Portugal 1972

View-of-Cascais-ha_2117569bThe first song I learned in Portugal was at the motel Continental in Oeiras.  I had met a group of high school seniors who called themselves “Os bandidos da praia.”  They called themselves this because there was a cottage industry among those ready for university or battle in the colonies of Angola and Moçambique. 

The industry was entertaining the alabaster secretaries (as bifas) from England, Germany, or Sweden who spent their winters in the dark, cold North.  The bifas were not very popular among the local girls.  Make no mistake, os bandidos were the children of the middle and upper middle classes who populated the Costa do Sol from Oeiras to Parede to Cascais.  It is called the “line” or linea because of the highway and light rail that ran the distance from Lisbon to Cascais.

I was preliterate in Portuguese, but this was no problem because, I was a language resource while at the motel Continental, but maintained a close friendship with most of them for the five years I spent on  the Costa do Sol.  By the way, if Carlos, Gi, Clara, or any others from the mid-1970s read this, please write!


Canta, canta amigo canta

     Letra e música: António Macedo

Canta canta amigo canta                                Sing, sing my friend, sing
vem cantar a nossa canção                             come and sing our song
tu sozinho não és nada                                    you alone are nothing
juntos temos o mundo na mão                       together we hold the world in hand.

Erguer a voz e cantar                                         Raise your voice and sing
é força de quem é novo                                      it is the strength of the young
viver sempre a esperar                                       to live always hoping that
fraqueza de quem é povo                                   the weakness of the people
Viver em casa de tábuas                                     To live in houses of sticks
à espera dum novo dia                                        in hope of a new day
enquanto a terra engole                                      while the earth swallows
a tua antiga alegria                                               old dreams of happiness

Canta canta amigo canta                                     Sing, sing my friend, sing
vem cantar a nossa canção                                  come and sing our song
tu sozinho não és nada                                         you alone are nothing
juntos temos o mundo na mão                           together we have the world in hand

O teu corpo é um barco                                        Your body is but a boat
que não tem leme nem velas                               with neither helm nor sail
a tua vida é uma casa                                            your life is but a house
sem portas e sem janelas                                      with neither doors nor windows
Não vás ao sabor do vento                                    Do not tumble like a leaf in the wind
aprende a canção da esperança                            learn the song of hope
vem semear tempestades                                      come spread the seeds of change
se queres colher a bonança                                   if you want to reap the harvest

Canta canta amigo canta                                       Sing, sing my friend, sing

vem cantar a nossa canção                                    come and sing our song
tu sozinho não és nada                                           you alone are nothing
juntos temos o mundo na mão                             together we have the world in hand.

Já que me chamas amigo                                      Now that you call me friend

prova-me lá que o és                                               show me that you are.

vem para a ceifa comigo                                         come to the reaping with me

na terra sujar os pés                                               and soil your feet in the earth

Eu vou contigo pró campo                                    I will go with you to the battlefield

eu vou comer do teu pão                                       I will eat your bread

Tu dás-me a força da vida                                     You give me inspiration,

eu dou-te a minha canção                                      I give you my song.

About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
This entry was posted in Language, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.