Looking around for translations of the Portuguese lyrics, I find out that I've been listening to her request kisses from a beer-wet mouth.
The members of Coletivo Rádio Cipó say they mistook Dona Onete for a younger musician when they first overheard her singing in the north Brazilian city of Belém. At 73 her voice is strong but not flexible: time has stiffened it, and the machinery cracks when she applies pressure. The press release points out that she has "vivacious and flirtatious flair." Fair enough, so she does. Looking around for translations of the Portuguese lyrics I find out that I've been listening to her request kisses from a beer-wet mouth. She relishes a quick hip-trot, some carimbó and brega, both popular in northern Brazil, and her firmness is ideal when she's crunching down on words at something like rap speed. Here I'm thinking of "Moreno Morenado", about fifty seconds into the song. Gently prolonged notes are more of a problem. It's good to hear the mixer at the start of "Rio de Lágrimas" pick up on a voice-crack and elongate the quirk into a feature. Why don't they write songs especially for older voices as well as young ones? Why not grab the factor of chance that comes with these crackles, and use it like the I Ching? Why not invent a whole repertoire that no one can sing until they're at least 70?