Your Soundtrack to Lula’s Historic Defeat of Bolsonaro

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Some 58,000 people crowded onto Avenida Paulista in São Paulo on Sunday night to celebrate the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known simply as “Lula,” the center-left former president who defeated far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff election. 

“They tried to bury me alive and I am here,” Lula said in a national address that emphasized unity after a divisive and often absurd campaign season that included a fake priest, memes about condensed milk, and repeated baseless claims of election fraud by Bolsonaro. Lula became the first person to be democratically elected three times in Brazil. 

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Samba blocks and percussion groups on Paulista Avenue celebrated Lula’s win with the chant “Olê, olê, olê, olá, Lula” which is often accompanied by supporters holding up their hands in the gesture of an “L” for Lula. 

Music is at the heart of Brazilian culture, so it’s no surprise that the soundtrack to Lula’s successful campaign includes some unquestionably catchy tunes. From protest anthems to novelty funk beats, here are 10 emblematic songs that supported Lula’s historic win. 

Check out the Spotify playlist and learn more about each song below.

  1. The jingle known both as “Sem Medo de Ser Feliz” and “Lula lá,” for its chorus, was originally composed by Hilton Acioli for Lula’s 1989 presidential campaign, and is undoubtedly one of the most popular Lula melodies. Numerous versions remain popular to this day, including this one by Esquerda Festiva. 
  1. Brazilian funk joined the campaign with DJ Fábio ACM and Festa do Lula’s 2022 release of “O pai tá on,” which remixes the classic Lula chant with slang that loosely means “Daddy’s in the mix.”
  1. Maderada and Tiago Doidão’s spirited “Tá na hora do Jair já ir embora,” which translates to “It’s time for Jair to go away already” became the number one song in Brazil on Spotify early on October 31, as Lula supporters celebrated his win into the wee hours of the morning. 
  1. In “Bolsominions,” Chico César lambasts conservative Christian Bolsonaro voters, singing, “Bolsominions are demons that came out of hell/and went straight to church.” 
  1. The Lula campaign released “Vamos lá votar” (“Let’s go vote”), a lyrical adaptation of the classic song “Não quero dinheiro (só quero amar)” by Tim Maia. The star-studded video included legends such as Caetano Veloso, Sandra de Sá, Luísa Sonza, and Mart’nália singing to get out the vote.
  1. Zeca Baleiro’s profane excoriation of Bolsonaro and his supporters starts with the declaration, “Brazil’s opened up the sewers,” but the upbeat rhythm has made it a favorite with Lula supporters. 
  1. In 1984, the song “Anunciação” by Alceu Valença became a hymn for the re-democratization of Brazil. It has been used throughout the campaign to reject Bolsonaro’s support for the military dictatorship
  1. Longtime Lula supporter Chico Buarque’s classic protest samba “Apesar de Você” includes the provocative line, “You who invented sin/forgot to invent forgiveness.” The song was censured by the military dictatorship, and Buarque lived in exile for a year.
  1. BaianaSystem, a samba-reggae group from Bahia, a state that went to Lula by 72%, released “Cabeça de Papel” in 2020. The song takes aim at Bolsonaro and his ally Donald Trump with the lyrics “Burn Bozo, burn Trump,” using a nickname that parallels Bolsonaro with Bozo the Clown. 
  1. The day before the first election, singer Caetano Veloso Tweeted his version of “Amanhã” (“Tomorrow”) by Guilherme Arantes, along with a caption saying that Brazil “will overcome the horrors we have been going through.” 


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