Archive for September 5th, 2021


Sergio Mendes Brasiliero

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

– Mark Twain

For this Sunday Morning music, I decided on playing a song from Sergio Mendes, the renowned Brazilian musician who has been around for what seems like forever. His first album came out in 1961 so his work has been around for most of my life. He’s considered a Brazilian artist and his music is primarily based in the rhythms and sounds of his homeland but he has mainly recorded and toured in the States throughout his career. Kind of like a musical ambassador.

Though I know the name, I don’t know much about his music except the stuff from the 1960’s like The Look of Love. Kind of a soft bossa nova is how I’d describe it, I guess. So, coming across the track below, Magalhena, was a surprise. It felt like the polar opposite of The Look of Love or any of his other hits. Big rhythmic drum sounds that feel like they could be pulled from some sultry tropical festival.

I tried to find the lyrics and they are, of course, in Portuguese. Every translation I could find was different and felt like it was done only with a computer program and no human input. The phrasing was weird and seemed to make little sense. Like bring the password to the stove and come make frames. I checked several sites and they were all different and equally strangely worded. I take it that there is a lot of Brazilian colloquialisms that don’t register well with translation programs from the Portuguese.

But while the words don’t translate well, the music does. It’s a stirring way to get a Sunday morning kicked off. Be warned: if you want a sleepy tune this morning, do not listen to this track.

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