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    Dividing the waters: the sea in Portuguese post-revolutionary popular music

    Trindade, Luis (2015) Dividing the waters: the sea in Portuguese post-revolutionary popular music. Portuguese Journal of Social Science 14 (3), pp. 287-301. ISSN 1476-413X.

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    This article analyses the role of the sea in the early 1980s songs of singer-songwriter Fausto and pop band Heróis do Mar. Despite their formal and political differences, both use the sea as an insistent trope to discuss Portugal and its history. The sea thus becomes an important element in post-revolutionary Portuguese political cultures, appropriated by opposing political ideologies and cultural forms. And yet a close analysis of the compositions in Por Este Rio Acima/Up the River (released by Fausto in 1982), Heróis do Mar/Heroes of the Sea and Mãe/Mother (released by Heróis do Mar in 1981 and 1983, respectively) suggests that those ideological oppositions determine the ways in which the past is addressed by different musical genres. In this sense, the sea can be seen as a flexible object in which the tensions between the left and right – particularly in relation to the memory of Imperial past in post-colonial Portugal – are negotiated through the formal aspects, both musical and literary, of songs. More specifically, the contrasting ways in which Heróis do Mar and Fausto address the history of Portuguese Empire will have a dramatic impact in the rhythm of their songs and the syntax of their lyrics. It can thus be said that the politics of both pop band and singer-songwriter can be more decisively grasped at the level of form than content.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): nationalism, sea, ideology, postcolonialism, political culture, pop culture
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, Centre for (CILAVS), Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Luis Trindade
    Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 12:20
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:37


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