Today’s Song: Tim Bernardes Poetically Defines the Meaning of Life with “Nascer, Viver, Morrer”

Tim Bernardes © Tim Bernardes @ Marco Lafer and Isabela Vdd|
Tim Bernardes © Marco Lafer and Isabela Vdd|
With “Nascer, Viver, Morrer,” Brazilian singer/songwriter Tim Bernardes captures the essence of life in a short, flowing stream of gentle reassurance.
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Stream: “Nascer, Viver, Morrer” – Tim Bernardes


The acknowledgement of living can pass by in a second. The sweetness can be taken for granted and we never really appreciate the small moments. Furthermore, to die and to be reborn can happen multiple times, particularly when we take time to think about ourselves and our positions in the world. With this in mind, what exactly is the meaning of life? How can we define “living”? 

With “Nascer, Viver, Morrer,” the Brazilian singer-songwriter captures an essence of life in a short, flowing stream of gentle Mil coisas invisíveis - Tim Bernardesreassurance. Written like a piece of poetry, the song is divided into three verses which merge into each other through the singing of the individual verbs in the title. We commence with ‘Nascar’, born, and the sentiment to be reborn during a period of our life. This is followed by ‘viver’, to live, and how we exist without realizing our presence thus making occurrences more magical. Finally it’s ‘morrer’, to die, and how death comes from the absence and presence of the non-existent. Throughout all of this, the vocals drift like soft waves, the steady beat resembles water high-fiving shoreside rocks, and the strums of guitar are reflective. It is as though we stop for a moment to take in the views and ponder.

Nascer outra vez bem no meio da vida
De fato acordar e enxergar cada dia
As coisas existem com força e magia
E eu sou a consciência da coisa que eu sou
Eu quero e eu amo e eu posso e eu vou
Na realidade que é onde é possível
Às vezes sem nem perceber que está vivo
Às vezes na barra, às vezes na boa
No mundo, na mente, no sonho e no ser
No raro momento infinito viver

Tim Bernardes is a singer-songwriter, musician, composer, and producer from São Paulo, Brazil, who has collaborated with a range of international artists including Fleet Foxes, David Byrne, Gal Costa, Devendra Banhart, and Shintaro Sakamoto. “Nascar, Viver, Morrer” is the first single to be taken from Mil Coisas Invisíveis, the latest album released September 9. In regard to “Nascar, Viver, Morrer”, he explained that “this is a very short song that when I wrote I felt it fit as kind of an opening to the album. The songs in the album have some different vibes between them but I feel that this one connects them in a very synthetic way.”

The songs that make up Mil Coisas Invisíveis are mostly slow and with an air of romanticism. Classic in nature, there’s a timelessness that sweeps throughout (for example, “A Balada de Tim Bernades” et “Leve”) and the frequent submerging into cinematic-style theatricality (such as “Fases” and “Mistificar”) while the subjects remain introspective and thought-provoking. “Nascar, Viver, Morrer” introduces all this like a sudden burst of sunlight.

“[The song is about] trying to say a lot with few words. About ‘just being’, about how magical the existence of existence is. About the presence of presence, and presence of absence in life,” says Bernardes. This is intensified through the way that he defines living as being ‘No mundo, na mente, no sonho e no ser/ No raro momento infinito viver’ which can be translated as ‘In the world, in the mind, in the dream and in the being/ In the rare infinite moment to live’ and that we can die from ‘De a ausência, presença do inexistente/ Do silêncio com seu volume gigante’ (‘Of the absence, presence of the non-existent/ From the silence with its giant volume’). 

Tim Bernardes @ Marco Lafer and Isabela Vdd|
Tim Bernardes @ Marco Lafer and Isabela Vdd|

De a ausência, presença do inexistente
Do silêncio com seu volume gigante
Limite pra além do azar e da sorte
Que prova existir vida antes da morte
Que une e separa o todo da parte

The accompanying video is equally simple and pensive. Bernardes is sat on a stool with his acoustic guitar, a lake and rocky backdrop behind him. There’s a piano there too that burns throughout the song, alternating between enflamed, untouched, and completely destroyed. It is as though music signifies the three verbes, that are sentiments of birth, living and death can be induced by the songs we hear.

“Nascer, Viver, Morrer” was the last song to be written for Mil Coisas Invisíveis, the second album by Tim Bernardes. His first, Recomeçar (released in 2017), follows a similar style with the Brazilian folk and psychedelic orchestral touches. A lot of the writing for Mil Coisas Invisíveis was done while touring with his group O Terno before taking time away to concentrate on new music. The result is therefore whole-heartedly Tim Bernardes, his ideas and influences softly intertwined to make an intriguing introduction if you are unfamiliar to his work.

If Mil Coisas Invisíveis is an album of deep, dreamy reflections, it’s true that “Nascer, Viver, Morrer” can be summing this up in a simple melodic way.

As a translation of lyrics in the first verse go, ‘Born again right in the middle of life/ In fact wake up and see each day/ Things exist with strength and magic/ And I am the consciousness of the thing that I am.’ It’s never too late to change or see things in a new light. Life is precious and we should embrace that!

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:: stream/purchase “Nascar, Viver, Morrer” here ::
Stream: “Nascar, Viver, Morrer” – Tim Bernardes

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? © Marco Lafer and Isabela Vdd| 2022

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