Friday, June 22, 2007

Zé do Caroço
Seu Jorge
See Seu Jorge perform it on youtube

On the local radio
From the morro do Pau da Bandeira*
It’s Zé do Caroço who issues the warning
That tomorrow there will be a shake up
And the favela** has now been warned

Oh how I wish that it was in Mangueira***
That there was someone like Zé do Caroço
So that we could tell these people once and for all
Carnaval is not that kind of showbusiness
We’re schooled in raiz and madeira****

But it’s in the Morro do Pau da Bandeira
In the real Vila Isabel*****
That Zé do Caroço works
That Zé do Caroço struggles
And where he tries to make ends meet

And it’s at that hour when Brazilian TV
Destroys everyone with its novelas******
That’s when Zé puts his voice out to the world
He makes a profound speech
Because he wants the best for the favela

A new leader is being born
In the morro do Pau da Bandeira
A new leader is being born
In the morro do Pau da Bandeira
In the morro do Pau da Bandeira
In the morro do Pau da Bandeira


Notes
* Morro do Pau da Bandeira is a favela, or shantytown, in Rio de Janeiro, that started to be populated in the 1950’s.
** More than one million people, or 20% of Rio’s population, lives in favelas. Their population is increasing at a rate of 2.5% per year, compared with growth of less than 0.5% for the rest of Rio.
*** Mangueira is another famous favela in Rio
**** there are many different kinds of samba styles, of which samba de raiz ou Madeira is considered by many to be the purest from of Brazilian music, and also the least commercial.
***** Vila Isabel is the Rio district in which the Morro do Pau da Bandeira is found****** Novelas are the famous Brazilian epic soap operas that are now commonly translated and shown all over the world… the reference here seems to be to how TV in general, and no doubt the news, spins tales that have little connection to the life on the favela.