#38 – Chico Buarque – Noite dos mascarados

from Chico Buarque de Hollanda – Volume 2 (RGE, 1967)

Original lyrics:

– Quem é você?
– Adivinha, se gosta de mim!

Hoje os dois mascarados
Procuram os seus namorados
Perguntando assim:

– Quem é você, diga logo…
– Que eu quero saber o seu jogo…
– Que eu quero morrer no seu bloco…
– Que eu quero me arder no seu fogo.

– Eu sou seresteiro,
Poeta e cantor.
– O meu tempo inteiro
Só zombo do amor.
– Eu tenho um pandeiro.
– Só quero um violão.
– Eu nado em dinheiro.
– Não tenho um tostão.
Fui porta-estandarte,
Não sei mais dançar.
– Eu, modéstia à parte,
Nasci pra sambar.
– Eu sou tão menina…
– Meu tempo passou…
– Eu sou Colombina!
– Eu sou Pierrô!

Mas é Carnaval!
Não me diga mais quem é você!
Amanhã tudo volta ao normal.
Deixa a festa acabar,
Deixa o barco correr.

Deixa o dia raiar, que hoje eu sou
Da maneira que você me quer.
O que você pedir eu lhe dou,
Seja você quem for,
Seja o que Deus quiser!
Seja você quem for,
Seja o que Deus quiser!

Translated ones:

– Who are you?
– If you like me, guess!

Tonight the two masked ones
Search they companions
Asking just like that:

– Who are you, tell me quickly…
– That I want to play your game…
– I want to lose myself in your bloco…
– I want to burn myself in your fire.

– I’m a serenader, poet and singer
– Me, I play with love all the time.
– I have a tambourine
– All I want is a guitar
– I swim in money
– I’m always broke
I was standard-bearer,
Now I don’t dance anymore
– Honestly, I was born to dance
– I’m such a little girl…
– My time has passed…
– I’m Colombina…
– And I’m Pierrot

But tonight it’s Carnival!
Don’t speak anything more about yourself!
Tomorrow everything turns back to normality,
Let the party run, let things get their way

Let the sun rise that tonight I am
Everything you ask me
What you want I’ll give,
Whoever you are,
Whatever you want,
Whoever you are,
Whatever you want.

From what I know, this is the song that most captures the whole Carnival-like sensation of being able to be anyone, of not having any worries, of feeling that the world is really turned upside down but being really happy about it, like any alternatives are viable, you can do whatever you want, you can have whoever you would like to.

I don’t have much to say about this song and words don’t do it justice. Just as a note, however, I translated “porta-estandarte” as standard-bearer, but you must notice that this is not, obviously, on the military sense. The standard-bearer is a fixture in samba schools as the lady who leads the school’s standard down the avenue. She is accompanied by the male mestre-sala and they are the chief samba school pair. The song is a dialogue between very contrasting man and woman and I guess you can sense their erotic tension even in my translation of it. As for the mestre-sala and porta-bandeira, you can see them below:

DA837E4868E94BF48FFED38D9725E546

Chico Buarque has another carnival-related classic, “Quem te viu, quem te vê”, a song of ambition and transformation in a carnival setting, which I’ll translate in later carnivals…Until I do this, however, you can watch this beautiful rendition of “Noite dos mascarados” recorded in the sixties for TV Record with Chico, Nara Leão and the vocal group MPB-4.