The Construction of Chico Buarque

One of Chico’s most famous songs is Construção (Construction), in which he literally constructs a song that works on many levels due to the fact that each line can be cut in half and mixed with the ending of another line (it is also “proparoxítona”…see comments). At the bottom, there is a beautifully written duet he wrote which he sings with Nara Leão called Com Açúcar, Com Afeto (With Sugar, With Affection)

Francisco Buarque de Hollanda (born June 19, 1944 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), popularly known as Chico Buarque, is a singer, guitarist, composer, dramatist, and writer. He is best known for his music, however, which often comments on Brazil’s social, economic and cultural reality.

The son of an academic (Sérgio Buarque de Hollanda), Buarque wrote and studied literature as a child and came to music through the bossa nova compositions of João Gilberto. He lived in several locations throughout his childhood, though mostly in São Paulo and Italy. He performed music throughout the 1960s as well as writing a play that was deemed dangerous by the Brazilian military dictatorship of the time. Buarque, along with several of his fellow musicians, including Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, were threatened by the government and eventually left Brazil in 1970. Buarque moved back to Italy, Veloso and Gil to London. He came back to Brazil in 1971, a year before the others, and continued to record albums, perform, and write, though much of his material was not allowed by government censors. He released several more albums in the 1980s and published three novels in the 1990s and 2000s, all of which were acclaimed critically.


3 thoughts on “The Construction of Chico Buarque

  1. I noticed that by listening but I never stopped to think about it. Cool!

    By the way, proparoxítona in English means the second to last vowel is stressed.

    Sabia mas não sabia, rs. É que nunca parei pra pensar nisso. Legal, cara!

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