#29 – Caetano Veloso & Gal Costa – Baby

from Tropicália, ou Panis et Circenses (Phillips, 1968)

Original lyrics:

Você precisa
Saber da piscina
Da margarina
Da Carolina
Da gasolina
Você precisa
Saber de mim
Baby, baby
Eu sei
Que é assim
Baby, baby
Eu sei
Que é assim

Você precisa
Tomar um sorvete
Na lanchonete
Andar com gente
Me ver de perto
Ouvir aquela canção
Do Roberto
Baby, baby
Há quanto tempo
Baby, baby
Há quanto tempo

Você precisa
Aprender inglês
Precisa aprender
O que eu sei
E o que eu
Não sei mais
E o que eu
Não sei mais

Não sei
Comigo
Vai tudo azul
Contigo
Vai tudo em paz
Vivemos
Na melhor cidade
Da América do Sul
Da América do Sul   
Você precisa
Você precisa…

Não sei
Leia
Na minha camisa
Baby, baby
I love you
Baby, baby
I love you…

Translated lyrics:

You need to know
About the vaseline
About the margarine
About Caroline
About gasoline
You need to know
About me
Baby, baby
I know that’s the way it is

You need to know
About the ice cream
On the dream
[You need] To walk among people
See me close
Listen to that Roberto [Carlos] song
Baby, baby
How long has it been

You need
To learn English
You need to learn
What I earned
And what I don’t
Already have

I don’t know
With me
Everything’s fine
With you
Everything’s nice
We live
On the best city
Of South America
You need
You need…

I don’t know
Read my shirt
Baby, baby
I love you
Baby, baby
I love you…

This is one of my favorite songs on the album and one the most beautiful. I made a number of alterations as the song doesn’t really have a meaning, but it has a very strong rhyme which is sometimes almost hypnotic on its repetition. It’s a great song in every way that one can conceive a great song.

I read an account by Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson on his all-time favorite albums and he says that this song is what converted him to Brazilian music. As he says, “It’s experimental, but it’s great songs. That’s what really kills me. It’s easy to make experimental music, but it’s hard to make a good song. And when you combine the two like this whole movement did, it just blows my mind.” That’s a great definition of the whole Tropicália thing

As for the translation, in the start of the song I changed “piscina”, which would be rendered as pool, for vaseline. There’s no reason for this besides a strange association with that Flaming Lips’ song and the fact that I can keep the words rhyming with it. Later, I’ve made the song even more oneiric rendering “na lanchonete”, which means exactly what it seems, for “on the dream”, which is the only word that came to my mind to keep the song afloat. The reason I did this was just to have some fun, as I think that making a word-for-word translation wouldn’t make much of a sense.

As a last note, by the end of the song she sings “Vai tudo azul”. This means that everything is fine. In Brazil people also say “Alles blau”, especially where I live, in South Brazil, where there is a strong German presence on the overall culture. I never saw any real German saying “Alles blau”, but maybe there is that saying over there too. What I find interesting is that azul is the color blue, which in English conveys sadness and melancholy but which in Brazil expresses joy and fulfillment.And yes, I know I’ve skipped Gilberto Gil’s “Geléia Geral”, but I found it so hard to translate that I’ll only post it at the end of this album.

Anúncios

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