#9 – Gilberto Gil – Sai do Sereno

from Expresso 2222 (Universal, 1972)

Lyrics in Portuguese:

Sai, sai do sereno, menina
Sereno pode lhe fazer mal
Vem logo pra dentro, menina
Que esse forró
Tá gostoso pra danar
Acaundu, acaundu, acaundu

Lyrics in English:

Girl, get out of the dew, get out,
The dew can harm you
Come quickly inside
That this forró
Is good as hell

This is a cut from the album Expresso 2222, released in 1972, after Gilberto Gil came back from London when he was exiled because of Brazilian dictatorship. Most of the “big names” in Brazilian music during that period (Gil, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque) stayed for some time abroad because of the dictatorship. The military regime employed a vast censorship structure to try to keep the artists from saying anything against them, which led some of them to look for another places where they could be creative. What always impressed me is that even though they were opposition in some sense to the regime, they nonetheless released tons of albums. I can only think that they weren’t so subversive as they said or the censorship was kinda stupid, I don’t know. Anyway, as happened to Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil’s period in London wasn’t the most successful, he couldn’t launch his career overseas and then he returned to Brazil. Expresso 2222, the album’s title, indicates the train line he usually took around Bahia in his youth.

The song is not difficult to understand. Actually, it is not a Gil’s original but a rendition of a earlier forró song written by Onildo de Almeida. I always find it interesting how tropicália’s musicians tried to emulate and remember the Brazilian musical traditions. That’s antropofagia after all!

Unfortunately I couldn’t find an “original” rendition of the song, but you can listen to it from the video below, when it comes third after “Vamos chegar pra lá” e “Só para assanhar”, two other forró standards:


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