The city in songs, songs of the city: Lisbon's major role in the lyrics of an urban popular song (1935-2009)
Institute of Social Sciences University of Lisbon Lisbon, Portugal
Songs about cities, being marginal in the whole range of popular songs, play an interesting role in the understanding of the urban experience and the urban imagination: through them the most intangible and abstract structures of urban spaces gain strength (we use here the dualistic vision which makes perceptive territorial identities, cultural heritages, collective memories and everyday life experience as more abstract component parts of the urbanity, opposed to the materiality and the physicality of the city buildings and the city infrastructures).
Thus, if understood as a performative expression ? both musical and literary ? that evokes images and organize common discourses on the city, the Grandes Marchas de Lisboa acquire a renewed interest. Once these popular songs are a poetic-musical component of the urban spectacle of the Marchas Populares de Lisboa, one of the main cultural events on municipal festivities in June, initiated during the twentieth century, whose motto is the city and its ?traditions?, the collection of more than forty songs allows a diachronic perspective on the symbolic representation of Lisbon over the last seven decades.
From the results of a content analysis of lyrics we intend to evaluate the link between real space and imagined space, detect changes or persistence on the multifaceted set of elements associated to Lisbon city and note the presence of the main urban archetypes: e.g., epicenter of the Portuguese colonial empire (until 1970s), Portuguese capital city in the global era (after 1970s) and city of neighborhoods (in both periods).