Grândola, Vila Morena

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"Grândola, Vila Morena"
Song by Zeca Afonso
Language Portuguese
Written 1972
Songwriter(s) Zeca Afonso

"Grândola, Vila Morena" is a Portuguese song by Zeca Afonso, that tells of the fraternity among the people of Grândola, a town in the Alentejo region of Portugal.

"Grândola Vila Morena" refers to "Grândola", the mentioned village's name, and a characterization of the town, "Vila Morena", meaning something like "swarthy town", "tanned town", "brown town" or "sunbaked town".

The highly disciplined verse form is notable. Each quatrain is followed by a quatrain that repeats the identical lines in reverse order.

Carnation Revolution[edit]

While Salazar's Estado Novo regime banned a number of Zeca Afonso's songs from being played or broadcast, as they were considered to be associated with Communism, Grandola, Vila Morena was not one of these. At a concert in Lisbon on the 24 March 1974 Zeca Afonso played this song, the audience joined in enthusiastically, uniting the crowd as one. For this reason, on 25 April 1974, at 12:20AM the song was broadcast on the Portuguese radio station Rádio Renascença as a signal to start the revolution that overthrew the authoritarian government of Marcello Caetano; it thus became commonly associated with the Carnation Revolution and the beginning of democratic rule in Portugal. It was the second signal to start the coup, the first being E Depois do Adeus ("And after the farewell"), the Portuguese entry in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1974, performed in Portuguese by Paulo de Carvalho.

First performance[edit]

Grândola was first sung at a Zeca Afonso concert in Galicia's capital of Santiago de Compostela, on 10 May 1972.

Continuing political legacy[edit]

On 15 February 2013, the Prime Minister of Portugal was interrupted by a rendition of this song in the Assembly of the Republic (Portuguese Parliament). Protesters in the Assembly's public galleries, unhappy with the contemporary social and economic policies, expressed their discontent in song.[1][2]

The song that marked the Carnation Revolution, continued to be sung in protest at public events attended by government members.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Revolutionary freedom song interrupts parliamentary debate, TPN/ LUSA, The Portugal News, GENERAL category, 16, February, 2013
  2. ^ Passos interrompido por "Grândola Vila Morena", Youtube video published by Esquerda.net (Left Bloc internet channels)
  3. ^ Austerity triggers novel protests as Portuguese chafe at fall in living standards FOX News