Caetano Veloso - Sampa (English translation)

English translation


Versions: #1#2#3
Something happens in my heart
Only when it crosses Ipiranga and São João Avenue (1)
When I first got here I understand anything
Not the concrete poetry of your street corners
Not the discreet inelegance of your girls
I didn't know, Rita Lee, (2)
Your most thorough translation
Something happens in my heart
Only when it crosses Ipiranga and São João Avenue
When we were face to face I didn't recognized myself
I called what I saw bad taste, I called bad taste, bad taste
Because Narcissus thinks that what is not a mirror is ugly
And what is not yet old scares the mind
Nothing from before when you are not changeable (3)
And you were a difficult beginning
Away from what I don't know
And those who sell a different dream of a happy city
Soon learn to call you reality
Because you are the reverse of the reverse of the reverse
From the people oppressed in the waiting lines, in the small streets, in shanty towns (4)
From the power of the money that builds and destroys beauty
From the ugly smoke that rises and erases the stars
I can see your poets of fields and spaces
Your forest factories, your rain gods rise
Pan-Americas from utopian Africas, tomb of samba
The newest of Zumbi's quilombos (5)
And the new Bahians walk thru your drizzle (6,7)
And the new Bahians can get into it and enjoy you
Submitted by andrewquase on Wed, 18/04/2012 - 19:06
Author's comments:

Just a couple changes from marqmlc's translation that can maybe make things more clear for English speakers.

(1) A famous singer, tied culturally to São Paulo in the very modern and cosmopolitan.
(2)Two prominent avenues in São Paulo)
(3)The word "mutante" may also allude to "os Mutantes," the name of Rita Lee's band.
(4) "Favela" is the Brazilian Portuguese word for shanty town that has many connotations related to history, classism, and the legacy of slavery that contributes to the formations of favelas.
(5) Quilombos were village created by escaped slaves that were symbols of free resistence to slavery in Brazil, Zumbi is a folk hero of Brazilian slaves)
(6) Baianos/Bahians: Immigrants from the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia)
(7) "Garoa" (drizzle) is a kind of rain typical to São Paulo, that doesn't really fall but is almost like a very wet and windy mist).

More translations of "Sampa"
Caetano Veloso: Top 3
Idioms from "Sampa"
See also