Television | Brasil, Brasil

Chico Buarque

An ongoing BBC Four series, Brasil, Brasil, tracks the evolution of Brazilian music, from samba to forró to bossa nova to tropicalia to AfroReggae. Almost all of these traditions intersect with football: samba is the celebration dance, “a body unselfconsciously flowing in response to a syncopated beat, melding curious indolence and sexual charge, form and spontaneity,” writes Rowan Ireland in the current dance-themed issue of ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America (fall 07).

Poet-musician Chico Buarque has composed football songs, such as “O Futebol” (“Para estufar esse filó / Como eu sonhei / Só / Se eu fosse o Rei,” or “To hit the net / As I dreamed / Only / If I were Pelé the King,” in Alex Bellos‘s translation), and tropicalia innovator Caetano Veloso has recorded the anthem “Hino da Bahia” for his home team in Salvador, especially appropriate this week. Both tracks are available on the CD Música de Futebol (Mr Bongo, 2004).

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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