it
With the love that one day I left for you

— Interpretation —

"Futuros Amantes" was released on the 1993 album Paratodos. His mug shot is from when he was arrested in 1961, at age 17, for allegedly trying - together with a friend - to take a car that wasn't theirs for a joyride in São Paulo.
“Futuros Amantes” was released on the 1993 album Paratodos. Chico’s mug shot on the album cover is from when he was arrested together with a friend in 1961, at age 17; the two were allegedly trying to take a car that wasn’t theirs for a joyride in São Paulo.

In this clip, Chico Buarque explains how he composed this song:

Chico with his wife Marieta in the 1980s. They were married for over thirty years and have three daughters.
Chico with his wife Marieta in the 1980s. They were married for over thirty years and have three daughters together.

“I was playing around on the guitar and started to compose the melody, and the first thing that came to my mind was ‘submerged city’ – totally isolated from everything else. As I hummed along to what I was playing, it seemed like the song should say that, so then I had to follow that idea and explain the submerged city — create a story around it. Then I came up with the divers, and this love delayed, or put on hold — this idea that love stays around forever, and is something someone can take advantage of much later. It never goes to waste. Time passes, millennia go by, and that love sticks around — even under water — for other people to use it.” (Hence, “Loves will always be lovable.”) “It’s love that was never put to use, right, because it’s love that wasn’t reciprocated. It’s love that was left on its own, unpaired, just kind of floating around waiting for someone to grasp it and put it to good use – to carry out its purpose.”

 

Lyrics in Portuguese

Não se afobe, não
Que nada é pra já
O amor não tem pressa
Ele pode esperar em silêncio
Num fundo de armário
Na posta-restante
Milênios, milênios no ar

E quem sabe, então
O Rio será
Alguma cidade submersa
Os escafandristas virão
Explorar sua casa
Seu quarto, suas coisas
Sua alma, desvãos

Sábios em vão
Tentarão decifrar
O eco de antigas palavras
Fragmentos de cartas, poemas
Mentiras, retratos
Vestígios de estranha civilização

Não se afobe, não
Que nada é pra já
Amores serão sempre amáveis
Futuros amantes, quiçá
Se amarão sem saber
Com o amor que eu um dia
Deixei pra você

“Estrela de Madureira” and “Madureira Chorou”

Lyrics from “Estrela de Madureira” by Acyr Pimentel and Cardoso; recorded by Roberto Ribeiro (1975)

Shining in a tremendous theater, in a tourbillion of light, of light
The vision appears of she who my samba expresses
The star goes on shining, a thousand sequins sprinkling the ground with poetry
The lead showgirl from the suburb on the Central line was the pioneer
And a luxury train departs to exalt her art
That enchanted Madureira
Even with the stage darkened, apotheosis is the infinite
The star keeps on shining in the sky

— Interpretation–

Zakia Jorge's Teatro Madureira
Zaquia Jorge’s Teatro de Revista Madureira came to be known as Teatro Zaquia Jorge; the theater was in business for a little over five years, and stopped functioning after her death in 1957.
Zaquia Jorge (1924 - 1957) came to be known as the star of Madureira.
Zaquia Jorge (1924 – 1957) came to be known as the star of Madureira.

Acyr Pimentel and Cardoso composed this samba in tribute to Zaquia Jorge (6 Jan. 1924 – 22 Apr. 1957), a wildly popular showgirl and movie star in Rio in the 1940s and 50s. By 1952, Zaquia had achieved enough success to open her own theater, and she chose to set up her stage in Rio’s poor periphery (called the suburbio in Portuguese but quite different from the images conjured by “suburbs”), in Madureira neighborhood. Zaquia opened her theater right in front of Madureira station on the suburban train line from Central Station.  Zaquia quickly became a beloved figure in Rio’s North Zone for her bold, racy repertory and her rich contribution to the arts in Rio’s periphery. The debut revue at her theater was Trem de Luxo  — luxury train, which “Estrela de Madureira” makes reference to.

Zaquia Jorge in the 1957 movie A Baronesa Transviada:

Zaquia Jorge's Teatro Madureira took her name before going out of business after her death in 1957. The theater was right in front of the Madureira station on the suburban rail from Central Station.
Zaquia Jorge’s Teatro Madureira took her name before going out of business after her death in 1957. The theater was right in front of the Madureira station on the suburban rail from Central Station.

On April 22nd, 1957, Zaquia drowned while reportedly skinny dipping with other showgirls at Barra da Tijuca, which was still a deserted beach in those days.  For Carnival the following year, Carvalhinho and Júlio Monteiro composed and Joel de Almeida recorded “Madureira Chorou,” a tribute to Zaquia. “Madureira Chorou” was the most popular Carnival samba of 1958, and one of the few Carnival songs from the 50s that became a classic (and even earned a recording in French,”Si tu vas à Rio“):

Lyrics from “Madureira Chorou” by Carvalhinho and Júlio Monteiro (1958)

Madureira cried
Madureira cried in pain
When the voice of destiny, obeying the Holy Spirit
Called her [Madureira’s] star
Humble people, good people from the suburb
Who only cause problems if someone scorns them
These people who live in the North Zone
To this day cry over the death of their star
(Only I can’t cry)

The Império Serrano Samba School quadra in Madureira, Rio de Janeiro.
The Império Serrano Samba School quadra in Madureira, Rio de Janeiro.

In 1975, Império Serrano — one of Rio’s most traditional samba schools, from Madureira — chose Zaquia Jorge as the theme for their Carnival parade. But in the school’s internal contest to choose the samba it would parade to, composer Avarese‘s samba-enredo Zaquia Jorge, Vedete do Suburbio, Estrela de Madureira won out over “Estrela de Madureira.”  Fortunately, the beloved imperiano sambista Roberto Ribeiro recorded “Estrela de Madureira” that same year; while “Zaquia Jorge, Vedete do Suburbio, Estrela de Madureira” has been largely forgotten, “Estrela de Madureira” quickly became a sensation and is still extraordinarily popular nearly forty years later.

Lyrics in Portuguese: Estrela de Madureira

Brilhando
Num imenso cenário
Num turbilhão de luz, de luz
Surge a imagem daquela
Que o meu samba traduz
Ah…
Estrela vai brilhando
Mil paetês salpicando
O chão de poesia
A vedete principal
Do subúrbio da central foi a pioneira

E…
Um trem de luxo parte
Para exaltar a sua arte
Que encantou Madureira
Mesmo com o palco apagado
Apoteóse é o infinito
Continua estrela
Brilhando no céu

Lyrics in Portuguese: Madureira Chorou

Madureira chorou
Madureira chorou de dor
Quando a voz do destino
Obedecendo ao Divino
A sua estrela chamou
Gente modesta
Gente boa do subúrbio
Que só comete distúrbio
Se alguém lhe menosprezar
Aquela gente
Que mora na Zona Norte
Até hoje chora a morte
Da estrela do lugar

Main source for this post not linked in text:  A Canção no Tempo, 85 anos de músicas brasileiras, vol. 2: 1958 – 1985, by Jairo Severiano and Zuza Homem de Mello.

Só vendo que beleza

Lyrics from “Só vendo que beleza” by Henricão and Rubens Campos (1942)

I have a little house out at Marambaia
It’s on the shore of the beach, gotta see it to believe such beauty
There’s a vine that in the springtime blooms bounteous Dollar Princesses
When summer comes, I sit on the veranda, pick up my guitar and start to play
And my moreno who’s always in a good mood sits down next to me and starts to sing
When afternoon falls a swell of swallows swoops in a swarm, making it summer
And out in the woods a thrush warbles a beautiful melody, to delight my heart
At six o’clock the chapel bell rings the Ave Maria chimes
And the moon rises from behind the ridge, announcing the end of daytime
I said I have a little house out at Marambaia…

— Interpretation —

Carmen Costa recording for the the TV Cultura program MPB Especial in the early 1970s.
Carmen Costa recording for the TV Cultura program MPB Especial in the early 1970s.

This was the song that brought fame to the celebrated radio singer Carmen Costa, along with the hit “Está chegando a hora,” an adaptation of the Mexican classic “Cielito Lindo,” which she released on the same album in 1942. Costa had moved from the interior of Rio de Janeiro to the capital in 1935, at age 15, where she began working as a maid in Francisco Alves’s home.  Alves encouraged her to pursue singing, and she participated in several amateur radio contests, forming a duo with the composer and singer Henricão in 1937. Upon Henricão’s suggestion, she dropped her given name, Carmelita Madriaga, and began going by Carmen Costa. Costa was among the first singers to record Luiz Gonzaga, releasing “Chamego” in 1944 and “Sarapaté” in 1945. She married an American in 1945 and spent the next four years in the United States. Upon returning to Brazil in 1949 she met and began a romance with the composer Mirabeau Pinheiro, who together with Lúcio de Castro, Heber Lobato, and Marinósio Filho composed Carmen’s greatest Carnival hit, “Cachaça” (1953), which she recorded with Colé.

Dollar Princess is a kind of fuchsia flower, known as "princess's earrings" in Brazil.
Dollar Princess is a kind of fuchsia flower, known as “princess’s earrings” in Brazil.

“Só vendo que beleza” counts among the most widely known compositions by Henricão and Rubens Campos. Henrique Felipe de Costa, or Henricão (Jan. 11, 1908 – Jun. 11, 1984) was born in Itapira, São Paulo. After moving to Rio de Janeiro he began composing with Rubens Campos (Aug. 16, 1912 – Nov. 3, 1985); the pair collaborated with Nelson Cavaquinho on the first of Cavaquinho’s sambas to be recorded, “Não faça a vontade dela,” released by Alcides Gerardi in 1939. The pair’s composition “Está chegando a hora” was adopted as a theme to end Carnival dances and also remains a popular song that the crowd sings at the end of football matches in Brazil.

“Só vendo que beleza” came as part of a series of countryside-themed songs, including “Minha palhoça” (1935) and “No rancho fundo” (1931). The song’s popularity inspired Henricão and Rubens Campos to compose a follow-up (which was not nearly as popular), called “Casinha de Marambaia,” which begins at minute 3:14 in the clip of both songs below. “Só vendo que beleza” was eventually recorded by Elis Regina and Maria Bethânia, among others.  

A number of Carnival songs use the proverb “uma andorinha não faz verão” (one swallow does not make a summer), including João de Barro‘s 1931 march by just that name: “Uma andorinha não faz verão.” In this song, by contrast, a bunch of swallows fly together, making it summertime. “Só vendo” (just seeing) essentially means “you gotta see it to believe it/understand.”


Lyrics in Portuguese

 Eu tenho uma casinha lá na Marambaia
Fica na beira da praia, só vendo que beleza.
Tem uma trepadeira que na primavera
Fica toda florescida de brincos de princesa.
Quando chega o verão eu sento na varanda,
Pego o meu violão e começo a tocar.
E o meu moreno que está sempre bem disposto
Senta ao meu lado e começa a cantar.
Quando chega a tarde um bando de andorinhas
Voa em revoada fazendo verão
E lá na mata um sabiá gorjeia
Linda melodia pra alegrar
meu coração
Às seis horas o sino da capela
Toca as badaladas da Ave Maria
A lua nasce por de trás da serra
Anunciando que acabou o dia.
Eu tenho uma casinha lá na Marambaia

Main source for this post: A Canção no Tempo: 85 anos de músicas brasileiras, vol 1, by Jairo Severiano and Zuza Homem de Mello.