#32 – Chico Buarque – A Banda (1966)

from Chico Buarque de Holanda (RGE, 1966)

Original lyrics:

Estava à toa na vida
O meu amor me chamou
Pra ver a banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor

A minha gente sofrida
Despediu-se da dor
Pra ver a banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor

O homem sério que contava dinheiro parou
O faroleiro que contava vantagem parou
A namorada que contava as estrelas parou
Para ver, ouvir e dar passagem

A moça triste que vivia calada sorriu
A rosa triste que vivia fechada se abriu
E a meninada toda se assanhou
Pra ver a banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor

Estava à toa na vida
O meu amor me chamou
Pra ver a banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor

A minha gente sofrida
Despediu-se da dor
Pra ver a banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor

O velho fraco se esqueceu do cansaço e pensou
Que ainda era moço pra sair no terraço e dançou
A moça feia debruçou na janela
Pensando que a banda tocava pra ela

A marcha alegre se espalhou na avenida e insistiu
A lua cheia que vivia escondida surgiu
Minha cidade toda se enfeitou
Pra ver a banda passar cantando coisas de amor

Mas para meu desencanto
O que era doce acabou
Tudo tomou seu lugar
Depois que a banda passou

E cada qual no seu canto
Em cada canto uma dor
Depois da banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor
Depois da banda passar
Cantando coisas de amor…

Trying to translate them to English:

I had nothing to do
My love called me
To see the band parade
Singing love songs

My suffered people
Shed away their pain
To see band go through
Singing love songs

The serious man counting money
The big mouthed one that tried to take advantage of others
The girlfried looking at the sky
They all stop to see, to listen and to let the band pass

The sad girl that never said a word
The sad rose that was always closed
And all the boys in the street
They all gathered to see the band pass
Singing love songs

I had nothing to do
My love called me
To see the band parade
Singing love songs

My suffered people
Shed away their pain
To see band go through
Singing love songs

The weak one man forgot his suffering and thought
That he was still a young man and left
To dance on the terrace
The ugly lady stopped by the window
Thinking the band played only for her

The joyful parade spread through the avenue
And continued ‘till the moon appeared
The city was all decorated
To see the band pass singing love songs

But for my disappointment
What was good was over
Everything went back to normal
After the band went through

And everyone at their places
In every place a misery
After the band went through
Singing love songs
After the band went through
Singing love songs

As I’ve said yesterday, I don’t how this blog went so long without a Chico Buarque song. Buarque is the chief lyricist in MPB and — I dare to say — a better lyrics than Bob Dylan even, although Bob Dylan is a much more relevant figure in pop music for the last half-century. Anyway, his lyrics are so well-crafted, the wordplay is so intense and creative, and they can convey such feelings and brilliancy that they are amazing.

There’s some of a rivalry in press and in the listener’s hearts between Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso. Both are the biggest names in Brazilian music that came in the end of the 60s. Caetano was the crazy guy, and Chico was the respectable one. Chico Buarque never went through such mad phases as Caetano and his music surely is less “experimental”, in a sense that his relationship to the whole Tropicália thing is not so strong, or he is not even placed among the Tropicalists.

This may has to do with his lineage. Buarque comes from a very traditional and respected family of intellectuals, which includes his father, Sergio Buarque de Holanda, who authored Raízes do Brasil, and Aurélio Buarque de Holanda, who lend his name to a famous Brazilian Portuguese dictionary, the Aurélio. His sister is the singer Miúcha and even now you can still see popping up sometimes one or two Buarque de Holanda in culture-related jobs.

This song was the one that made him famous. It is about a band, probably a military band as they were usually army band those days, that comes to a town, makes everyone forget their worries and then leaves, leaving nothing behind. The song has obvious political undertones, but it’s melody quickly made it famous even among children. “A Banda” entered the 1966 Festival da Música Popular Brasileira (TV festivals through which many of the names here discussed got famous and that helped shape MPB) and won the contest with a beautiful rendition by Chico Buarque himself and Nara Leão, which you can see in the video below:

PS: Personally, I line with the “old guys” and not the “mad ones” and proclaim that I like Chico Buarque a lot more than Caetano Veloso.

Anúncios

#26 – Leno & Lilian – Pobre Menina

from a B-side to a single released in 1966 by CBS.

Original lyrics:

Pobre menina não tem ninguém
Pobre menina não tem ninguém

Tão pobrezinha ela mora em um barracão
E todo mundo quer magoar seu coração
A mim não me enteressa quem sejam seu pais
Porque pobre menina eu te quero de mais

Pobre menina não tem ninguém
Pobre menina não tem ninguém

Vive mal vestida em seu bairro a vagar
Em toda sua vida só tem feito chorar
Como num conto de fadas nós vamos casar
E toda a tristeza vai acabar,vai acabar

Pobre menina não tem ninguém
Pobre menina não tem ninguém

Translated lyrics:

Poor little girl, she doesn’t have anybody
Poor little girl, she doesn’t have anybody

So poor she lives in a shack
Everybody wants to break her heart
But neither your parents matter to me
‘Cause I want you so bad, poor little girl

Poor little girl, she doesn’t have anybody
Poor little girl, she doesn’t have anybody

She wanders through her neighboord in sleazy garments
Through all her life all she did was crying
But like in a fairy tale we’re gonna marry
And all her sadness will wash away

This was the song that first came to my mind when I was remembered of Mutantes’ “A minha menina”.

This is a 7-inch release by Leno & Lilian, one of those forgotten Jovem Guarda acts that played on innocence, good looks and trying to be not only a perfect match to one’s love but also being exactly what the parents thought was a good, responsible boy or girl. This is pop music in its purest form.

This track got very famous and it is still well known in Brazil. The thing is, it is a version of the song “Hang On Sloopy”, by The McCoys. This was very common. Lots of Jovem Guarda’s tracks were actually translations of popular hits in English that were converted then to Portuguese, keeping the melody and rhythm and everything else. Here’s the original version and then below the English lyrics:

Hang on Sloopy lyrics:

Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on

Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town
And everybody there tries to put my Sloopy down
Sloopy I don’t care what your daddy do
‘Cause you know Sloopy girl I’m in love with you
And so I’m singing…

Yeah yeah yeah yeah…

Sloopy let your hair down girl, let it run down on me
Sloopy let your hair down girl, let it run down on me

Come on Sloopy Come on, come on
Well come on Sloopy Come on, come on

Well it feels so good Come on, come on
You know it feels so good Come on, come on

Well shake it, shake it, shake it Sloopy Come on, come on
Well shake it, shake it, shake it yeah
Yeah…

As you see, the Brazilian version has more lines to besides the repeating choruses and it also exaggerates the poorness of the girl. Even if Sloopy is poor, her Brazilian counterpart is more, as she lives in a shack (probably in a favela!), she wears second-hand clothes and everybody mocks her for everything she does. I don’t know you, but the picture I get is not that the poor little girl was much in dispute as she’s actually the subject of a social security program performed by the male singer. This is the kind of thing that the emphasis on innocence and youthfulness does when it becomes such a common marketable commodity — and that is typical of Jovem Guarda.

Tomorrow I’ll come back to the Tropicália.