Razão de Viver was introduced in 1964 by Os Gatos, an all-star group founded the same year by Eumir Deodato that recorded only two albums in different line-ups. The song was included on Os Gatos’ self-titled debut album featuring the composer on piano, Ed Maciel and Honorato on trombone, Paulo Moura on alto sax, J.T. Meirelles on tenor sax, Copinha on flute, Maurício Einhorn on harmonica, Neco and Durval Ferreira on guitar, Sérgio Barroso on bass and Wilson das Neves on drums.
Eumir Deodato recorded his composition again the following year, this time with Os Catedráticos, another one of his groups and again including Ed Maciel and Wilson das Neves. Also in 1965, he arranged the orchestral background for Leny Andrade’s exquisite vocal rendition of Razão de Viver.
In 1966, Razão de Viver was also included on the album Tom Jobim Apresenta aka Love, Strings and Jobim – The Eloquence of Antônio Carlos Jobim which to this day causes some confusion in terms of credits due to the titles. The album was produced by Aloysio de Oliveira, founder of Elenco, and lyricist Ray Gilbert to introduce further Brazilian musicians to the audience in the US. As arrangers, conducting an high-profile ensemble including Édison Machado on drums and Oscar Castro Neves on guitar, Lindolpho Gaya and Eumir Deodato were supposed to be credited as the leading acts. Even though both were credited as arrangers on the back cover, Jobim’s name and picture for album title and cover were chosen to attract the audience more effectively, regardless of the fact that Jobim did not perform on any of the songs of which are only two his compositions. Unfortunately, the subsequent Brazilian issue of the album by Elenco was treated equally misleading.
The next year, Aloysio de Oliveira and Ray Gilbert also produced the Quarteto em Cy to launch their career in the US, who recorded Razão de Viver with the then new English lyrics by Ray Gilbert, titled A Little Tear.
Outside Brazil, Razão de Viver was apparently recorded three times, first in 1969 by pianist Duke Pearson as Tears with vocals by Flora Purim. Norman Granz’ Pablo Records had the song twice on his track lists, first in 1976 by vibraphonist Milt Jackson as Tears, followed the next year by the inimitable Sarah Vaughan on her album I Love Brazil!, her first to feature solely songs and musicians from Brazil, including Antônio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, José Roberto Bertrami, Maurício Einhorn, and Dorival, Dori and Danilo Caymmi.
Selected recordings of Razão de Viver:
1. Os Gatos from the album Os Gatos (1964, Philips P 632.189 L)
2. Leny Andrade from the album Estamos Aí (1965, Odeon MOFB 3428)
3. Sambalanço Trio from the album Reencontro com Sambalanço Trio (1965, Som Maior SMLP 1517)
4. Nana Caymmi from the album Nâna (1965, Elenco ME-25)
Art work for Nâna by Eddie Moyna with illustration by J. C. Mello Menezes
5. Os Catedráticos from the album Ataque (1965, Equipe EQ 810)
6. Sílvio Aleixo from the album Estréia (1965, Philips P 632.770 L)
7. Claudette Soares & Manfredo Fest Trio from the album Claudette Soares (1966, Mocambo LP 40283)
8. Quarteto Lambari from the album Quarteto Lambari (1966, Farroupilha LPFA-417)
9. Roberto Menescal from the album Surf Board (1966, Elenco MEV-9)
10. Tito Madi from the album Balanço Zona Sul e Outros Sucessos (1966, Odeon MOFB 3444)
11. Tema Três from the album Tema Três (1966, Atonal AT 30.006)
12. Lindolfo Gaya & Eumir Deodato from the album Tom Jobim Apresenta (1966, Elenco MEV-10) aka Love, Strings and Jobim – The Eloquence of Antônio Carlos Jobim (1966, Warner Music WS 1636)
13. Quarteto em Cy from the album The Girls from Bahia (1967, Warner Music WS 1658)
14. Elizeth Cardoso from the album Momento de Amor (1968, Copacabana CLP 11526)
15. Bebeto Castilho from the album Bebeto (1975, Tapecar LPX.36)
Selected recordings of Razão de Viver aka A Little Tear originally not issued in Brazil:
1. Duke Pearson & Flora Purim from the album How Insensitive (1969, Blue Note [USA] BST 84344)
2. Milt Jackson from the album Feelings (1976, Pablo Records 2310 774)
3. Sarah Vaughan from the album I Love Brazil! (1977, 2312-101) aka O Som Brasileiro de Sarah Vaughan (1978, RCA Victor 110.0018)
RAZÃO DE VIVER
Meu amor • Se eu pudesse, ao menos, ter • Por um dia, teu amor • Pra sentir se tem razão meu viver
Mas, assim • Tendo só tristeza em mim • Só vivendo pra sofrer • É melhor morrer
E a vida toda te querendo ter • Como pode um coração • Sofrer tanto a solidão • E querer viver
Mais que amor • O que existe é paixão • E a paixão me mata amor • Se não vens, morro, então
A LITTLE TEAR
By the way • If you find a little tear • Just a simple little tear • Keep it, it belongs to me • Don’t you see
Yesterday • When you told me that you care • Then it fell I don’t know where • Far too thrilled to see
And in that tear you’ll find a memory • One that means so much to me • In a tender moment • We found a love to share
So my Love • Knowing you will understand • If you find it on your hand • Keep it there, keep it there