Vinicius de Moraes - A Tonga da Mironga do Kabulete (English translation)

English translation

The Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren

I've fallen from Bossa
I am who I am
I'm leavin' the valley of depression
Cursin' in Yuruba
 
You who hear but don't speak
You who look but don't see
I'm gonna give you a tip
You're gonna have to learn
The Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
The Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
The Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
 
I've fallen from Bossa
I am who I am
I'm leavin' the valley of depression
Cursin' in Yoruba
 
You who read but don't know
You who pray but don't believe
You who enter but don't fit
You're gonna have to live
In the Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
In the Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
In the Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
 
You who smoke but don't inhale
And who don't pay to see
I'm gonna conjure up a plague for you
I'm gonna send you
To the Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
To the Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
To the Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren
 
Submitted by Bret Cohen on Mon, 17/07/2017 - 02:33
Author's comments:

I made up the title and refrain, trying my best to follow the lead of the following sources as they decipher words and slang from African tribal languages, such as Yoruba and Bantu:

http://portrasdaletra.blogspot.de/2007/04/tonga-da-mironga-do-cabulet.html
suggests that the author was trying to curse the military dictatorship at the time without them knowing it, because he was, as himself says in the lyric, "cursing in Yoruba" It says his wife at the time taught him Yoruba curse phrases and that he got a kick out of her explanation that A TONGA DE MILONGA DA CABULETE is slang for "Your mother's pubic hair!"

http://www.dicionarioinformal.com.br/tonga+da+mironga/
gives various suggestions, including the one above, which received 34 up votes and 44 down votes. Apparently, most readers are not buying this theory. Perhaps they think Vinicius himself created it as a myth.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term!=Tonga
claims TONGA is Ghanian slang for pussy (vagina)

http://www.dicionarioinformal.com.br/mironga/
MIRONGA could mean mystery/secret or fight/misunderstanding

https://natongadamirangadokabulete.wordpress.com/o-que-e-na-tonga/
TONGA could mean land to be cultivated or something depreciative
MIRONGA means evil spell or hex
CABULETÉ means despicable, vagabond
The author didn't have a literal meaning in mind when he strung together these words, but, rather their sonority. Nevertheless they are suggestive.

To me, all this suggests, at minimum, a kind of reference to the barrenness of the dictatorship, hence my translation as The Lost Lust Land of Baron von Barren

Portuguese

A Tonga da Mironga do Kabulete

Vinicius de Moraes: Top 3
See also
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