Vieira e Vieirinha – Transporte de Boiada

VieiraI thought I’d head back to Brazil for an example of mid-20th century song performed by a dupla sertaneja: the Brazilian country music duo.

Música sertaneja essentially is Brazilian country music whose influences stem from the rural regions of the São Paulo and Minas Gerais states. The duos (duplas) perform on 10-string viola caipira guitars, and usually sing in parallel thirds and sixths, in a rural dialect and in a somewhat nasal tone. From the 1940s on, the duplas became hugely popular, particularly with working class Brazilians. There were dozens of duplas groups that recorded for Brazilian labels – apparently, the style even threatened to eclipse samba in popularity, causing a bit of a backlash. Some duplas performed virtually all types of songs and dances, often mixing folk idioms with urban or international influences. Some performers wore felt hats or had wild pompadours. While it may not sound as raw and unsophisticated as Dock Boggs or any “country” artist from the United States, it can be truly enjoyable, effective music. For such a popular, ingrained genre, similar to postwar “Country and Western” in the US, I find it interesting that there seems to be few if any early examples of this music on CD on US labels, though there are loads of Brazilian CDs that feature the style.

Many duplas had simple names, more or less like nicknames: Tonico e Tinoco, Zico e Zeca, Lourenço e Lourival, and the performers of today’s piece, Vieira e Vieirinha, one of Brazil’s most beloved duos. Brothers born in a rural part of the Itajobi municipality in the interior of Brazil, Vieira’s given name was Rubens Vieira Marques (1926-2001), and Vieirinha’s was Rubiao Vieira (1928-1991). Their career began in the late 40s performing on Brazilian radio. They began recording approximately 32 78s in 1952-1953, and their first LP was released in 1958, for Continental. This piece is one of their most famous, and one of their earliest, dating from 1953. The title translates to “Transporting Cattle” or perhaps “Cattle Drive.” It eventually appeared on a 1971 LP by the duo, which can be found on the web, if you dig enough. The song is unabashedly romantic, with over-the-top sound effects, yet it does evoke a time and place, and one that we haven’t explored here.

Vieira e Vieirinha – Transporte de Boiada

Technical Notes
Label: Continental
Issue Number: 17-147
Matrix Number: 11740

9 thoughts on “Vieira e Vieirinha – Transporte de Boiada

  1. Do you know if there’s a connection between caipira and caipirinha, the drink made with cachaça and lime?

    Also: sertão seems to mean “back country” in general; the terrific book Os Sertões by Euclides da Cunha describes an uprising of country people in Brazil’s northeast, rather than Minas or Gerais Rio Grande do Sul.

    1. “Caipirinha” comes from the fact that it is traditionally made of “pinga”, a popular drink (sugarcane rum) that ‘caipiras” drink.

  2. Yes – caipira means “hillbilly” in Portuguese, and “caipirinha” the drink is indeed the diminutive of the same term. (I didn’t know the latter previous to your question.)

    You are correct regarding the true meaning of sertao and serteneja. However, musica serteneja is a generic term in Brazil, and most often refers to the music of Central/Southern Brazil. This is a good piece here:
    http://www.brazilmax.com/news.cfm/tborigem/fe_music/id/9

  3. Tony and MR – I’m glad you enjoyed it. One of its most attractive aspects is that it quite literally takes you on a journey.

  4. oh my godddddddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    just discovered I can actually download the music….
    i am in tears…
    thank you sooosooo much!!!
    I will certainly be spending the next few days on your site.

    thanks again.

    (ps i do a little fieldrecording while traveling, if you have the time i would like to invite you listening and let me know some feedbacks 🙂

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