Shooting stars of another sort: Xuting ones

Concerto Xutos e Pontapés no Campo Pequeno 09 ...

Concerto Xutos e Pontapés no Campo Pequeno 09 Dezembro 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Xutos e Pontapés are the godfathers of Portuguese rock. They are that nation’s equivalent of the UK’s Rolling Stones, or Australia’s Midnight Oil or AC/DC. The name means Shoots and Kicks (think of football terminology … Xutos is pronounced like “shootoosh” and on Pontapés the last syllable is stressed – so it’s like “ponta-pesh”). Even though the band members are getting a bit long in the tooth now, having started out in 1978, they are still active. Indeed, they are one of those old bands that are popular with the current younger generation of Portuguese, simply because anyone growing up in Portugal or the Lusaphone countries over the past 25 year would have heard their songs frequently. Perhaps mum and dad (or grandma and grandpa) used to play their albums at full blast. They probably still do!

If you have not heard them before I will introduce you to them relatively gently with this song Perfeito vazio and I have done my best to translate the lyrics are below to give you some idea of what the song is about. Well, not just some idea, hopefully the complete picture. The guitar riffs from the guy who looks like he has been to many all-night parties in his lifetime are really good, in my opinion. 

Perfeito vazio: Xutos e Pontapés

Aqui estou eu – Here I am
Sou uma folha de papel vazia – I’m an empty piece of paper
Pequenas coisas – Small things
Pequenos pontos – Small points
Vão me mostrando o caminho – Will show me the way

Às vezes aqui faz frio – Sometimes it is cold here
Às vezes eu fico imóvel – Sometimes I am immobile (stuck in a rut)
Pairando no vazio – Hovering in the void
As vezes aqui faz frio – Sometimes it is cold here

Sei que me esperas – I know that you are waiting for me
Não sei se vou lá chegar – I don’t know if I will get there
Tenho coisas p’ra fazer – I have things to do
Tenho vidas para a acompanhar – I have lives to accompany

Às vezes lá faz mais frio – Sometimes it is colder there
Às vezes eu fico imóvel – Sometimes I am immobile
Pairando no vazio – Hovering in the void
No perfeito vazio – In the perfect emptiness
Às vezes lá faz mais frio – Sometimes it’s colder there

(Lá fora faz tanto frio) – It’s so cold over there

Bem-vindos a minha casa – Welcome to my house
Ao meu lar mais profundo – To my deepest place (abode or home)
De onde saio por vezes – From where I go out sometimes
Para conquistar o mundo – To conquer the world

Às vezes tu tens mais frio – Sometimes you are colder
Às vezes eu fico imóvel – Sometimes I am immobile
Pairando no vazio – Hovering in the void
No perfeito vazio – In the perfect emptiness
Às vezes lá faz mais frio – Sometimes it is empty there
No teu peito vazio – In your empty chest

The lyrics to most of their songs can be found at this website and of course you can do an imperfect translation with the help of your computer. A computer translation, for example, might translate Às vezes eu fico imóvel  (Sometimes I am immobile)  as “sometimes I have property”. You will often see the plural form, imóveis, on billboards or adverts, meaning homes or real estate. I guess property never moves.

On one of my trips to Portugal I bought a two-CD compilation of Xutos e Pontapés’ greatest hits. Some of it is a bit ordinary, but there are anthems that really get me going with my air guitar, such as A Minha Maneira (My Way, or more literally, In My Manner). The air guitar is the only instrument I can play. Bring out yours everybody!

In a similar vein is A Minha Casinha (At My Little House); this videoclip is from a Rock in Rio performance.

Incidentally, one of their most intriguing song titles is A Minha Aventura Homossexual Com O General Custer (My Homosexual Adventure With General Custer). However, I cannot provide the saucy lyrics – it’s an instrumental.🙂

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