#16 – Nelson Angelo & Joyce – Vivo ou morto

from Nelson Angelo & Joyce (Odeon, 1972)

Original lyrics:

Debaixo das nove pedras
Ele vive muito bem
Vive como ninguém sabe por que
E respira o mesmo ar que você

Ele respira e fala
Pelas barcas do Inferno
Ele respira e fala
Pelas barcas do Inferno

Debaixo das nove parcas (?)
Ele mesmo se cala
Debaixo das nove barcas
Ele leva pés na sala (?)

E nas vielas da noite
A vida sempre é mais calma
A vida sempre é mais certa
Quando se pensa na morte

Translated ones:

Nine rocks below
He lives fine
He lives as nobody knows why
And he breaths the same air as you

He breaths and speaks
For the boats of Hell
He breaths and speaks
For the boats of Hell

Nine moirae bellow (?)
He shuts his mouth
Below the nine boats
He washes his feet (?)

And in the alleys at night
Life is always more serene
Life is always more certain
When you think about death

I didn’t knew Joyce had such a wonderful album. Once again, as a young Brazilian always tuned to the outside, I’d grow up with a lot of prejudice against some Brazilian artists. It is cool to find that this prejudice is unjustified. What a great album.

Joyce and Nelson Angelo were married when this album was recorded. Later she became somewhat of a staple singer on Brazil’s MPB and found more success in the 80’s.

I’ve had some trouble with the lyrics as I didn’t found them on any website, so I had to transcribe them by myself. I’m not good at this, so I have some doubts.

As of the translation, I’ve translated parcas for the moirae. The parcae, in Roman mythology, were the weavers of destiny, and the moirae were their Greek equivalent. So this is also a transmythological translation!

The subject seem to be about life and death, and the song’s title is just it: “Live or dead”. “Vivo ou morto” is also how in Portuguese we translate those Wild West calls for someone to be capture, live or dead.

As the song talks about Charon and his boat, tomorrow I’ll depart from the Soul Jazz compilation to present another song from this era which deals with the same subject.


PS: Below you’ll find the whole album to listen to.