On earth as in heaven

Image: Jean Hahn


Walking and not singing with Geraldo Vandré

When this happened, twice in fact, is a little imprecise – but not by much: it was in 1992, 1993 or 1994 at the latest; not before. Close to the birthday of one of my daughters, in April, I left early to resolve a bureaucratic problem in the Jardins region (São Paulo, capital) and walked home. I went down Frei Caneca (or Bela Cintra) and walked a few blocks until I stopped at a corner, waiting for the lighthouse to open. Next to me was a slightly gray-haired man, shorter and thinner than me, wearing dark glasses and discreetly dressed. I recognized him right away.

We started walking, and I slowed down and followed him for twenty or thirty meters. I couldn't contain myself and applied a joke to him: I asked if he was the Hilton Acioli. He turned around in surprise and said no. I insisted: “but then you were from Trio Marayá?” He smiled and continued to walk, with me at his side, until, steps forward, he asked without looking at me: "you know who I am, don't you?" I said I knew. We laughed.

I told him that I was a teacher, that I wrote about culture and education, and that I admired his songs. He didn't get very excited, saying that that belonged to the past, that now he was a public servant, a lawyer, defending the suffering Brazilian people: "after all, I'm from Paraíba!" I asked if he continued composing and singing and the answer was laconic: “I sing at home, sometimes”. He will follow and I have to turn. I said see you later and got a silent nod in response, with a smile that almost came true.

A few weeks later I made the same journey and found it again, in a place close to the previous time. Geraldo Vandré looked at me and, showing his teeth a little, declared that he had never played in Trio Marayá.[1]

*Afranio Catani, retired professor at the Faculty of Education at USP, he is currently a senior professor at the same institution. Visiting professor at the Faculty of Education at UERJ, Duque de Caxias campus.


[1] The Trio Marayá, created in 1954, was composed of Potiguar vocalists Marconi Campos da Silva (guitar), Behring Leiros (tantã) and Hilton Acioli (afoxé). They had a long career in Brazil and abroad and, at the II Festival of Brazilian Popular Music, held in 1966 on TV Record, São Paulo, they defended with Jair Rodrigues the song “Disparada”, by Geraldo Vandré, which won, together with “A Banda”. , by Chico Buarque. According to Cravo Albim Dictionary of Pop Musicubrazilian home, Marconi, Acioli and Behring “have already composed hundreds of jingles, the two best known, one of Varig propaganda, and the historic “Lula lá”, used by the candidate for the Presidency of the Republic by the PT, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, when of his first candidacy for the presidency.”

This text was written after a conversation with my friend Celso Prudente, whom I thank.

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