NOEL ROSA, Poet of the Vila

Posted on | Leave a comment

NOEL ROSA, Poet of the Vila

Noel Rosa, (1910-1937), born in Vila Isabel, a bairro (section of town) of Rio de Janeiro, was one of the most influential musicians in the history of Brazil. Noel was one of the first white musicians to incorporate black Brazilian music into his compositions, bringing samba, the music of the morro (the favela, the poorer, mostly hilly, areas), down to the asfalto (the non-slum part of town), and into the mainstream culture. Even today you will hear his songs played and sung at any gathering of samba musicians (sambistas), such as at the tiny Bip-Bip bar in Copacabana.

Roda de Samba at the Bip-Bip bar
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

In his humorous “Conversa de Botequim” (“Bar Talk”), Noel satirizes a colorful and irresponsible carioca (resident of Rio) who he considered typical of many of his friends—and himself! This caricature is still popular today, feeding off the myth of the shiftless carioca.

“Conversa de Botequim”
Por Noel Rosa

Read more

Fun with Tico-Tico

Posted on | Leave a comment
Here’s a song that’s supposed to be very hard for Gringos (and some Brazilians) to sing. It was made famous by Carmen Miranda in the 1940′s. Rent the dvd “Copacabana” with Groucho Marx and see Carment singing this and other classics. Remember that the idea is to HAVE FUN while learning!! DIVIRTA-SE!!!

If you listen to it several times, I’ll bet you can learn at least the first verse and surprise your Brazilian friends!


Por Zequinha de Abreu

Cantada por Carmen Miranda no filme “Copacabana” com Groucho Marx

O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui,
o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá.
Se o tico tico tem, tem que se alimentar,
Que vá comer umas minhocas no pomar.

Mas por favor tira esse bicho do celeiro,
porque ele acaba comendo o fubá inteiro.
Tira esse tico de cá, de cima do meu fubá.
Tem tanta coisa que ele pode pinicar.

Eu já fiz tudo para ver se conseguia.
Botei alpiste para ver se ele comia.
Botei um gato, um espantalho e um alçapão,
mas ele acha que o fubá é que é boa alimentação.

Loose translation of the original lyrics:

The little sparrow is here, it’s here again,
the tico tico is eating my cornmeal.
If that tico tico must feed itself,
let it go eat a few earthworms in the orchard..

But please take this animal out of the granary,
because it will end up eating all the cornmeal
Throw that tico out of here, from on top of my cornmeal.
It has so many things that it can peck at.

I’ve done everything to see if I could.
I threw out birdseed to see if it would eat it.
I let a cat loose, set a scarecrow and a trap,
but it thinks that cornmeal is good food.

Also, listen to these wonderful versions of “Tico Tico” on your computer:

Carmen Miranda:

Great 4-hands version on one guitar:

By flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía: