#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.