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Sérgio Cabral

In "Samba da Bênção", Vinícius de Moraes affirms that Carlos Lyra unites action and sentiment. It’s true and I’m its witness. I further say that Carlinhos Lyra influenced me. Many of the things I wrote during twenty years of militancy in journalism related to popular music, developed from the words I heard from this extraordinary composer during the period that we worked together in the Popular Center for Culture of the UNE.

Action, sentiment, talent, etc., all this is something connected to the performance of one of the greatest melodists that Brazilian popular music produced in all times. He is so important that not even the terrible consumer-oriented relationship with this same music has managed to destroy the work of Carlinhos Lyra. I know that recording companies were born to produce profit, like any other shop, and that they have no compromise with the truth of the so-called MPB. So much that I, a music listener – a physiological necessity – haven’t been able to listen to that which radio broadcasts since 1984, marked, on one hand, as the year in which the Brazilian people demanded direct elections, and on the other, as the year in which musical consumption was monopolized by foreign products and by Brazilian music produced in a north-american way. It was a massacre so overpowering that even many of our main composers gave in, moving also to write north-american style music in Portuguese (so far, in Portuguese).

So that’s why I don’t listen to music on the radio. I listen to music from my records, selected by me. And I select “Primavera", "Minha namorada, "Canção que morre no ar..", "Feio não é bonito", "Saudade fez um samba", Marcha da quarta-feira de cinzas", "Aruanda", "Quem quiser encontrar o amor", "Influência do jazz", "Maria Ninguém” and so many other songs by Carlos Lyra that we can listen to in the certainty that one is enriching the soul and helping his fellow man be more sensitive.

That’s why I consider a show by Carlos Lyra is always a grand event and deserves our presence, our applause, our gratitude. Whether seated in a theatre or in a bar, we are in the presence of one of the greatest names that Brazilian music has yet produced, not only with the great work he offers, but, above all, with much to contribute so that we can have new emotions and other motives to believe that lack of creativity is not yet a problem for whomever likes music in Brazil.

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