Songs of the sea: hit the waves in Brazilian rock style

English: Parity, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One of Brazil’s colonial gems … Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo: Wikipedia)

All that sizzling seaside poetry by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen in my previous post made me want to strip off my clothes, pull on my cossie and run down to the beach. But it would have been a 14km run so I resisted. I let my nose do the running instead (I have a cold). However, Sopia’s lines about waves breaking made me recall one of my favourite Brazilian rock songs, Até o fim do mundo, by a band called Os Gurus. It was on one of the many compilation CDs linked to the popular Malhação TV novela (soap opera), which ran from 1995 to 2013. The CDs – at least one was released every year – are great for anyone who is seeking an introduction to contemporary pop/rock artists from Brazil.

English: Wide street in the touristy colonial ...

A wide street in Paraty. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The song contains one of my favourite words, mergulhar, which means to dive, dive in, plunge, dip, immerse, etc etc. The first time I heard that word was when we were doing a day trip on one of those schooners that sail in the bay around Paraty, on the coastline known as the Costa Verde (Green Coast) that runs from Rio de Janeiro to Santos. This area is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. An old English couple (in their late 60s or 70s) on board were with a young guide/chauffeur whom they had hired on the spur of the moment on their arrival at Sao Paulo airport. The schooner had dropped anchor, and everyone was hovering aimlessly, wondering what to do next. I was dying to swim, and was wondering if it would be impolitic to ask if sharks were a problem in Brazil.

Português: ilha comprida - paraty - rjThe young guide said “Vamos mergulhar” and took the plunge. It was the sign we all needed, and we followed suit, jumping like lemmings into the water and losing our inhibitions. That day was one of the best of my life, and it was the best-value tourist experience I have ever had – the outing cost only about the equivalent of $20 Australian, including the lunch that was served on board. (These are prices from 2003, when Brazil’s currency was comparatively weak; I am sure it is a different story now.) If you ever get the chance to see Paraty, please take it.

Here is the version of the song that I know from the CD, and the lyrics and my vocabularly guide are below:

Olhando alguns versos, eu tento encontrar,
O caminho da verdade, aqui nessa cidade,
Ou em qualquer lugar.

Caminho num segundo, até o fim do mundo,
Tentando encontrar, o mar é só saudade,
Em plena tempestade, te vejo mergulhar.

Nas ondas de saudades, que não param de quebrar,
Fugindo das verdades, que não param de chegar!

Distante do silêncio, não dá pra escutar,
Quem fala a verdade e diz que tem saudade,
E vai se aventurar.

Caminho num segundo, até o fim do mundo,
Tentando encontrar, o mar é só saudade,
Em plena tempestade, te vejo mergulhar.

If you go on holiday to Brazil you should at least know the following vocabulary from the song: ondas = waves; mar = sea; tempestade = storm.

Other useful words are: cidade = city; verdade = truth; caminho = road or path or as a verb, I walk; encontrar = to meet, encounter, find; saudade = Portuguese-style nostalgic longing; lugar = place; alguns = some (plural); qualquer = any; escutar = to listen; plena = full; vejo = I see; segundo = second; até = towards; fim = end; mundo = world; quem = who.

The “-ando” and “-indo” words are present participles. Olhando = seeing; tentando = trying; fugindo = fleeing. Fala and diz are the third person singulars of the verbs falar (to speak) and dizer (to tell). Param is the third person plural of parer = to stop.

You should understand the whole song now! By the way, to swim is nadar, and the word for shark is tubarão.

Below is a YouTube clip of the band performing the song. However, it sounds different to the CD version – there are fewer effects in the chorus, for example – and I don’t find this as appealing. But at least you can see the band in action.


2 thoughts on “Songs of the sea: hit the waves in Brazilian rock style

  1. sorry about the cold – feel better soon. Maybe that dip in the salt water would do you the world of good …. and you could listen to more from Os Gurus on the way! xx

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