"Dor de Cotovelo" Music

"Tire o seu sorriso do caminho,
 que eu quero passar com a minha dor..."*

Nelson Cavaquinho e Guilherme de Brito

It's no coincidence that somewhere on this site we thank Brazil for the sense of humor. Where would we be if we couldn't laugh...at ourselves, especially? Brazilians don't have the monopoly on broken hearts and unrequited love, but as far as I'm concerned they won the field when someone came up with the expression "dor de cotovelo" to describe how that feels like. "Dor de cotovelo" literally means elbow pain, you know, the one you get when you hit your funny bone. It could be that or it could be that your elbows hurt because you've been holding your head for so long, sitting at a bar table, drowning your sorrows in beer and caipirinhas. Whatever the origin of this colorful expression, in Brazil it also describes a whole style of music, songs with sorrowful, devastating lyrics about jealousy, disastrous relationships, and love forever lost.

We chose Lupicínio Rodrigues, a songwriter from Rio Grande do Sul who actually released an LP in 1973 called "Dor de Cotovelo,"  as our patron saint, and the first lines of the marvelous samba "A Flor e o Espinho" (above) as our motto...Lupicínio wrote some of the best "dor de cotovelo" songs: "Cadeira Vazia" (best recording of this one we have heard is Elis Regina's; Maria Bethânia and Joanna are great Lupicínio interpreters too), "Nervos de Aço," "Vingança." Chico Buarque wrote a few outstanding songs about breaking up, I mean, if you're going to be miserable over the ending of your love story, then let it be with lyrics like the ones in "Trocando em Miúdos," "Olhos nos Olhos, and "Atrás da Porta." If you want a lite version of "dor de cotovelo," go for "Amor, I Love You," the hit by Marisa Monte, from her "Memórias, Crônicas e Declarações de Amor" CD and marvelous DVD. Enjoy!

*In a possible reference to a samba school parade, the poet says "Get your smile out of the way, because I'm coming by with my pain..."

Lupicínio Rodrigues, Enciclopédia Musical Brasileira 7, is a compilation of his songs by two of his best male interpreters: the man himself and Jamelão.
Joanna Canta Lupicínio, on BMG. She sings all the classics, including my favorite "Nunca." By the way, the most beautiful recording of this song, in my opinion, is on Paulo Moura's "Mistura e Manda" disc.

Brazilian CDs