Lune Records

Lune Records: Paulinho da Viola, of Choro, of Samba, of Brazil!

This was a week I desired a lot to happen on our schedule here at the Sisterhood of the Moon HQ. Not only because music is one of my favourite things in the world, but for being able to talk about a part of – if not the most important – which are its composers.

The art of composing wasn’t born with everyone – how do I know that? I myself have already tried it and it was only tears and despair (ok maybe Marília Mendonça would like my lyrics of pain and suffering) – so, nothing fairer than celabrating the composer’s day with a week dedicated for them here at Lune Station.

I, Hekate, am honoured to be the first one this week, and I have a H U G E list of good names around the whole world I could talk about here today, so I thought, thought about it again and a nome got stuck on my mind since the theme was announced.

Because talking about him, and not only himself, is talking about Brazilian carnaval, samba de raiz, of choro and of great names on the Brazilian music industry! Ladies and gentleman, girls and boys, with you now: Paulinho da Viola.

The Samba of Paulinho

Paulinho da Viola – image source: O Globo

Paulo César Batista de Faria, more known as Paulinho da Viola, was born in Rio de Janeiro in November 12, 1942, is known for being a samba and choro singer and composer, guitarist, cavaquinista, bandolinista and is also known for his impecable harmonies and his voice in gentle and soft tone.

Born in Botafogo, he is the eldest son of Paulina Batista dos Santos and the guitarist Benedito Cesar Ramos de Faria, who was part of the first formation of the choro group “Época de Ouro”. For being part of a medium class family with musical background, Paulinho had the opportunity to get to know and live day by day with great names of choro back then, such as Pixinguinha (of whom I’m a huge fan, he is the composer of one of my favourite national songs), Dilermando Reis (who is considered by many as the most influential guitarist in Brazil]), among many other names.

Teenage Paulinho, playing guitar – image source: Jornal Opção

Since he was a child, he always liked listening to samba and choro, on the gatherings his parents hosted, he always observed how the other artists played and behaved, to the song and melody. At 15, he started learning guitar on his own, and even against his father’s whishes, who didn’t want his son to be a singer, gave him a guintar so he could at least practice more and use as a distraction.

On that same time, he started getting involved with carnaval and with a group of friends who organized the carnaval block: Foliões da Rua Anália Franco, to represent the street where the aunt to which house he used to go to during the weekends and had more freedom to go out at night. At that time, he started on the composers black of the samba school União de Jacarepaguá and there he met renown samba composers like Jorge Mexeu and Cantoni.

In 1962, while he acted as a cavaquista (cavaco player), he composed the song “Pode ser Ilusão” which was one of his first sambas.

Paulinho da Viola, Hermínio Bello de Carvalho and Elizeth Cardoso – image source: Jornal Opção

At 19, while he worked in a career that had nothing to do with music, he had a conversation with Hermínio Bello de Carvalho which was enlightning and from them he started going to his gatherings, meeting many other great names of Brazilian music, like Cartola, Elton Medeiros and Nelson Cavaquinho. And from then on he took music as his main project.

Paulinho’s career was marked by partnerships with great names from Rio de Janeiro samba. He is one of the most talented singers and composers of samba and choro, and an icon when it comes to popular Brazilian music.

Most Popular Compositions

Marisa Monte and Paulinho da Viola – image source: O Povo

Among many great names who sang his compositions, there are: Tereza Cristina, Eduardo Gudin, Leila Pinheiro, Dona Inah, Simone, Alaíde Costa, Beth Carvalho, Jair Rodrigues, Ângela Maria, Trio Esperança, Clara Nunes, Djavan, Marisa Monte, among others.

We can already notice his lyrics are a real work of art and many of them are well known.

I can’t list all songs by him, so I’ll make a little list and they are also available on a playlist (created by me) on spotify.

1. Foi Um Rio Que Passou em Minha Vida

2.  Argumento

3. Sei Lá Mangueira

4. Coração Leviano

5. Dança da Solidão

6. Onde a Dor Não Tem Razão

7. Pecado Capital

8. Meu Mundo É Hoje

9. Alento

10. Bebadosamba

Remembering this list isn’t in chronological order and it isn’t a ranking of my favourites, the songs were selected randomly.

Maybe from those the most known and played are Coração Leviano and Pecado Capital (at least here, during family lunches and friend’s gatherings – we’re all missing a meeting with friends, right? – we can’t miss a nice icy beer and those two songs on the playlist)

And those were interpreted by strong and striking popular voices, making great part of the population that consumes Brazilian music to know them – also, Pecado Capital, was a soap opera opening theme here in Brazil.

(Pecado Capital’s opening on Rede Globo, interpreted by the group SPC)

Each lyric, verse and riff are well thought and with truths that are even scary; Paulinho da Viola is certainly a master and we, Brazilian people, have the honour of having this name and talent as cultural and national treasure (this is my feeling at least)!

Paulinho’s Samba Enredos

Paulinho and Beth in a Portela parade – image source: Compositores da Portela – Blogger

In 1966 Paulinho wrote the samba enredo to the samba school Portela “Memórias de um Sargento de Milícias” which got the highest score by the jury on its category and helped Portela to be the winner that year.

Years later, he wrote “Foi um Rio que Passou em Minha Vida”, in a tribute to Portela, a song that wasn’t only a bridge of reconcilliation with Portela, for years prior with Hermínio Bello de Carvalho having written “Sei Lá, Mangueira” in a tribute to Mangueira samba school, but also made him top the charts on the 70’s, playing during the whole year on the most famous radios of the country.

Listen to Paulinho!

Paulinho da Viola – image source: El País

Active until today, with impecable voice and talents, Paulinho is on the stream platforms:




That’s it! This whole week we’ll have more composers and incredible surprises for you, stay alert, listen to a samba and wear your masks and cleaning alcohol!

Hi, I’m Gabriela, known better around here as Hekate. Born and Raised in São Paulo, double Scorpio, passionate about everything regarding pop culture and, sometimes, not so pop. Romantic Comedies, books by Sidney Sheldon, underground playlists and musicians, kpop and Corinthians are my biggest passions. Aspiring Chef and writer, lover of tea and hugs.