Sing April: six revolutionary songs – Part 2

“Letra Para Um Hino” (Lyrics to an Anthem), Francisco Fanhais

Recorded in Rome in 1975, República was not released in Portugal. And it’s a shame. José Afonso and Francisco Fanhais participated in this register of solidarity with the newspaper República, with unpublished versions, versions by other artists and their own repertoire. First-rate songs like this “Letra Para Um Hino”, written by Manuel Alegre before the April revolution, but timeless.

“Companheiro Vasco” (Comrade Vasco), Carlos Alberto Moniz e Maria do Amparo

“Force, force, comrade Vasco, we will be the steel wall”, promised Maria do Amparo and Carlos Alberto Moniz on the B-side of the single “Daqui o Povo Não Arranca Pé!”, from 1975. A puerile revolutionary anthem and lately inconsequential, but inspiring. Which is especially important for the exaltation of the April soldier and prime minister responsible for measures such as agrarian reform and the nationalization of the main economic sectors.

“O Pecado (do) Capital” (The sin of Capital), Jorge Palma & Fernando Girão

The 1975 song festival took place in the middle of PREC. And that is noticeable. Paco Bandeira sang “Batalha-people”, José Mário Branco gave voice to “Alert!” from the Cultural Action Group, the winner was a soldier from April, Duarte Mendes. And the contest started with Fernando Girão and Jorge Palma singing about “O Pecado (do) Capital”.

“A Cantiga É Uma Arma” (The Song Is A Weapon), Grupo de Acção Cultural

The Cultural Action Group, or just GAC, was the best and most consistent of the politically engaged collectives of singers and musicians that formed after the 25th of April. Some of the main voices of the revolution were involved in (and sooner or later abandoned) the project. “A Cantiga É Uma Arma”, included in the 1975 LP of the same name, was and is one of his greatest anthems.

“Cantiga de uma Greve de Verão” (Song of a Summer Strike), Vitorino

Taken from Semear Salsa Ao Reguinho, Vitorino Salomé’s debut album, released in 1975 by Orfeu, this revolutionary ballad takes a Shakespeare title and adapts it to the context of agrarian reform. The lyrics are simple, direct and inspiring (“I open my chest, I close my fist”; “I change my sickle for a shotgun”; “shotgun behind the door”; “we want a hot summer”).

“Liberdade” (Liberty), Sérgio Godinho

“’Freedom’ is of all the words and concepts that I use in my life, and by dragging in the songs, the one I most cherish and defend the most, the one that gives the north its compass”, wrote Sérgio Godinho a few years ago, in a text published in Time Out Lisbon. It is natural, therefore, that this is the song that represents him in this list. But there could be many others.


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