103-year-old Brazilian architect composes samba music

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brasilia, Dec 6 (IANS/EFE) Oscar Niemeyer, noted Brazilian architect who designed capital city Brasilia and the UN headquarters in New York, has reinvented himself just before turning 103 by penning the lyrics to a samba.

The architect celebrates his birthday Dec 15.

“I don’t know where I find the time to play around with this, but my samba is just foolishness, a bit of fun, but nothing important,” Niemeyer told the O Globo daily.

The creator of hundreds of monuments around the world said he composed the lyrics of “Tranquilo con la Vida” (Feeling Good about Life) at the end of last year, when he was in hospital with gall bladder and intestinal problems.

“I was always very close to the world of the samba and I wanted to do a tribute to the people of the favelas (shantytowns),” said Niemeyer, who describes himself as “the last Stalinist”.

The samba has been composed by musicians Edu Krieger and Caio Almeida.

The samba begins with a verse meaning “Now my life will be different. Pajama pants, striped shirt, sandals on my feet, just about every morning I’ll go walking on the beach, and there a pretty woman, God willing, I will find…”

In the last verse, a poor man says: “From my shantytown I see the most elegant people on the beach, by the sea, but let’s not blame them. They have their prestige and, some day, they’ll be living among us once more.”


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