Pierre Barouh - Samba Saravah (English translation)
To be happy’s more or less what people want
I like to laugh and to sing, and wouldn’t stop
Other people from laughing and enjoying themselves
And yet if there is a samba without sadness
It’s a wine that has failed the merry madness
A wine that has failed to bring out joy
That’s not a samba I’d enjoy
“To sing a samba without sadness is to love a woman who has nothing but her beauty.”
So said Vinicius de Moraes, poet and diplomat, author of this song and, as he calls himself, the blackest white man in Brazil. I, who am perhaps the most Brazilian Frenchman in France, would like to speak to you of my love for samba, like a lover telling everyone of his love except the woman he loves.
There are some for whom samba is a code
Those who treat her as nothing but a mode
Those who profit from samba without love
My love for her’s led me ’round the globe
In search of her vagabond abodes
Today she’s the deepest one can find
So I’ll sing the samba for mankind
João Gilberto, Carlos Lyra, Dorival Caime, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicuis de Moraes. Baden Powell who together created this song and many others, I salute you. Tonight I raise my glass to you in gratitude for everything you helped me discover, you who made the samba what she is. Saravah....
Pixinginha, Noel Rosa, Dolores Duran, Cyro Monteiro,
to all of you. And for those who are coming, Edu Lobo, and the other dear friends so close to my heart tonight, Baden of course, Ico, Oswaldo, Luigi, Oscar, Nicolino, Milton. Saravah… To all of you my friends who invented a word I can never say without emotion, a word that stirs people and makes them sing, arms raised to the sky, samba.
I am told down in Bahia she was born
Where her rhythm and poetry was formed
Throughout centuries of dance and of pain
But whatever the feeling she conveys
She has the form of whiteness in her grace
White in form and white in rhyme
She’s the soul of true blackness in her heart
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