Jorge Faraj

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Jorge Faraj wrote about 200 songs, all of them recorded. He is considered one of the most important lyricists of Brazilian popular music. He learned to read by himself and learned Arabic and French with…
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Jorge Faraj wrote about 200 songs, all of them recorded. He is considered one of the most important lyricists of Brazilian popular music. He learned to read by himself and learned Arabic and French with Nasser Chatila. Faraj began to write poems at 18, having worked in several jobs, including automobile mechanics. In 1920, he participated in the foundation of the weekly newspaper O Botafogo, taking charge of the poetry column. Incorporated in the Army, he was transferred to Campo Grande MS, where he directed the Diário do Estado newspaper for two years (1928-1930) and had his own weekly paper, O Chicote. Faraj returned to Rio in 1930 and wrote a musical, Bom Bocado, which opened in 1934 at the Cassino Beira Mar, with his songs "Linda Lourinha," "Tipo 7," and "Há Uma Forte Corrente Contra Você," the latter sung by Nair Alves. The failure of the play, with the impresario escaping with the money, put Faraj in dire straits, and he returned to his work in newspapers, this time as a reporter for the O Avante. Around 1934, ill and financially broke, he heard a man singing a beautiful valse melody in the streets and offered himself to write the lyrics for 50 thousand réis (equivalent to a humble breakfast). The man, Benedito Lacerda, accepted the offering and, ten minutes later, Faraj wrote the lyrics for "Lela." Pleased with the result, Lacerda preferred to give him a partnership in the authorship. Taking Faraj to Odeon, the two of them signed with the recording company, and soon Jaime Vogeler recorded the song, which became a hit. "O Telefone do Amor," the next partnership from the duo, was inspired by a long romantic history began when a beautiful girl called the O Avante by mistake and was answered by Faraj. It was also a success in Sílvio Caldas's recording. "Professôra," inspired by the same girl, was recorded by Caldas in 1937. In 1935, Newton Teixeira asked him to write the lyrics for "Deusa da Minha Rua," which was also recorded by Caldas in 1938. In 1936, Faraj wrote "Apenas Tu" (with Roberto Martins), recorded by Carlos Galhardo, and the samba-canção "Menos Eu" (with the same partner), recorded by Francisco Alves. The latter was written in the same year as the valse "Tu Deves Ser Das Tais," recorded by Alves through Victor. In 1937, he wrote with Benedito Lacerda the valse "É Quase a Felicidade" and the samba "E a Saudade Ficou," recorded with success by Carlos Galhardo. One of the biggest hits of the duo Faraj/Lacerda came in that year with "Amor por Correspondência," recorded by Nuno Roland. Also written in that year was "Rainha da Beleza" with Ataulfo Alves, recorded by Orlando Silva. In 1938 he wrote the valse "Rosário de Lágrimas" (with Lacerda), recorded by Nuno Roland, the batucada "Mania de Quem Ama" (with Augusto Garcez), recorded by Carlos Galhardo, and the valse "Meu Coração a Teus Pés" (with Lacerda), which was a hit in Orlando Silva's rendition. In 1939 he wrote the samba "Eu Trabalhei" (with Roberto Roberti), recorded by Orlando Silva. In 1940 he wrote "Preto Velho" (music by Custódio Mesquita). Sílvio Caldas, hospitalized, learned the lyrics by telephone and insisted that Mesquita bring the violão, learning the melody also on the hospital bed. The recording was one of that year's best sellers. In 1942 Faraj wrote (with Roberto Martins) the valse "Sol e Chuva," recorded by Carlos Galhardo. In his last two decades, Faraj worked in artists' collecting rights agencies.