What’s all this ‘dar um jeito’ business in Brazil’s Avicii-inspired World Cup anthem?

As well as the official 2014 FIFA World Cup song, there is also an official 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem, Dar Um Jeito. Why? To get double the publicity for One Love, One Rhythm – The 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album. It’s not just about soccer, it’s also about money and merchandising!

The anthem is great and, unlike the offical song, has a reasonable amount of Portuguese, sung by Alexandre Pires. It also features Mexican-born Carlos Santana on guitar (still going strong at 66), Haitian-born hip-hopper Wyclef Jean doing the English vocals and Swedish DJ Avicii, doing the dance beats, and the four of them are apparently going to perform at the World Cup closing ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. The Avicii influence is very strong on this, which is probably why it is so catchy…

What does dar um jeito mean? The song’s English subtitle, We Will Find A Way, gives a clue. The word jeito has many meanings which I will cover fully when I post the J words in my Quirky Vocabulary series (the last bit I did was about the G words being orgasmic, but I haven’t posted H, I and J yet). But basically jeito is an aptitude, manner, way (of behaving or acting), skill or knack. Dar means to give, and dar um jeito means to manage, engineer (a result), find a way or do something about.

Here are two sample sentences from the Michaelis Moderno Dicionário Português-Inglês:

  • ela sempre dá um jeito de ficar mais bonita do que as outras
  • she always manages to look prettier than the others
  • ele tem de dar um jeito nesta sua vida
  • he’s got to do something about that life he leads

The Michaelis Dicionário Escolar Português-Francês gives this

  • dar um jeito
  • s’y retrouver, rafistoler

I hope Dar um Jeito does well worldwide, if only to get people to hear more of the Portuguese language.

First impressions of One Love, One Rhythm

You never really learn much about world music on the official World Cup albums, but this one has enough Brazilian linguistic and musical involvement to give you an idea of the rhythms of samba, bossa nova and pagode, even if it sticks mainly to the usual suspects such as Bebel Gilberto, Carlinhos Brown and Sergio Mendes. You can listen to the whole album below, although adverts seem to pop up unexpectedly in the middle of songs from time to time (there is no escaping commercialisation). I particularly like Canadian band MAGIC!‘s rendition of This Is Our Time (Agora É a Nossa Hora). Other big names on the album are Shakira, Ricky Martin and The Isley Brothers. There is even an appearance by Baha Men of Who Let The Dogs Out? fame! Who let them out?

See also The official World Cup song: too much bull for Brazilians’ liking 

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