BRASILIA – Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, a living legend of design, has reinvented himself just before turning 103 on Dec. 15, by putting some poetic lyrics to a samba by musicians Edu Krieger and Caio Almeida.
“I don’t known where I find the time to play around with this, but my samba is just foolishness, a bit of fun, but nothing important,” Niemeyer said in an interview published Saturday in the daily O Globo.
The creator of Brasilia and hundreds of monuments around the world said that he composed the lyrics of “Tranquilo con la Vida” (Feeling Good about Life) at the end of last year, when he was in hospital with gall-bladder and intestinal problems.
“I was always very close to the world of the samba and I wanted to do a tribute to the people of the favelas (shantytowns),” said Oscar Niemeyer, who at his age remains faithful to his communist ideals and tends to describe himself as “the last Stalinist.”
According to O Globo, a CD of the samba will be presented on Dec. 15, when Niemeyer celebrates his 103rd birthday in a full spate of creative activity and with several projects under construction.
The architect gave the newspaper the lyrics to the samba, which begin with a verse meaning “Now my life will be different. Pajama pants, striped shirt, sandals on my feet, just about every morning I’ll go walking on the beach, and there a pretty woman, God willing, I will find...”
In its last verse, a poor man refers to Niemeyer when he says: “From my shantytown I see the most elegant people on the beach, by the sea, but let’s not blame them. They have their prestige and, someday, they’ll be living among us once more.”