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Pedro Barroso, “poet and artisan of songs” and author of “Menina dos Olhos …

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Pedro Barroso, “poet and artisan of songs” and author of “Menina dos Olhos ...

Portuguese musician and singer Pedro Barroso died in the early hours of Tuesday. He was 69 years old and died of illness. The information was confirmed by his son, Nuno Barroso – also a musician – to Agência Lusa.

About three months ago, the musician and singer had revealed in an interview to Agência Lusa: “The physical condition, after another year of medical treatments, prevents me from playing; and even in the corner, I get tired after minutes ”. Later, just a week ago, Pedro's son, Nuno Barroso, reported on his Facebook account that his father had been admitted to the palliative care unit at Hospital da Luz, “due to having entered into a terminal illness process” .

With a career that began in the 1960s, Pedro Barroso began to reveal himself as a musician and singer in the RTP's Zip-Zip program, accompanied by Pedro Caldeira Cabral (Portuguese guitar) and Pedro Alvim (viola), having continued in the following decades with recording albums (more than 20 edited over the course of a lifetime) and singles. One of his most well-known themes was ““ Girl of the eyes of water ”, revealed in 1987. Barroso has worked in more than a dozen countries, having been awarded the Medal of Honor from the Portuguese Society of Authors (SPA).

(Pedro Barroso playing “Little girl with water eyes” at Coliseu dos Recreios, in Lisbon, in 2008 🙂

Born on November 28, 1950, Pedro Barroso was also a physical education teacher for more than two decades, combining this professional activity with music.

Having worked, as a teenager, on the radio – and later went to the theater, namely by the group Teatro Experimental de Cascais, and still painting and literature, publishing and painting -, Pedro Barroso started by revealing himself as an artist with only 19 years old, when it appeared on RTP's popular Zip-Zip program.

In the early 1970s, in the first year of that decade, he released his first album, a mini-album (EP) called Trova-dor. The first complete album would only arrive in the second half of the decade of the decade, in 1976 – two years after the 25th of April -, with the title Lutas Velhas, Canto Novo. Before, he did not hide his opposition to the Estado Novo and the Salazar regime, having participated in the post-revolution phase in the Cultural Dynamization Campaigns of the Armed Forces Movement (MFA), giving concerts all over the country.

Disc editing and song recording remained uninterrupted from the second half of the 1970s onwards. In the 1980s, for example, Pedro Barroso recorded the song “Menina dos Olhos d’Água”, which he included in the album he edited in 1987, Roupas de Pátria Roupas de Mulher.

Ten years ago, in an interview with Música Portuguesa, Pedro Barroso summarized his then 40 years of career: “There are 40 years of emotions and struggle for a more cultured country. A lot of investment in highways, but very little in culture and sometimes an artist is on top of the stage for an hour than an ambassador for life ”.

In the same 2009 interview, Pedro Barroso argued that he was not by nature an author of popular music – simply “for years he was forced by publishers to do it and did it” – and criticized the music of that time: “Songs must have an intention and today they mean nothing. They are made only to sell. I try to do things that stay. I refuse to write letters. I did it for a while, but now I write poems for songs. I am increasingly a poet of songs. What I do is for the mainstream as gastronomy is for fast food. It's crafts, I'm a songwriter ”.

In the Encyclopedia of Portuguese Music of the 20th Century, his work is described as follows: “” In his songs, the combination of text and music stands out, a characteristic enhanced by his interpretation centered on the clear enunciation of the meanings of the lyrics, using little ornamentation and a strong attack of notes and keywords ”.

As for Agência Lusa, ten years later, in 2019, he spoke of “grateful memories” and the “world of hugs” left by his journey in music. Without the songs, he recalled, “I had never known the world”.

The singer Simone de Oliveira, who met and collaborated with Pedro Barroso, who died this Tuesday, in Lisbon, told Lusa, very emotionally, that the musician's death is "a heartbreak" for her.

Pedro was a man of words and music that this country, unfortunately, knew badly ”, said Simone de Oliveira, emphasizing the“ exceptional work ”of the singer and composer.

"I lived with him, we were to do a project together that we were postponing due to our lives", said the singer.

Also the actor Ruy de Carvalho wrote a text on his official Facebook account, reporting the death of his “dear friend”. The actor wrote: “Receiving this news was a severe blow… We were rarely together, but we liked each other very much…. Until one day, my dear friend. We lost a great artist, a great human being. ”

Receiving this news was a hard blow… We were rarely together, but we liked each other very much… .To one day, my dear friend. We have lost a great artist, a great human being.

Posted by Ruy de Carvalho on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The sports club Belenenses also lamented the death of musician Pedro Barroso at dawn on Tuesday, partner and author of one of the hymns of the Restelo club, presenting the “heartfelt condolences” and “a hug of great friendship” to family and friends .

At 69, he left us a great name of Portuguese culture, a 1,648 member of the club and who, at the Gala of the Centenário do Belenenses, insisted on affirming himself once again as Belenenses until the end ”, can be read in a note published in official website of the club, which is currently active in the first district division of Lisbon.

The President of the Assembly of the Republic, Ferro Rodrigues, lamented the death of the musician Pedro Barroso, of whom he was a friend, and which he recalled as “one of the most important figures in Portuguese popular music”.

“I have just been informed of the death of Pedro Barroso, author, musician and interpreter who I knew for over 50 years and whom I had the honor of being a friend of. Pedro Barroso was, without a doubt, one of the most important figures in Portuguese popular music ”, says the second figure of the State, in a message of condolence sent to Lusa.

The President of the Assembly of the Republic transmitted, on his behalf and that of the Parliament, “the most heartfelt and fraternal solidarity” to the family and leaves a word of thanks to Pedro Barroso.

“For his activity as an intervention musician, as well as for the uncompromising defense of the rights of authors, my gratitude is enormous”, he says.

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