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Sunday, June 16, 2013


I've recently came across a link to the National Library's music log and found an endless treasure.
I'll be posting a few period songs, with translation, untill the end of the month and, perhaps even, add a few more to future posts, since I found several linked to themes I still want to write about.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
The only missfortune is that I don't know how to read or play music, or else....
This is part 1.
Note: The book you'll see on the photos containing the texts of the songs was written about 1893 nad it starts about here, followed by all the songs that this digital platform has:

Taken from the "Cancioneiro Geral".

(from the French “Vivandiére”)

Oh, what life that goes around on this earth
That doesn't hear the sound of the drum;
That doesn't sing at the hight of the war:
Oh love! Oh love! Oh love!

Who wants a true life,
Has to become at least once a Vivandeira.

Oh what life is this life I have
With such handsome, such gentil young man:
If I hug him after the battle
Oh what life for my heart!

What tenderness singing with the drum:
Oh love! Oh love! Oh love!

What harmony the riffles don't have
Knocking down the endless lines:
And after, only after the battle,
To see him safe, singing like this:

In your marches, being swarthy,
More I love you gentil Vivandeira.
The duties don't scare me,
Nor do the bullets make me cry:
Oh what life, what life, what life
This life spent singing.

I feel on the field the drum
Missing the tendurnesses of love.

Only in war the sorrow is killed,
Only in war you feel life,
Only in war the vanities are killed,
Only in war it doens't hurt to die.

Oh what life, what life, what life
What well chosen chance!

But let's leave the felted singing,
This singing of my heart:
But pay attention with our ears
O taplão, rataplão, rataplão. (Portuguese onomatopoeia of the sound of the drums)

To the taplão, rataplão falls down the drum
Falling down speacking of love.

Oh what life happens at war,
That from small on grew up in the war:
That alone goes around on this earth,
Nor father, nor mother has known.

Who wants to live a true life
Has to become a Vivandeira.

This poem appears around 1850(?) and with it the music.
Luiz Augusto Palmeirim.

Taken from the "Cancioneiro Geral".

(zas tras is a Portuguese onomatopoeia similar to the English “wham-slam!”; que te pilho is an old expression meaning “stealing”)

C English soldiers
don't wear hats;
D They wear shakos
that reach the sky.

C Záz-traz, I will steal you (you heart),
D And I've already stolen you (your heart),
C&D Come into my arms,
My love, my darling.

C English soldiers
wear cotton;
D I wear linnen,
it's cooler in Summer.

Záz-traz, etc

C English soldiers
wear red.
D I wear blue,
which is prettier.

Záz-traz, etc

Dance - 2 rows of pairs are formed; the ladies on one side, the gentlemen on the other. All advance and step back twice, then return to their places as the 4 verses are sung. At the chorus, the line with the gentlemen marches to the middle, driving characteristically the ladies, singing zaz-traz I will steal you, and turning to the right, turn their back to them and return to their palces, but the ladies start marching until they touch with their hands the men's shoulders and say I've already stolen you, and turning their back, return to their places, but the gentlemen having turned around already follow the ladies singing Com into my arms, etc and the ladies reaching their places turn around and hug the men repeating the verses Come, etc turning once and returning to their palces.
The music should be sung, alternatelly, by the ladies and the gentlemen as it is indicated with the leters C (gentlemen) and D (ladies).
The music of this dance, as the dance itself, is English, and seems to date around the beginning of the 19th century.

And here's a bit of this song I found oline:

Taken from the "Cancioneiro Geral".

O PÉSINHO (the little foot)

Origanilly it is danced with ladies and gentlemen, in uneven numbers, doing a circle and holdinh hands. Putting the right foot forward e steping with it's toe repetedly on the floor, a beat, songing the following song:

Put here,
Put here,
Your little foot
Put here,
Put here,
Next to mine
By taking,
By taking,
Your little foot.

(With this, the feet are removed)

A hug,
A hug,
I give him/her.


Oh Jesus,
Oh Jesus,
There I go.

And letting go of the hands, they embrace themselves in paires, and turning they sing:

I am ahppy with my dancing partner;
It was God's divine choice in giving him/her to me.

The person that stand alone, is said to be the widow for the next dance.

This dance, or “joguinho” (little game), as it is commonly called, seems to be form the early century (19th), or even older.

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