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Report on a talk by Richard Mayson on the ‘Music of the Revolution’


Richard Mayson was twelve when the Carnation Revolution took place. Having first visited Portugal at the age of nine, accompanying his father who had business interests in the country, he was profoundly affected by the events of 25 April 1974 and the subsequent period.  Richard kept a diary and scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings on the subject from 1974 until 1982, as well as leaflets and posters from the time. He brought these with him, much to the fascination of the 50 members and guests who attended his talk on the Revolution’s music.


From E Depois de Adeus and Grândola Vila Morena, which were used to inform the soldiers to take up their positions on the night of 24-25 April, to Lisboa Menina e Moça, which has become the unofficial anthem of Lisbon, via Avante, Camarada, which is still the anthem of the Portuguese Communist Party, and Força, Força Companheiro Vasco in praise of the pro-Communist prime minister, Richard’s talk covered a dozen songs connected with the Revolution. He played all of these, in some cases two or three different versions, and summarised their histories. Quite a number of those present had lived through the events and knew the songs, resulting in an audience singalong. An article by Richard on this subject was published in the Society’s Newsletter 22. A copy can be read here.


After the applause for an excellent talk had died down, several of those present shared reminiscences of the first days of the Carnation Revolution and the months that followed, including Clive and Emma Gilbert, Carol Rankin-Mason, Edward Godfrey, and Peter Dawson. We then moved on to the excellent buffet meal provided by the Riviera Hotel, Carcavelos.