Manuel Freire

Manuel Freire (Manuel Augusto Coentro de Pinho Freire)[1] is a Portuguese influential left-wing singer[2] and composer, although he also works as a computer technician.[citation needed] Freire was born in Vagos, Aveiro District on 25 April 1942.[1]

Manuel Freire
Birth nameManuel Augusto Coentro de Pinho Freire
Born (1942-04-25) 25 April 1942 (age 79)
Vagos, Aveiro District, Portugal
Years active1968-present

Freire's first work was an EP, released in 1968, with the title "Livre" ("Free"), that included 4 songs. "Livre", "Dedicatória", "Pedro Soldado" and "Eles". The best-known song was "Livre", a hymn to the free will and thought as the album was released during the Fascist regime of Oliveira Salazar, against the official censorship. After that, Freire became a close friend of some of the most influential left-wing musicians like Zeca Afonso, Padre Fanhais or Adriano Correia de Oliveira. Some years later, still during the dictatorial regime, Freire participated in a TV show, in the only Portuguese station operating at the time, RTP, the "Zip-Zip",[2] singing a poem by António Gedeão called "Pedra Filosofal"[3] ("Philosopher's Stone") that became his most well-known song.

Later, he released an album composed by 11 songs, which had lyrics written by Portuguese poets, like António Gedeão, José Gomes Ferreira, Fernando Assis Pacheco, Eduardo Olímpio, Sidónio Muralha and José Saramago. For this album, Freire received the Portuguese Press Award, the most prestigious prize awarded to a musician in Portugal, at the time.[citation needed]

After the Carnation Revolution, in 1974, Freire continued his political action through the music, acting for the working class in several places around the country. In 1978, he returned with another album, "Devolta",[citation needed] once more, singing poems of great Portuguese poets.

He then continued his work as a computer technician, but returned in 1993 with a re-edition of his work "Pedra Filosofal". In 1995, he performed in the opening of the Festa do Avante!, a cultural event, carried out by the Portuguese Communist Party. His show, along with the Portuguese folk band Brigada Victor Jara, was an homage to Adriano Correia de Oliveira.

Nowadays, he continues his career, often playing in Trade Union or Communist rallies.

In 2003, Freire was elected president of the Portuguese Society of Authors.[4] As of July 2010, he still holds that position.[5]


  1. ^ a b Lamy, Alberto Sousa (1977). Monografia de Ovar: Da República ao 25 de abril, 1910-1974 (in Portuguese). Ovar. p. 481-.
  2. ^ a b Figueiredo, Eleanor (10 October 2006). "Poeta da 'Pedra Filosofal' revela-se em exposição". Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 27 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Pedra Filosofal". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Manuel Freire é o novo presidente". TSF Rádio Notícias (in Portuguese). 16 September 2003. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Who We Are". Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.