Dispute over “machismo” in Brazilian icon Chico Buarque’s song | Showbiz


Brazilian musician Chico Buarque listens to former Brazilian President (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a rally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 2, 2018. – AFP file pic

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 4 — In 1966, the late bossa nova singer Nara Leao asked Brazilian music icon Chico Buarque to write her a song about a long-suffering woman waiting for her man.

Fifty-six years later, the much-loved song, With Acucar, with Afeto (With Sugar and Affection), is at the center of a firestorm in Brazil after Buarque said he decided to stop singing it due to criticism of machismo in its lyrics.

“Feminists are right,” Buarque said in a documentary series about Leao’s life that debuted Jan. 7 on Brazilian streaming platform Globoplay.

“I will always agree with feminists,” added the singer, now a living legend of Brazilian popular music, 77.

It has sparked a firestorm over ‘cancellation culture’, political correctness and feminism in a deeply divided Brazil ahead of October elections that will decide whether controversial far-right President Jair Bolsonaro will win a new term. .

“This has reached the height of madness! All because of feminists. MADNESS!” read a typical reaction on Twitter.

“That took a long time, didn’t it?” went a typical reaction from the opposite camp.

“I’ve always hated that shitty song full of machismo. I think people romanticizing it are weird.

The song is written from the perspective of a woman who has baked her man’s “favorite candy, with sugar and affection” but waits for him to come home as he celebrates. in bars and eyeing other women.

Still, when he finally gets home, she sings, “I’ll heat up your favorite meal…and open my arms to you.”

‘The song of the woman who suffers’

“You have to understand that at that time it never occurred to us that it was a form of oppression, that women shouldn’t be treated like that,” said Buarque, a songwriter -adored performer known for her satiny, blue voice- green eyes, an idol-like smile and a fulfilling career spanning six decades.

“I will not sing With sugar and affection more, and if Nara was there, I’m sure she wouldn’t sing it either,” added Buarque, whose repertoire includes many songs written from a female perspective.

Leao, who died in 1989 at the age of 47, is considered one of the founders of bossa nova, the silky smooth musical genre that evolved from Brazilian samba in 1950s Rio de Janeiro.

Buarque said she asked him for a “suffering woman’s song”. He complied and continued to sing it himself as well.

But some commentators have pointed out that Buarque hasn’t performed the song live since at least the 1980s, dismissing the row that has erupted in the media, on social media and in cultural circles as a made-up controversy.

“We must be careful that this episode was used to rail against feminism and social movements, supposedly responsible for censoring artistic creations and imposing political correctness,” columnist Amara Moira wrote on her website. BuzzFeed.

“None of this actually happened. But in these times of fake news and episodic reactions, it hardly matters.

Whether the song and the controversy surrounding it are ancient history or not, they gave rise to a new musical creation this week.

On Wednesday, singer Viviane Davoglio and songwriter Iavora Cappa posted a revised version of the song on YouTube, titled With Ternura and with Afeto (With Tenderness and Affection).

In their version, it’s the female protagonist who goes out one night on the town, then comes home to her crying man – who’s heating up her favorite dish. —AFP

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