UP, SAPO, MyHome, DI
From: "P.Ward" 
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 09:41:21 +0100
Subject: Jose Afonso
I would be grateful if someone could email me with biographical
information on Jose Afonso, including what I understand was a
tragic, lingering death.  Also, I would like to know what the
song Grandola Vila Morena refers to.  Thank you for you help.

Philip Ward,  Sheffield Socialist Choir

The song goes as this: Grandola Vila Morena Terra da fraternidade O Povo e quem mais ordena .... Grandola tanned village Land of fraternity Where the people is in command ... Grandola is the name of a village located in Alentejo in the south-center of Portugal. Why "tanned"? Because Alentejo is a sunny region where most of the people live from agriculture. Why Alentejo? Because is arguably the most impoverished region of Portugal. ========================= Follows a brief and unpolished outline of the biography of Jose' Afonso based on the liner notes of the CD "Cantigas do Maio" (which are in Portuguese) and also on some scarce general knowledge I have. 29 (2 August) He was born in Aveiro 29-38 He spent his childhood in Aveiro and in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. 40-52 He lived mostly in Coimbra studying in the Liceu Normal D.Joao III (secondary school) and in the University of Coimbra where he took a degree in Philosophy. He joined two choirs in Coimbra: "Orfeao Academico de Coimbra" and "Tuna Academica de Coimbra". He began to stand up as a unusual and innovator singer in the style of "Fado de Coimbra". 53-55 Did his military service. 56-63 Worked as a teacher in several secondary schools across the Country. He never lost connection with his friends in Coimbra where he recorded his first album in 58. From 1960 there was a period of crisis in Coimbra: "free-thinkers" such as Jose' Afonso, Carlos Candal, Manuel Alegre, Adriano Correia de Oliveira and others openly contested the regime. 64-67 He and his family moved to Mozambique where he worked as a teacher. 68-74 Returned to Portugal where the Government dismissed him from teaching. He survived giving private lessons. His (clandestine) political activity increased and he dedicated to composition and singing and recorded several albums in France. 74-77 He lived the "Portuguese revolution" intensely, performed in hundreds of shows and political meetings across the Country and also abroad: in Brazil, France, Germany, Mozambique and Angola. He was reinstated as a teacher. 87 (23 February 1987) He died after a long and slowly wearing disease that he successfully managed to hide from his friends during long years. ========================= CD's: His recorded work is widely available in Portugal. There are 10 different CD's around, maybe more, all available at low price (2000 escudos). I only own "Cantigas de Maio" and the sound quality is very good. The label is Movieplay (MOVIPLAY PORTUGUESA, SA, R. Alfredo Guisado, 382-B, 5., 1500 Lisboa, Portugal) --Miguel Artur Miguel A.V.Dias (amd@di.fct.unl.pt) Dep.Informatica/FCT/UNL, Quinta da Torre, 2825 Monte de Caparica, Portugal