memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Implantation of a Republic

Today is the hundred and first year since the Implantation of the Portuguese Republic.

Put like that it makes it sound as though the Country was pollinated by a great mythical creature, half-human and half-bird, and then in time bore its progeny – a little baby republic.


But I bet you that I am the only one in this whole village who knows the name of the composer of the piece of music which has been blaring out from the TV on-the-wall all day. His name was Alfredo Keil (1850 – 1907), born in Lisbon and died in Hamburg of German parentage. Musician, writer and poet, he wrote the song A Portuguesa which became so popular that, with different words, it later became the country’s National Anthem.

How do I know this incredibly unnecessary piece of trivia? It is because there is a little garden, the Praça da Alegria near our school on the Avenida de Liberdade in Lisbon, in the centre of which stands a bust of Alfredo Keil and through which I used walk  every day on my way to work.

Hi Fred, I would greet him, how are you today?

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