Eu vou mostrá pra vocês (I will show you)
Como se dança um baião (How to dance a baião)
E quem quiser aprender (And whoever wants to learn)
É favor prestar atenção! (Better pay attention!)
Morena chegue pra cá (Come here, dark-haired girl)
Bem junto ao meu coração! (Right next to my heart!)
Agora é só me seguir (Now just follow my lead)
Pois eu vou dançar o baião (Cos I’m going to dance baião)
Eu já dancei balance (I’ve danced balancê)
Xamego, samba e xerém (Xamego, samba and xerém)
Mas o baião tem um quê (But baião has something)
Que as outras danças não tem (The other dances don’t)
Ôi, Quem quiser é só dizer (Hey, whoever wants just say)
Pois eu com satisfação (Cos I’m, with satisfaction)
Vou dançar cantando o baião (Going to dance and sing baião)
Eu já dancei no Pará (I’ve danced in Pará)
Toquei sanfona em Belém (Played accordion in Belém)
Cantei lá no Ceará (I’ve sung there in Ceará)
E sei o que me convém (I know what I should do)
Por isso eu quero afirmar (That’s why I want to say)
Com toda convicção (With total conviction)
Que sou louco pelo baião! (That I’m crazy for baião!)
(Luiz Gonzaga and Humberto Teixeira, 1946).
It’s a musical genre, whose name derives from baiano, a popular northeast Brazilian dance. It was already known in the interior of Northeast Brazil at the end of the 19th century, being played on accordions throughout the semi-arid region.
It was recorded as baiano in bumba-meu-boi tunes. According to Pereira da Costa, it’s a mix of dance, poetry and music, whose tunes are accompanied by viola and tambourine. [...] a torn, lascivious, moving dance, to the sound of your own singing, with lyrics, and viola and tambourine accompaniment, and of African origins, a transformation of its national dances like maracatu and batuque [...]
The first recorded use of the word baião in Brazilian discography was in the 1920s, by Jararaca (José Luiz Rodrigues Calazans), when he recorded Samba nortista (Northern Samba), by Luperce Miranda (Odeon nº 10.360b), solo singing:
Baiana eu vou mergulhando (Bahia woman, I go diving)
No compasso do baião (To the beat of baião)
Requebra mais baianinha (Break it again, little Bahia woman)
Machuca meu coração[...] (Wound my heart)
For folklorist Luiz da Câmara Cascudo, baião is the faithful expression of music from the Northeast Brazilian semi-arid region, born under the influence of the plainchant (liturgical music from the Catholic Church) of the missionaries, sprouting from the violas, eight-base accordions, drums, and fife flutes of rustic people. It’s an association of the terms baiano and rojão.
The choreography of baião consists basically of an improvisation of movements. The number of musicians can vary but, predominately, there are three, who play the accordion, triangle and drum. Other instruments can be added, like the fiddle, tambourine and agogô (a traditional Brazilian instrument).
Between 1939 and 1945, during the Second World War, owing to the large number of foreign sailors in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian popular music would be dominated by international rhythms, such as bolero. Northeast Brazilian music therefore became the focus of resistance to foreign domination.
Baião, which had first been launched in 1946 by Luiz Gonzaga and Humberto Teixeira, became very successful in Brazilian popular music, reaching the top of the charts at the time.
It was the accordionists from Pernambuco who shaped the urban baião in the 1940s, as a way to survive being a poor immigrant in Rio de Janeiro, collecting money in the city’s brothels, playing waltzes, sambas and serenades, also adding to their repertoire the music from the semi-arid region of northeast Brazil, which included baião, so that by the middle of the 1950s, it was the trendy rhythm as much in the northeast as in the south of the country.
Luiz Gonzaga was publically acclaimed as the “King of Baião” releasing a series of successful hits such as Juazeiro, Vem morena (Come Here, Dark-haired Girl), Dezessete légua e meia (Sixteen and a Half Leagues), Forró de Mané Vito, No Ceará não tem disso não (They Sure Don’t Have This in Ceará), Xanduzinha, Qui nem jiló, Paraíba, Respeita Januário (Respect Januário), A dança da moda (The Fashionable Dance), Sabiá, Olha pro céu (Look to the sky) and many others.
After becoming a success, baião began to be recorded by many famous artists like Emilinha Borba, Marlene, Ivon Curi, Carmen Miranda, Isaurinha Garcia, Ademilde Fonseca, Dircinha Batista and Jamelão, as well as others. The singers Carmélia Alves and Claudete Soares were hailed as the Queen and Princess of Baião, respectively, and the singer Luiz Vieira as the Prince.In 1950, it became the most influential Brazilian musical genre abroad until the 1960s, when it began to loose its prestige to bossanova and rock and roll. The baião song Delicado (Delicate) by composer Valdir Azevedo had various arrangements by American maestros.
Even after being relatively forgotten, baião continued to be cultivated by uncountable national artists and musicians, such as Dominguinhos, Zito Borborema, João do Vale, Quinteto Violado and Jorge de Altinho.
In 1967, Gilberto Gil released songs with rhythmic influences from baião, for example Domingo no parque (Sunday in the Park), performed at the Festival de Música da Record, along with Alegria, alegria (Joy, Joy), by Caetano Velloso, giving rise to the Tropicalista movement.
Baião also influenced younger generations of artists like Raul Seixas, who fused rock and baião, creating ‘baioque’ and it continues to be cultivated, especially in Northeast Brazil and in other regions in the country.
Recife, 4 July 2006.
(Updated on 21 August 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2011.
ARTES Populares: baião. Disponível em: <http://www.edukbr.com.br/artemanhas/folclore_dancas_baiao.asp>. Acesso em: 7 jun. 2006.
BAIÃO. Disponível em: <http://www.brasilfolclore.hpg.ig.com.br/baio.htm>. Acesso em: 7 jun. 2006.
BAIÃO. Disponível em: <http://www.dicionariompb.com.br/verbete.asp?tabela=T_FORM_C&nome=Bai%E3o>. Acesso em: 7 jun. 2006.
BAIÃO [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: <http://jconline.ne10.uol.com.br/canal/cultura/noticia/2016/06/24/baiao-que-ja-foi-danca-da-moda-do-brasil-completa-70-anos-241488.php>. Acesso em: 26 jun. 2018.
BAIÃO, a dança que Luiz Gonzaga ensinou. Disponível em: <http://www.cliquemusic.com.br/br/Generos/Generos.asp?Nu_Materia=2>. Acesso em: 7 jun. 2006.
FERRETTI, Mundicarmo Maria Rocha. Baião dos dois: a música de Zedantas e Luiz Gonzaga no seu contexto de produção e sua atualização na década de 70. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1988.
A VIDA e os 60 maiores sucessos do rei do baião: Luiz Gonzaga. Recife: Coqueiro, [199-?].
how to quote this text
Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Baião. Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.