Brazil: Edging Toward the Brink

There are soldiers who are armed but not loved

Mostly lost with their weapons in their hands

In the barracks they learn the old lesson

Of dying for the country and living for nothing.

There is hunger on the great plantations

And desperation marching through the streets

But still they take the flower as their strongest refrain

And believe that flowers can overcome the cannon.

When he wrote those words and set them to music last month, Brazilian Composer Geraldo Vandré had more than a song in his heart. He comes from the nation's impoverished Northeast, and he gave voice in Caminhando (Walking) to...

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