Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nega do cabelo duro

Recently I noticed the shown sheet music for purchase at eBay, a standard piano version of the tune 'Nega do cabelo duro', a Brasilian batucada by David Nasser and Ruben Soares composed for the carneval in 1942. The lyrics (- in Portuguese) mock vanity and the black female hair-style in vogue at the time:

Nega do cabelo duro
Qual é o pente que te penteia?
Qual é o pente que te penteia?
Qual é o pente que te penteia, ô nega?

Ondulado permanente
Teu cabelo é de sereia
E a pergunta sai da gente
Qual é o pente que te penteia, ô nega?

Quando tu entras na roda
O teu corpo bamboleia
Teu cabelo está na moda
Qual é o pente que te penteia, ô nega?

Teu cabelo a fogo e flor
Tem um quê que me tonteia
Minha nega meu amor
Qual é o pente que te penteia, ô nega?

Misampli a ferro e fogo
Não desmancha nem na areia
Tomas banho em Botafogo
Qual é o pente que te penteia, ô nega?

Oscar Alemán recorded his version of 'Nega do cabelo duro' as NEGRA DE CABELLO DURO for Odeon 7 September 1943. It was the first recording by his re-organised Quinteto de Swing, at the same session was cut Alemán's version of the bolero 'Besamé mucho' by Consuelo Velázquez, which was on the flip-side of Odeon 45885. The record had great success with the public and marks the debut of Alemán as a vocalist - he sings the lyrics of 'Nega do cabelo duro' in Portuguese and 'Besamé mucho' in Spanish. It's an interesting fact that the record appeals to both the Brasilian and Argentinian market by coupling tunes sung in Portuguese and Spanish, but it may have been a well considered choice by Alemán and the staff at Odeon to promote the new formation of the Quinteto in a larger part of Latin America. - 'Negra de cabello duro' by
OA y su Quinteto de Swing has been re-issued on the cd shown below.

As mentioned above, the tune 'Nega do cabelo duro' was composed for the carneval of 1942 in Brazil, and the vocal ensemble ANJOS DO INFERNO had a mega-hit with their recording of the song that year. You may listen to their version of the tune, available at the Instituto Moreira Salles in streaming audio to be reached by clicking your right mouse button here

Even contemporary performers in Brazil still sing 'Nega do cabelo duro' as part of their repertoire, I found an up-dated version from the carneval February this year, here performed by vocalist Ivete Sangalo fronting an enthusiastic audience



Anonymous Hans said...

Thanks for the interesting blog aboutthis well known Alemán recording.


8:28 PM  

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