Response Marchinha: Leave Zezé’s big hair in peace!

Don’t you just love Response Songs? You know, someone writes a song asking “Why don’t you love me?” and then someone else writes a song which says “Because you’re boring and selfish!”.

Well I’ve just discovered a response song I had to tell you about. Remember I recently wrote about the classic carnaval marchinha Cabeleira de Zezé? It’s a super catchy song dating back to the early 1960s – it’s a much-loved song, but the lyrics left me wondering if I should really be singing it. An ‘unconventional’ guy named Zezé, is singled out for his unusually big hair. Various lines of the song seem to suggest that the guy might be this or that, but the crowd’s participation (shouting BICHA!) sets the tone of the song (the suggestion is that the guy is gay). The final line of the song is “Cut his hair!”

Well, the Eat Rio reader consensus was that this isn’t some homophobic bully song, but rather a reflection of the times in which it was composed. I was (and am) happy to accept that, but it seems that one group of people feel that it is time to come to poor Zezé’s defence!


This is A.B.R.A. Pre-Ca. In case you’re wondering, this stands for Amigos Bandidos Residentes no Amor Pré-Carnaval. These guys started writing carnival music in 2011 and they now play at blocos, discos and clubs.


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The challenging sound of Funk Carioca

I can’t speak for the whole of Rio, but if you live in or around my neighbourhood, you can’t have missed a distinctive new sound during the last month or two. The sound I’m talking about is a Funk Carioca (AKA Baile Funk) track called Fala Mal De Mim. I guess the literal translation would be “Speak badly of me”, but probably a better translation would be “Talk sh*t about me”. The artist responsible for this is MC Beyonce.



This is MC Beyonce. She’s seems very nice, just don’t talk sh*t about her hair or make up. And definitely don’t attempt to steal her boyfriend…


Wanna hear the track? OK, here it is:

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Não fala que grava!

I’ve mentioned a few of my favourite Brazilian albums in recent months – music by artists such as Jorge BenJoão Gilberto and Novos Baianos to name a few. There are a lot of other artists still to talk about, but one name is particularly conspicuous by its absence.

Antônio Carlos Jobim

Also known as Tom Jobim, this colossus of Brazilian music is known as the main force behind the creation of Bossa Nova and one of the most talented and successful composers of the 20th century. You can’t mention the man without also mentioning his most famous composition, Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema). The original (Portuguese) lyrics are so much nicer than the English version that it’s reason enough to learn Portuguese in itself!

For me, it seems like this subject is almost to big to cover – I don’t know enough about him and besides, you can get a better run-down of this man and his story on Wikipedia.

Tom Jobim

Tom Jobim (sounds kind of like Tohn zho-been). The man credited (along with João Gilberto) with the creation of Bossa Nova.


So instead of trying to cover Jobim’s entire career, I’m going to focus on just a single song.

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Secos e Molhados

I wanted to start a little differently today. What I’d like you to do is click on a link – this will open another window/tab on your browser into which will load a youtube clip. There may be an advert that you have to wait for – once the proper clip starts playing I want you to come back here to continue reading. Everyone clear on that? You’ll continue reading here while the music is playing there.

OK, here is the link:

Secos e Molhados

I should explain to younger readers that this is what was known as an ‘LP’.

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Novos Baianos

Brazilian music has been on the Eat Rio menu quite a bit recently – we’ve charted the highs of João Gilberto and Bossa Nova and we plumbed the lows of a plagiarising Rod Stewart, legs akimbo. In one of the comments I was even accused of having good taste in music! Well, I feel that I have a real ace left up my sleeve when it comes to Brazilian music recommendations.

There is a very select group of albums that I mentally file under the label “Solid Gold”. You know, no dud tracks – what you might call perfect albums. This list includes Blondie’s Parallel Lines, Neil Young’s After The Goldrush, Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Van Morrison’s Moondance (you’ll let me know if this starts to get a little self-indulgent won’t you?).

Well, since coming to Brazil I have a new album to add to this list of mine. It is called Acabou Chorare (which means ‘No More Crying’) and is the work of a group called Novos Baianos. What can I say about this album? It really is one of my favourite albums of all time – a beautiful piece of work.

Novos Baianos

Novos Baianos – the founding members (from left to right) Luiz Galvão, Baby Consuelo, Paulinho Boca de Cantor and Moraes Moreira.

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Eu quero tchu…

Every so often a song comes along that is so annoying, you just have to do something to get it out of your system. During the year of my Latin American travels the song was the Black Eyed Peas’ I’ve got a feeling. It was everywhere – in clubs, bars, bus stations, you name it – there was no escape. Very quickly it would take just the opening notes of  send everyone groaning in pain. The problem wasn’t just that it was a fairly crappy song. The problem was that like it or not, you would find yourself humming it constantly. And if you weren’t humming it, someone else nearby would be humming it and guess what – 30 seconds later you would be humming it again.

Well right now in Brazil we are suffering another of these torture songs. If you’ve been subjected to it already then all I need to say is “Eu quero tchu…“. You will roll your eyes and reply: “Eu quero tcha” and then I will go “Eu quero tchu tcha tcha tchu tcha…”. Like all the best/worst of these songs, it comes with a dance and in this case it even features a celebrity footballer.

This is Neymar – a hugely skillful footballer who plays for Santos and Brazil. Apparently his goal celebration inspired João Lucas and Marcelo to score their hit Tchu Tcha Tcha.

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For Funk’s Sake!

Picture this: You have been doing a lot of long days at work – getting up early, coming home late (you rarely have time for a proper lunch). It is Monday night and you are still tired from the weekend when there were various late-night events, at which your attendance was non-negotiable. 

When you got home from work tonight you managed to get a quick bite to eat and then head to bed – it is just before midnight and apart from the occasional dog bark, the night is quiet and peaceful. You close your eyes, so tired that you can feel your heavy body sinking deeper and deeper into the mattress as sleep takes you. Half-dreams flit in and out of your consciousness but you are too tired to take much notice. And then…

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The Bread Man Returns!

In my post The Bread Man Alarm Clock, I told you about a guy who walks up my street each morning with a big basket of bread on his back, calling out to let everyone know that he is coming. ‘The Bread Man’ unknowingly acts as my alarm clock each morning, letting me know it’s time to get up.

Well, at the end of that post I promised than interview which never appeared. Having had a quick chat with him, I had planned to do some proper Q&A the next morning. But then the next morning there was no Bread Man, no alarm clock, no interview (and I was late for work!). The days turned into weeks and I started to wonder if he’d gone for good.

Well, I’m happy to be able to report that a couple of days ago his familiar cry once again echoed off the cobblestones (paralelepípedos) of our street and woke me from my slumber. And so I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera and a notepad, and rushed downstairs to interrogate interview him. Here’s how it went (I have translated and paraphrased his responses):

Evaldo, AKA The Bread Man.


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