Brazilian songs with sociopolitical innuendo
In this collection you'll find a few songs in which artists passed, implicitly, messages against the military regime from the 1960's-1980's.
Personal note: Here you'll find some of the finest pieces of Brazilian music, even though I'm not a fan of Chico Buarque, for instance.
In 2015, a huge movement led by students occupied public schools. It started in the state of São Paulo but crossed borders and reached other states. All because the state government at the time was reorganizing its educational system which, as a result, would lead into the closure of almost 100 schools.
This song was written and released around the 2014 Soccer World Cup, which was hosted by Brazil. It's a manifesto by Edu Krieger showing the reasons why he wouldn't ever cheer for his country. At the time, Brazil was in the middle of a crisis, for people (correctly) think we had bigger issues to care for instead of spending money we didn't have for such an event.
The poor ways the Brazilian government reacted to the COVID-19 pandemics was the target of this song. Jair Bolsonaro has had several impeachment protocols submitted, but all have been rejected even though his wrongdoings are known. The President, himself, was the target of lawful prosecution even before being the chief of state - due to problematic comments regarding homosexuality, race and education.
This song is a protest against the creation of hydroelectric plants and dams in Northern and Northeastern Brazil, which would lead into several cities vanishing.
This song was influenced by the view the songwriters had from a suburban train in Rio de Janeiro. These parts of the city are very poor in comparison with more central regions, and have to deal with misery, poor health system and all that comes with that.
This song was written in the wake of the death of the 5 year old black boy Miguel Otávio, who fell from a building to his death. The event was extremely controversial because Miguel was accompanying his mother, who worked as a maid for a rich and influential white family - who did nothing. It's a political statement about how black people are treated in Brazil, denouncing racial issues and prejudice.
Song makes subtle references to life in the Brazilian backlands, which suffer with longlasting droughts and lack of rain. The music video also shows how people who live in those regions ask God for help.
Another song that makes reference to droughts in Northeastern Brazil and its effects on society, like people losing their cattle, which they perceive as a punishment by God.
Song also denounces the poor quality of life in Northeastern Brazil, a region plagued by hunger, poverty and lack of basic needs. Carcará is actually a bird which feasts on the weak. Maria Bethânia's entonation of the song makes it even more intense.
Another song about droughts in Northeastern Brazil.
The coronavirus pandemics in 2020/2021 brought even worse issues for Brazil, like the increase of hunger levels for poor families. This song was released to raise awareness on that and to encourage people into helping.
Song was recorded as part of a campaign against the proliferation of AIDS in the 1980's.
This song touches a sore point: the hypocrisy of Brazilian society of the 1980's, when we had just become a democratic (on paper) country after the military dictatorship. It talks about a person who wants to swim against the current while people are hypocritical (making money at the misfortune of others) and cynical (people want to remain with a conservative point of view while the country moves towards the future).
Song talks about a person who's been target of bullying, hate and criticism, rising above all of that in the end. It's a reference to Pabllo's own experience, first as a gay man who comes from a poor family and background and later as a drag queen. It's a subtle reference to homophobia in Brazil and has been interpreted as such by several gay listeners.
Song talks about how things have changed from the last generation to the current one: with disrespect to the environment and love.
In the last few years around Brazil, everyone who thinks against the president and his ombudsmen are called 'communists' (regardless of the person really being a leftist or a communist). Oh, you want children to be taught ethical values in school so they will respect each other? You want gay people to be able to get married? You're against death penalty, etc.? So, you're a communist. *Insert eye roll here*. All because, in the 1930's, we had another coup d'etat on the hands of Getúlio Vargas because he made Brazilian people think we had the risk of becoming a communist country. It's the biggest Brazilian theory of conspiration, in which people unfortunately still trust. Gabriel pokes fun of that.
The song shows contradictions among society as a whole. For instance: we live in a time of technology, science and information, but there are still some issues around. It expresses the desire of living without any fear.
Zélia Duncan refers to the political context of Brazil in 2001, in the hands of then-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The lyrics were written around 1999, when Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2 was arrested because of making defending the use of drugs, but she thought it would be the best moment to release the song because she disliked FHC.
In this song Marisa mentions the fact that city people, in the hurry of their days, often forget acts of kindness and altruism. It's also a reference to Profeta Gentileza, who painted several city walls in Rio de Janeiro with words of wisdom, kindness (gentileza = kindness) and hope, which were all later covered in gray by the city hall - with much criticism.
Song talks about the refugee crisis of the 2010's and 2020's.
Song was written in favor of the legalization of homosexual marriage in Brazil, in 2013.