Today is Valentine’s. It is the official day for expressing appreciation to those we love. Through songs many composers and singers have expressed their longing for love, their attraction to the beauty of the loved one, their gratitude for experiencing love in a romantic relationship, and their endless attempts to define such a sentiment which is so vast.
I dared to select a few Brazilian love songs (including some of my own interpretations) to enchant your Valentine’s evening. Take a look below and if you have any suggestions of other Brazilian love songs, please let me know.
1) Mensagem de Amor – Joseh Garcia
In the 80s Brazil was awakening to its own rock music. Rock became mainstream during that decade. Looking back at that time I found this song Mensagem de Amor (Message of love) by Herbert Vianna from the band Os Paralamas do Sucesso, and I decided to do a bossa nova version of it. In this recording I am accompanied by Aharon Wheels Bolsta (percussion) and the dear and missed Mike Knapp (cello). The lyrics speak about how meaningless knowledge and so much else seems comparing to the desire of being close to the loved one.
2) Mania de Você – Rita Lee
In 1979 the “Queen of Brazilian Rock” Rita Lee fell in love with her current husband Roberto de Carvalho and one of the fruits of this partnership is Mania de Você (Mania of you). The song was composed by the two right after making love and it became a huge hit in the 80s, and a classic of contemporary Brazilian Music. The soft and sensual musical atmosphere blends very well with the lyrics that say: “My love, you make my mouth water/ Embodying fantasies as we undress” and “ We make love through telepathy on the ground, on the sea, on the moon, in the melody”.
3) Pétala – Cássia Eller
Djavan is one of the best composers from Brazil. He is a master in using metaphors to describe complex sentiments such as love. The song Pétala (Petal) gained a much subtler arrangement here, in rock singer Cássia Eller‘s recording. The lyrics speak of love being like “the wind of my desire”, and “a petal of a star falling slowly”. According to this tune, love is vast, bright, enchanted, and revealing!
4) Ainda Bem – Vanessa da Mata
Vanessa da Mata is a new talent in Brazilian Music. Her pop musicality and soft voice seem to relax us. This song Ainda Bem (Thankfully), composed by Vanessa in partnership with Liminha, was released in 2004 and is one of her many sucesses. This song expresses gratitude for having a loved one. “Thankfully you live with me/ Otherwise how would my life be? / I have no idea/ I have no idea”
5) Dindi – Joseh Garcia
The beauty of this song has been echoing in my heart for a long time. My mother used to sing this song for me when I was a child. “Who is Dindi?”- I used to ask her, and she would respond: “It is you”! In honour of her I recorded this wonderful music by Tom Jobim & Aloysio de Oliveira with the talented pianist Duane Frybarger and Andrew Foster on percussion.