top of page



Release year: 1954
Label: Odeon

Vocals & Guitar: Dorival Caymmi
Label: Odeon - 33 1/3 rpm; mono, 10 in. 10 in.


side a

1- Who comes to the seaside (Dorival Caymmi)

2 - The good of the sea (Dorival Caymmi)

3 - The sea (Dorival Caymmi)

4 - Fishing (Canoeiro) (Dorival Caymmi)

Side B

5 - It's sweet to die at sea (Dorival Caymmi/Jorge Amado)

6 - The raft came back alone (Dorival Caymmi)

7 - The legend of Abaeté (Dorival Caymmi)

8 - Saudades de Itapoã (Dorival Caymmi).

Essence sheet music

By Ricardo Pontes Nunes

    Perhaps the essential trait of a culture is none other than the sharing of a common memory. As much as books, monuments and dynasties try to establish it, nothing recovers this collective past better than the feelings evoked by its prayers and songs. That's when that memory becomes most fathomable, deep and lasting.

   Embeach songs, from 1954, Dorival Caymmi seems to embody the memory of a culture. Saying that is enough to illustrate it with difficult concepts, because any analytical approach contaminates what is most pure and genuine about this record with artifices. Pointing out its astonishing rhythmic circularity, its modulations, its imagetic fusion, its “alliterations and assonances on stop consonants” implying that they are results sought by Caymmi and not just qualifiers for beautysui generisof your music.


Voice and guitar that did not lack the subterfuge of metaphor 

   The language of his memory is musical, so there is no technical effort for his songs to make us feel the sway of the boat or the wind in the coconut trees and the rhythm raftsmen's armband; it does not lack metaphors to express the fascination and terror that the sea foreshadows; and the good or bad fatality that the waves come and go on the beach.

   Dorival migrated to Rio de Janeiro in April 1938 to pursue a career in journalism. Canções Praieiras, his first album, would only be released sixteen years later, although he had already scored hits on the radio and in the cinema in the voice of great singers such asWhat does Bahia have?It isMarina. He was therefore more like a minstrel than a professional singer. His favorite theme is almost ubiquitous, a wistful praise of the homeland in conjunction with the sea, which perhaps brings something ofmy faultor self-forgiveness for going to live in the big city. Although long-lived, Caymmi composed relatively little. In his unique style, however, he not only sang, he chirped when inspiration rose to the surface of his dark skin under the precociously gray hair that was also one of his folkloric symbols.

    Not by chance, several of his songs are confused with public domain songs; that is, they are as if they didn't really belong to him, as if he were just the spokesperson, and guitar, of a culture that he could capture the essence of. Regarding his repertoire, Caetano Veloso once declared that Caymmi composed “less than a hundred songs, unlike me, but his are all perfect”.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
bottom of page