Runcible Blog

Manhã de Carnaval

Even though Manhã de Carnaval has been covered hundreds of times, nobody has come close to the haunting delivery of the original Luiz Bonfá version from 1959. It's hard to tell who exactly sings this version because I can't find any liner notes, but I assume it was Bonfá, himself (though the vocal version is in Gm instead of Am). I also can't find any videos of him playing and singing the song.

Whoever sings it, his voice has stuck with me for years. The female singers who've covered it — Joan Baez, Astrud Gilberto, Caterina Valente, etc. — simply can't touch the original. Maybe it needs that tenor voice to give it the power it deserves. Or maybe it's Bonfá's talent — Perry Como sang an English version that sounds similar but has watered-down, corny lyrics.

Manhã de Carnaval is such a beautifully romantic song about longing and hope. While it's played in a minor key with a melancholy mood, there's true happiness blooming underneath.

Manhã, tão bonita manhã
Na vida, uma nova canção
Cantando só teus olhos
Teu riso, tuas mãos
Pois há de haver um dia
Em que virás

Das cordas do meu violão
Que só teu amor procurou
Vem uma voz
Falar dos beijos perdidos
Nos lábios teus

Canta o meu coração
Alegria voltou
Tão feliz a manhã
Deste amor