You are at: home » declarations  
Ruy Castro

I have a long-standing and healthy disagreement with Carlinhos Lyra. He thinks that Juscelino Kubitschek, president at the time, was very important for the appearance of Bossa Nova.

“But how? Juscelino was also a composer? He sang? Played guitar?” – I ask you. Of course not, I reply. JK didn’t even play the record player and his musical taste, as a matter of fact, apparently didn’t go beyond “Peixe Vivo”. What Carlinhos means to say, with his historical viewpoint, is that Bossa Nova appeared out of the “developmentalist euphoria” of the JK era, as did other creations of Brazilian art at that turning point from the fifties to the sixties.

Well, in my opinion, Carlinhos Lyra was much more important – a thousand times over, at the very least – for the appearance of Bossa Nova than JK. The theory is so obvious that I feel embarrassed to have to explain it. JK might have built Brasilia, invented the national automobile and painted the town red. But without Carlinhos Lyra – or without João Gilberto, Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes -- there would have been no Bossa Nova and until today we’d be singing “No one loves me”. In regards to Carlinhos, he would have been a great composer no matter who had been president, nor what had been the reigning regime.

What’s more, I would say: JK’s entire Brasilia is not worth “Song that Dies in the Air” (“Canção que Morre no Ar”). And, I further affirm that JK, with all the posthumous popularity he enjoys, will one day be forgotten. But songs like “Minha Namorada”, “Primavera”, “Samba do Carioca”, “Você e Eu”, “Sabe Você?”, “Se é Tarde me Perdoa”, “Marcha da Quarta-feira de Cinzas”, “Influência do Jazz” and so many, so many others will exist as long as there is sensibility.

But, of course, this is merely the opinion of someone who doesn’t have the so-called historical point of view. And who, on hearing the immense music of Carlos Lyra, wants the historical vision to “go comb monkeys”.

« Back

Song Search