Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Basilio Magno - (Journalist-Songwriter)

Basilio Magno is essentially a journalist but he is better known as a composer-lyricist. He started composing and publishing songs in English in 1950 and was dubbed by critics in Bombay as "Irving Berlin of India". Among his many published songs are viva el rey, beloved England's sweetheart, Friede Komm, O Rock de portugal, Polle Sndor ti, Folk-operetta, a day in Goa, 10 folk songs in English, audio and cassette by basilio.
It was in the month of February 2007, I had read an article about Basilio Magno in the newspaper, and I was particularly interested in two of his compositions "Proud to be a Goan" the anthem of the World Goa Day, which was composed at the request of the founder of WGD which is celebrated annually on 20th of August, since the year 2000 and his prized song 'Friede Komn' dedicated to his holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Its a ballad on Peace. I wrote to Basilio an email to him asking him for the songs. I had an instant reply from him and not only that he sent me his compositions by post which included "Proud to be a Goan", "Meet me at Calangute", "Lets sing and pray for Blessed Joseph Vaz", "A Hymn to Xavier" and many more of his musical pieces. He has been a good friend of mine fover the course of time. He is son of the Goan soil - a "pakkha-goan". After his retirement in Germany, as a pensioner he is presently living in Spain along with his wife Rosa Maria Lopes Gonsalez (Rossi). He Celebrated his 84th Birthday this year on 14-06-07. He was a special invitee to the Convention of the "Goan Diaspora in Lisbon" where he was asked to make a presentation about his work and his understanding of Goan Music and about all his new songs composed, including the World Goa Day anthem. He played his compositions the song that caught everyone's attention was "Come to Goa" - a mini story of Goa told in words and music, meant more for children, adapted to the old Goan air. Proud to be a Goan and his latest production-flock-rhapsody "Ring Wedding Bells (a 10 minutes boy-girl duet) the other pieces of his music played.
Basilio though in Spain his heart is in Goa and for Goans has also been writing a column "Konkani corner" on www.melgoans.com.

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Calangute, Goa, India
exotic Goa