from A Tábua de Esmeralda (Philips, 1974)
A minha teimosia é uma arma pra te conquistar
Eu vou vencer pelo cansaço
Até você gostar de mim, mulher, mulher
Mulher graciosa, alcança a honra
Você alcançou, mulher
Minha amada, minha querida, minha formosa
Vem e me fala que eu sou o seu lírio
E você é minha rosa
Mostra-me teu rosto
Fazei-me ouvir a tua voz
Põe estrelas em meus olhos
Músicas em meus ouvidos
Põe alegria em meu corpo
Junto com amor de você
La, la, la, la
Por que você não pensa
E volta pra mim
Por que você não vem?
My stubbornness is a way to seduce you
I’ll conquer you in the end
And you’ll like me, woman
Gracious woman, you’ve achieved the honor
You’ve accomplished, woman
My loved one, my dear one, my beautiful one
Come and tell me I’m your lily
And you’re my rose
Show me your face
Make me hear your voice
Put stars in my eyes
Music on my ears
Happiness in my body
And your love
La, la, la, la
Why don’t you think again
And come back to me
Why don’t you come back?
Another love song from A Tábua de Esmeralda. I don’t have much to say about this one, though I enjoy it very much too. One thing I like is how there’s a change of perspective, if you think about it, in the lyrics. At the beginning, it sounds like Jorge Ben is only trying to seduce a woman, but in the end it is suggested that she dumped him and that he wants that she comes back to him. There was a limit even for Jorge Ben’s seduction powers.
I’ve noticed that in the last lyrics I’ve put here I forgot to mention something that is said. In “Eu vou torcer”, Jorge Ben says he’ll cheer up for “all the useful things one can buy with ten cruzeiros“. I forgot to mention what are cruzeiros.
Cruzeiro was the Brazilian currency used from 1942 to 1967 and then intermittently from 1970 to 1986. The cruzeiro replaced the réis or mil-réis, which were the Brazilian-Portuguese currency during colonial times and then Brazilian imperial era. What happened during the 20th century is that Brazil was constantly menaced by rising inflation, so the money was devaluated constantly. The cruzeiros were a way to restore stability to Brazilian money.
In 1967 the cruzeiro was replaced by the cruzeiro novo, only to come back again in 1970. In 1986, because of rampant inflation, the cruzeiros were replaced by the cruzados, created by the Plano Cruzado. The cruzados failed to control inflation, and were replaced a few years later, once again by the cruzeiros.
Brazil only reached a manageable situation of its economic problems in 1993, when the cruzeiro was replaced by the real, the now current Brazilian currency. The real cut a lot of the zeros on Brazilian money and was advertised by the economic team behind it — led by future president Fernando Henrique Cardoso — because 1 real could buy a Christmar turkey. How the prices have risen since then…
One interesting thing is that the word réis was the plural of the word real. As colonial money devaluated, nobody had a single real, so people started using the word réis to refer to the currency. In a way, then, Brazilian latest currency is a renovation of its first currency.
Another thing to notice is the fascination with the cruzeiro and cruzado thing. Both words have a relation to the cross, but they don’t have a religious meaning here. The cruzeiro is the chief constellation on the Southern sky and one which is bound up in Brazilian flag and, one might say, identity.