Geni e o Zepelim

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"Geni e o Zepelim"
Song by Chico Buarque
from the album Ópera do Malandro
Language Brazilian Portuguese
Released 1978 (1978)
Recorded 1978
Genre MPB
Length 6:24
Songwriter(s) Chico Buarque

Geni e o Zepelim (English: Geni and the Zeppelin) is a Brazilian MPB song, composed and recorded by Chico Buarque for his 1978 album Ópera do Malandro, the soundtrack to the eponymous musical play, in which the song's plot is set; it is also part of its soundtrack. A film adaptation was released in 1986.

The song has become relevant enough that the refrain "joga pedra na Geni" has been referenced in situations where people are victims of moral patrolling.[1]


The lyrics are hepta-syllabic rhyming verses with strict meter, and are about Geni, a transvestite who was ostracized by the townspeople. After a zeppelin approaches the town and its pilot threatens to attack it, the ship's pilot demands Geni to sleep with him so he will spare the town, which she does. The populace temporarily treat Geni differently. The day after, she returns home and is immediately persecuted just as she was before.[citation needed]


Some sources suggest Geni could have been inspired by the homonymous character from Nelson Rodrigues's 1965 play Toda Nudez Será Castigada.[2][3]


Various sources believe the song to be critical of colonialism, imperialism and capitalism, and that Geni is a personification of the oppressed groups and peoples.[4]

João Marcos Mateus Kogawa, of Revista Urutágua wrote about "Geni e o Zepelim":

Geni symbolizes silence, submission and non-voice, in the context of a system which prevents her from talking. Nevertheless, her other subject talks through the voice of the author, who portrays her as a martyr or heroine, who attacks her inquisitors' values.[5]

Cover versions[edit]

Several artists have covered the song:


  1. ^ Oliveira, Mário Oscar Chaves (30 March 2011). "Joga Pedra na Geni". Migalhas. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Toda Nudez Será Castigada". Crítica em Cena. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Santos, Fernanda Marques (1 June 2007). "O Lar e As Ruas: A Dicotomia das Personagens Femininas na Dramaturgia de Nelson Rodrigues" (PDF). Centro Universitário Feevale. Retrieved 30 November 2011. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Wiel, Franciscus Willem Antonius Maria Van de. "Trabalho e Malandragem como Repressão e Transgressão nas Canções da Ópera do Malandro de Chico Buarque" (PDF). PUC-SP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Kogawa, João Marcos Mateus (2006-01-01). "Geni no Entremeio de Uma Arena de Vozes". Revista Urutágua. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 

External links[edit]