Francisco Fanhais

Francisco Fanhais, interpreter of Portuguese intervention music, was one of the voices of resistance to the regime before the 25th of April. A companion of Zeca Afonso, he continues to this day to try to “unite those for whom the search for justice is their struggle”, so his intervention is still relevant today. He brings with him the viola, the songs and some memory.

Francisco Júlio Amorim Fanhais (Vila Nova da Barquinha, Praia do Ribatejo, May 17, 1941), better known as Francisco Fanhais, is a former Catholic priest and Portuguese singer.

Interpreter of Portuguese intervention music, Francisco Fanhais entered the seminary at the age of ten and was ordained a priest at 23.

Through music he became one of the most active voices of the so-called progressive Catholics who, since the famous letter of D. António Ferreira Gomes, Bishop of Porto, to Salazar, in 1958, fought the Salazar dictatorship.

Indeed, the then Father Fanhais emerged in the limelight of Portuguese music after participating in the famous television program Zip-Zip. Still in 1969, he released Cantilenas, his debut album. Appears on the cover of the first issue of Mundo da Canção magazine, published on December 19, 1969. His album Canções da Cidade Nova was published in 1970. Based on poems by Sophia de Mello Breyner, he set Cantanta da Paz and Porque.

Barred from singing, exercising the priesthood and teaching in official schools, he emigrated to France in 1971. In the meantime, he became a member of LUAR, a revolutionary force led by Emídio Guerreiro.

He returned to Portugal after the 25th of April 1974 and collaborated in the cultural promotion campaigns of the Armed Forces Movement. In 1975 he is one of the participants in the album República by José Afonso, recorded live in Italy.

In the album Ao Vivo no Coliseu by José Afonso, he appears to sing in the song Natal dos Simples.

In 1993 he joined Manuel Freire and Pedro Barroso to present the show Encontro. On June 9, 1995, he was made an Officer of the Order of Liberty, on the occasion of the commemorations of the Day of Portugal.

In 1998, the Strauss publisher reissued the album Canções da Cidade Nova with the new title of Dedication. On the cover was the manuscript of the dedication by José Afonso that appeared on the back cover of the original edition.
Francisco Fanhais presents a radical oppositional stance, the albums Canções da Cidade Nova and Cantilena that he recorded in 1969 and 1970 are proof of this, representing outstanding works in the movement of intervention singers.

José Afonso’s dedication included on the back cover of Francisco Fanhais’ 2nd album read “You who sing, Facing, With attentive faces, and Seguras, Make your Canto, A sling, In that place, Among other stronger hands, And tougher, I will extend to you, My fraternal hand. Sing, Friend”.

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