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torquato neto

torquato neto


Lyricist, poet and journalist Torquato Neto was born in Teresina in 1944. He lived in Salvador, and then in Rio, where he studied journalism, from 1963. He worked for the newspapers Correio da Manhã and O Sol, where he wrote the music review column Música popular for almost a year. He also worked for advertising agencies and at Philips record label.

eu, brasileiro, confesso
minha culpa, meu pecado
meu sonho desesperado
meu bem guardado segredo
minha afliçãoGilberto Gil e Torquato Neto

One of his first lyrics, “Louvação”, was released with great success by Elis Regina and, soon after, in 1967, by its co-writer, Gilberto Gil. That year marked the explosion of Tropicalism, and Torquato Neto shone as its exceptional lyricist. His leading contributions to the movement were the lyrics of the manifesto-song “Geléia Geral”, of “Marginália 2”, “Mamãe Coragem” and “Deus vos salve esta casa santa” (the two first with Gil, and the two last with Caetano Veloso). Edu Lobo and Jards Macalé were also two important partners of Torquato Neto.

In 1971 and 1972, Torquato wrote the controversial column in the newspaper Última Hora, titled Geléia Geral. In this space, he fought to exhaustion for marginal cinema, attacked Cinema Novo and commercial music and fought for authors’ rights. Torquato was marked by a restless temper, which led him to mental hospitals and professional problems. He committed suicide in Rio in 1972.

In the last year before his death, Torquato wrote articles for marginal newspapers, such as Flor do Mal and Presença; he also organized, next to Waly Salomão, the only issue of the magazine Navilouca, published posthumously in 1974. Soon after his death, never-before-published poems were compiled by Waly and Torquato’s wife, Ana Araújo, in the book Os Últimos Dias de Paupéria.