Manu Lafer

Músico e Compositor


“Clara Maria” is a composition that it’s author and interpreter, Manu Lafer, keeps recording and recreating. The piece was inspired by unfinished songs, such as “Querida”, by Tom Jobim, and testimonial songs, such as “Sargaço Mar”, by Dorival Caymmi.

Producer and programmer Alê Siqueira’s sophisticated arrangement for the Brazilian rhythm ijexá (ritualistically known as afoxé) proposes an unusual quintuple meter – unusual, because it only occurs in this way in this composition, with this inventive guitar, arranged by Manu Lafer and played by Swami Jr. What allows for this refinement is Marcelo Galter’s piano and Gabi Guedes’ atabaques.

The sophisticated and poetic lyrics is based on the characters’ wild and spiritual drives. “Clara Maria” talks about an “adjective-woman”, not two “object-women”, as the careless listener would guess. The song, thus, is about one, not two women. This woman is both “clara” and “maria” – first names serving as adjectives.

The passion presented in the song is inspired by the Brazilian tradition set by writer Nelson Rodrigues. In “Clara Maria”, however, the situation isn’t negative nor pathological; what we can still see is the discovery of the relationship between a man and a woman, in its physical and spiritual aspects at once.

Remarkable songs like “Take Five” and “Chovendo na Roseira” show us that there is more than way of counting to 5. In “Clara Maria”, it is a prosody that alternates counting 3 beats and counting 2 beats, producing a sense of incompletion in the universe of a romantic and passionate relationship.

This time signature mirrors writer Yael Ziegler’s understanding of the biblical Book of Lamentations (Eicha). The biblical parallelism with catholic background makes it possible to put together qualities and features that would, in other contexts, be separate, opposed, or contradictory.

1. Clara Maria (Manu Lafer)

Maria da mãe de Clara
Clara do pai de Maria
O nome de ser amada
O nome de batizada
Do umbigo ambígua
Comunhão e crisma
Do espelho expelida
É a rival de si mesma (bis)

Seus pais, na escola de samba
E ela na escola marista
Seus pais, no mar carioca
Na boda craca e fuligem
Orla que aventa um apê
Aterro tornado tietê
Ne-me-quites, que eu te desquite
Tua dupla te refuta
Tua dutra te bifurca

És Maria, paulista do Limão,
Ex Clara, da gema da Urca

Maria, Maria Clara
Clara, Clara Maria

Zarolho de tuas ancas
Clárias, stradivária
Ária em que mar ia arriba
Libido ilibada, banho maria
Clara, que meto-lhe os pés
Borrega de buridan

Maria pra mariagem, Clara eu declararia (bis)
Albardada chicotearia
Clara vara, chucra romaria

Clara na escada, de pé
Maria da vida, de ré
Mal.a, cel.
Clara em escada faz pré
Maria em corrimão faz bé
Mal.a, cel.

Fronha que morena cubra
Loura clara na penumbra
Te rodeio e te tateio
Sem modelo, no teu meio

Indeciso entre as tuas mamas (bis)
A que aclareara, a que marearia (bis)

Metade Clara sem cara
Maria de fancaria
Cara metade sem Clara
Maria sem maioria
Maria, Maria Clara
Clara, Clara Maria

Where to find

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