#14 – Noite feliz + Bate o sino

Feliz Natal, everyone!

Today is Christmas eve and I’ve thought I should introduce the readers of this blog to two Brazilian Portuguese renditions of classic Christmas songs. I will also introduce you to an horrible recent Christmas tradition, but later I’ll say more about it…

The first song is “Silent Night”, also known as “Still night”, I guess. I looked up on Wikipedia and it says the original song comes from Austria, being composed in the early nineteenth century by an Austrian priest. In Brazil, the song received two versions, of by Pedro Sinzig in 1912 and the other one an anonymous and now more famous versions. Here, I’ll post only the first version, as I’ve never seen the second one and I guess it is only sung in Portugal.

Silent Night in Portuguese, 1912 version:

Noite feliz! Noite feliz!
o Senhor, Deus de amor,
pobrezinho nasceu em Belém.
Eis, na lapa, Jesus, nosso bem!
Dorme em paz, ó Jesus!
Dorme em paz, ó Jesus!

Noite feliz! Noite feliz!
Oh! Jesus, Deus da luz,
quão afável é teu coração
que quiseste nascer nosso irmão
e a nós todos salvar!
e a nós todos salvar!

Noite feliz! Noite feliz!
Eis que, no ar, vêm cantar
aos pastores os anjos dos céus,
anunciando a chegada de Deus,
de Jesus Salvador!
de Jesus Salvador!

English translation:

Happy night! Happy night!
The Lord, the God of love, poor one,
Has just been born in Bethlehem.
Here, in the manger, is our saviour!
Sleep well, Jesus!
Sleep well, Jesus!

Happy night! Happy night!
Oh Jesus, God of light,
How sweet is thy heart
That wanted to be born as our brother
And redeem us all!
And redeem us all!

Happy night! Happy night!
And so come from above
The angels to sing to the shepherds
Announing the Christ’s coming,
The coming of our Lord saviour Jesus Christ!
The coming of our Lord saviour Jesus Christ!

I got kinda scared with my English translation as it is hard not to make it sound like some apocalyptic hymn.

Also notice that the silent, still night becomes just a happy night, which translates into the song’s title “Noite feliz”. It is a happy night indeed, the night of the boa nova.

The second song is the Brazilian Portuguese version of Jingle Bells, translated as “Bate o sino” (Beats the bell). The Portuguse lyrics are as follows:

Jingle Bells in Portuguese:

Bate o sino pequenino, sino de Belém
Já nasceu Deus Menino para o nosso bem
Paz na Terra pede o sino alegre a cantar
Abençoe Deus Menino este nosso lar

Hoje a noite é bela, juntos eu e ela
Vamos à capela, felizes a rezar
Ao soar o sino, sino pequenino
Vai o Deus menino, nos abençoar.

Bate o sino pequenino, sino de Belém
Já nasceu Deus Menino para o nosso bem
Paz na Terra pede o sino alegre a cantar
Abençoe Deus Menino este nosso lar

Vamos minha gente, vamos à Belém
Vamos ver Maria e Jesus também
Já deu meia noite,já chegou Natal
Já tocou o sino lá na catedral

Abençoe Deus Menino este nosso lar

In English:

Beats the tiny little bell, the bell of Bethlehem,
The young Lord has already been born for the good of us all
Singing happily the tiny bell asks for peace on Earth,
May the young Lord bless this home of ours.

Tonight the night is beautiful, me and her together,
We’ll go to the chapel to pray happily,
When we hear the bell, the tiny little bell,
The young Lord will come to bless us.

Beats the tiny little bell, the bell of Bethlehem,
The young Lord has already been born for the good of us all
Singing happily the tiny bell asks for peace on Earth,
May the young Lord bless this home of ours.

Let’s go people, let’s go to Bethlehem,
Let’s see Mary and Jesus too,
It’s already past midnight, Christmas already is here,
The bell has already sounded on the cathedral.

May the young Lord bless this home of ours.

It’s nice to compare the original lyrics in English and the translated ones in Portuguese, I guess several cultural differences appear when you see when the translation matches and when it doesn’t.

Also, I’ve translated “Deus menino” as “young Lord”, but the literal translation should’ve been “Boy God”. Here in Porto Alegre there is a neighborhood called “Menino Deus”, and a friend of mine from Rio said that whenever she heard the neighborhood’s name, she thought of a young boy with superpowers. I guess that’s an accurate description of God, but as to avoid any funny misunderstandings, I’ve tried a serious translation of it.

So to the horrible tradition. It became somewhat of a tradition in southern Brazil at least to listen to or buy a CD by Simone, a very tacky Brazilian singer, in which she recorded only Christmas classics. It is dreadful stuff, but I’ll leave you with her rendition of Silent night.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Anúncios

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