Brazilian celebrations are in order

Dieticians say we should eat more fruit

Dieticians say we should eat more fruit

Today, September 7, is Independence Day in Brazil. So I thought I should really do something with a Brazilian theme.

I did.

I wore a caipirinha-flavoured condom haha.

It was a little bit uncomfortable at work, and once or twice when I went to the bathroom I almost forgot I was wearing it, which could have been disastrous, but …. oh,, all right, let’s not get carried away with this theme, let’s lift the tone…

The other day this song popped in my Facebook feed courtesy of singer Marisa Monte. It was used as the theme song from a very popular TV show from a decade ago, Mulheres Apaixonadas (Women in Love). I hadn’t heard it for ages and had forgotten how good it was. Marisa recorded it with some friends using the band name Tribalistas. It was a massive hit. So forget the condom, this is my Brazilian celebration.

The complete Tribalistas album (a one-off) is here…

Brazilian fair in Sydney

Incidentally, if you are in Sydney on Sunday, September 20, the annual Brazilian “Ritmo” Festival will be on in Darlling Harbour. It’s presented by the Brazilian Community Council of Australia. It’s usually a lot of fun, with stage shows and Brazilian foods in good supply. Check out the pics and info on the BRACCA website.

Bracca day

Vale young Brazilian singer Cristiano Araújo

Popular Brazilian singer Cristiano Araújo, 29, and his girlfriend died after a car crash in the early hours of Wednesday morning this week in the state of Goiás. He had been touring and was due to appear at a festival in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza this weekend. His death shocked Brazil, as he was seen to be one of the stars of his generation and was also popular with the Brazilian and Latino community in the United States too. As the video clip (below) shows, his concerts certainly don’t lack visual spectacle.

Like Michel Teló, who had a massive hit worldwide with Ai, se eu te pego!, Araújo’s musical style is heavily influenced by sertanejo, the “country” music of the north-east. Here, in a different style though, is another of Araújo’s recent big hits, Caso Indefinido (Undefined Case).


Sydney says bye to Baila Brazil, hello to Ludovico, Laura and Liana

Here in Sydney at this time of the year we like to think that we are very cultured, and we are probably right. Melburnians might not agree, but that’s another story. January is the month of the Sydney festival, and the harbour city hosts many free events in its parks and other outdoor venues. February (our hottest month) gets pretty festive too. Artists from the northern hemisphere, keen for respite from their horrible winters, flock south like migrating artistic birds.

Recently the city had a Brazilian flavour to it with the arrival of the Baila Brazil dancers:

On February 8 popular Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi will be performing at the Sydney Opera House with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. For details, and a chance to listen to some of his music, go here. On February 11 he will be performing at QPAC Concert Hall in Brisbane, and then on the 13th and 14th he will be at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne. Auckland gets a look-in too, on February 18. Details here.

Here he is performing one of my favourite compositions of his, Nuvole Bianche (White Clouds).

And more exciting news: my favourite Italian singer Laura Pausini is finally coming to Australia as part of her greatest hits world tour (she was originally due in mid-2014 but the shows had to be cancelled). She’s on at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on Friday 13 – tickets can be bought here – and at the Qantas Credit Union Arena (what a ghastly name for a venue) in Sydney on Saturday, February 14. If you want to spend Valentine’s Day night with Laura, tickets can be bought here.

I’ve covered some of her biggest hits in the post Great songs in one language and another (she sometimes sings in other Romance languages), but here is a taste of what to expect, Limpido, a No.1 hit in Italy in 2013 with Australia’s best known singer, Kylie Minogue.

Here is a Italian-French-Spanish version of Io Canto (I Sing)

Meanwhile, the music promoter who brought Leandro to Australia in November is bringing another Portuguese star, Liana, to Wollongong, Sydney, and Melbourne in that order. Once again the profits from these shows will be donated to Cerebral Palsy Australia, for whom the Leandro concerts raised $10,000. You can obtain tickets by contacting the promoter on  or calling 0433-775-538.

Liana is the latest in a long line of  fado sensations that include Mariza. She was the star of the most successful musical ever in Portugal, Amália (based on the life and career of Amália Rodrigues), and she is also a one-time lead vocalist with the Portugues-Swedish folk band Stockholm Lisboa Project.

Details of Liana’s concerts are:

  1. Friday, February 6 at the Association Costa Do Sul at 127 Flagstaff Road, Warrawong, Wollongong. Doors open 6.30pm, show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets from $23. Contact the secretary on 4274 3192, or  Joe Alves . 0412-105-302.  by email A two-course dinner is available for $20. Tickets for details.
  2. Saturday, February 7, at the Sydney Portugal Community Club, Fraser Park, at 100 Marrickville Road, Marrickville. Tickets including dinner range from $48 to $72. Doors open at 5.30pm, show starts at 6.30pm. Contact the club secretary on 9550-6344 or email After hours, call 0450-775-538. Bookings must be done by Monday, February 2.
  3. Sunday, February 8, at the Burwood RSL. Doors open at 1pm, show starts at 2pm. Tickets from $17. Contact  Burwood RSL on  8741 2888.
  4. Saturday, February 14, at the Group Cultura and Folclorico, 6-15 Brex Court, Reservoir, Melbourne. Doors open at  5.30pm, show starts at 6.30pm. Tickets from $55, dinner included. Contact 0402 933 997 or 0401 179 187 for details, or email

If you liked the Baila Brazil snippet above, here is a longer clip for you.



Hot songs in Brazil and Portugual

It’s been a while since I looked at the Portuguese-Brazilian music scene, so here goes.

The Brazilian music charts tend to be dominated by música sertaneja (click to read the Wikipedia explanation). The acts are often male duos, sometimes brothers. One such brother combination is Henrique e Juliano, who are doing well in Brazil with the song Cuida Bem Dela (Take Good Care of Her), filmed live in what looks like an impressive modern church in the capital, Brasilia. I’m not a great fan of the Sertanejo music scene, but this crosses over into mainstream and I quite like it.

The gist of the song is this….

Esse é meu único aviso – This is my one piece of advice
Se ela quis ficar contigo – If she wants to be with you
Faça ela feliz, faça ela feliz – Make her happy, make her happy
Cuida bem dela – Take good care of her
Você não vai conhecer alguém melhor que ela – You won’t find anyone better than her

Surprise, gasp, surprise! There is a rare rock hit on the Brazilian charts too, courtesy of the outfit known as Malta, winners of the Superstar talent show contest earlier this year. I’ve been scouting for a while now for a decent new-generation Brazil rock band to follow, they could be in contention! The song is Diz Pra Mim, (Tell Me) and it’s taken from the album Supernova, which I think might be my Christmas present to myself.

One of the judges on Superstar was the ever popular Ivete Sangalo. She is getting a lot of airplay with this, Beijos de Hortelã (Mint Kisses).

Over in Portugal, they are hailing a new force on the scene, D.A.M.A. There is an interview with them in Portuguese here, but if you right click on it and use the “translate into English” option you will understand it well enough. They seem quite witty, the interview is full of risos (laughs). Perhaps their spectacular rise has been helped by recently being the support act for One Direction in Portugal, but don’t call them a boy band, they insist they are not, as they write their own material, etc. (in the interview they say in 10 years’ time One Direction will be the support act for them – risos). Anyway this is very catchy and it’s top of the airplay chart in Portugal. Às Vezes means Sometimes.

Finally, here is the Danish-born Mikkel Solnado, the son of a Portuguese actor Raul Solnado, teaming up with Joan Alegre for E Agora? (And Now?). Mikkel’s background and unexpected rise to fame (he composed jingles for adverts initially, and much of his material is in English) make interesting reading. There is some information on him in English here, and a lot more, including a video interview, in Portuguese here. The song is pretty smooth, and from what I have heard, his debut album It’s Only Love, Give It Away is worth investigating.

Hot Romance language hits from Black M, Calogero, Anitta, Arisa, Lidia Buble and more

Every now and then I have to catch up with what’s happening on the music scene in my five Romance languages. Here’s what’s hot at the moment – excluding Enrique Iglesias’s Bailando in its Spanish and Portuguese versions, which was covered in the previous main post.

In French

This video clip – a spoof on Westerns – is entertainment in itself (for example, when the tense gunslinging scene in the saloon is interrupted by a mobile phone call from “maman” or “mother”). It’s Black M‘s follow-up to his highly successful chart-topper Sur Ma Route. This time he gets some help from Dr Beriz.

Also doing well is Calogero, whose latest album Les Feux D’Artifice (in English, Fireworks) made No. 1 recently in France and in Belgium (his fourth album to do so). Un Jour Au Mauvais Endroit (which could be translated as A Day in a Bad Place, or One Day in the Wrong Place) is the single from it, and it sounds in parts a bit like Madonna doing ABBA and – near the end where people start chanting “plus jamais seul” (never again alone) – Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. It made the top 10 in both France and Belgium.

In Romanian

Lidia Buble‘s Noi Simtim La Fel (We Feel The Same) shot up to the top of the Romanian airplay chart, got knocked off by Enrique Iglesias’s Bailando) then climbed back up to No. 1 again. Currently it’s No. 6 in its 22nd week in the chart. She has a powerful voice. This track also features Adrian Sina, who is one of the biggest figures (singer, composer, DJ, producer) in Romanian music today.

The chorus of the song is good for those learning how Romanian verbs ending in i such as a iubi (to love) are conjugated in the first person plural present tense noi gândim la fel (we think the same), simţim la fel (feel the same), iubim la fel (love the same)…

I also like this effort, Sarutari Criminale (Criminal Kisses) by Maxim, which made the top 10. I’ve chosen this clip with the lyrics, since they are a boy band and some of the other videos to with it are a bit juvenile. Here you will see that some verbs ending in i are conjugated with an esc ending in the first person singular: îndrăznesc = I dare; trăiesc = I live; amintesc = i remember. However, there are many conjugations in Romanian and this barely scratches the surface.

 In Spanish

On the Spanish music chart, Enrique Iglesias’s Bailando has just been bumped from the top spot by the earnest Pablo Alborán with a song of a quite different nature, Por Fin (At Last).

In Portuguese

The European Portuguese version of Bailando which features Mickael Carreira, is still top of the pops in Portugal, but in Brazil the music scene is currently dominated by Anitta, who has two hits in the top 10, Cobertor, which this blog has covered before, and the No. 1, Na Batida (The Beat).

In Italian

Bailando is also the No. 1 currently in Italy, according to my source, and the Italian Top 20 chart is dominated by English titles. Here is the only Italian entry, Fragili (which of course means Fragile) from a group called Club Dogo featuring Arisa.

Arisa won the annual Sanremo music festival this year with Controvento (Upwind)

Hear Enrique Iglesias’s Bailando in the Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian versions

All credit to Enrique Iglesias and his Cuban collaborators Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona, whose song Bailando (Dancing) has charted pretty much all over the world and in the process has injected some Spanish in the English-speaking music market – you can read about the song’s impressive achievements here. More recently an English version has come out with Sean Paul contributing some vocals, but let’s  look at the Spanish release first.

There are two Portuguese versions too, or more accurately Enrique singing in Spanish alongside a collaborator singing in Portuguese. The version aimed at the Brazilian market features one of the hottest young Brazilian singers of the moment, Luan Santana.

The European Portuguese version features Mickael Carreira who, like Enrique, is a son of a famous singer, Tony Carreira, and who has a singing brother, David Carreira. (Enrique’s father, in case you didn’t know, is Julio Iglesias).

What’s your favourite? Mine is the one with Mickael Carreira in it. 😀


Music for a Romantic weekend, Part 2, featuring Mariza’s new hit

What’s Bernardo’sMusicMonitor™ been monitoring in the Portuguese and Italian-speaking worlds? Well, there is a lovely new song out by Mariza that is perfect Sunday listening, you can join Italian singer Francesco Renga in having the most beautiful day in the world in Berlin, while his countryman Emis Killa has fun in Rio de Janeiro. Plus check out Brazil’s hottest star of the moment, Anitta, among others. Find out what all the Anglo radio stations are missing out on!


First up is a beautiful new ballad by Mariza, O Tempo Não Para (Time Never Stops), released to coincide with new a Best Of compilation. It’s one of just three songs  in Portuguese songs in Portugal’s top 20. As usual with Mariza, it’s beautifully poetic…

  • Eu sei – I know
  • Que a vida tem pressa – That life goes in a hurry 
  • Que tudo aconteça – That everything happens
  • Sem que a gente peça – Without people asking
  • Eu sei – I know
  • Eu sei – I know
  • Que o tempo não pára – That time never stops
  • O tempo é coisa rara – Time is a rare thing
  • E a gente só repara – And people only notice
  • Quando ele já passou – When it’s already passed
  • Não sei se andei depressa demais – I don’t know if I walked too fast
  • Mas sei, que algum sorriso eu perdi – But I know I missed some smiles
  • Vou pedir ao tempo que me dê mais tempo – I will ask time to give me more time
  • Para olhar para ti – To look at you
  • De agora em diante, não serei distante – From now on, I won’t be far
  • Eu vou estar aqui – I will be here

Also doing well in Portugal is Angolan-born Anselmo Ralph with Unica Mulher (Unique or The Only Woman). Of course, he is huge in Lusaphone countries such as Mozambique and his native Angola.

The other Portuguese language song on the chart, Não Te Quero Mais (I Don’t Want You Anymore) by David Antunes and Vanessa Silva, would appear to be a domestic argument but the best part of breaking up is making up…

IN BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE There is no shortage of local acts on the Brazilian charts as listed by (which despite its name gives only the top 20). This is kind of cute … it’s got an unusual jaunty rhythm and as a bonus there are some knife-throwing scenes in a ruined house in a lush jungle… It’s Cobertor by Anitta and Projota. Cobertor means blanket, the song title coming from the lines Que saudade de você debaixo do meu cobertor (how I miss you under my blanket) You can read the rest of the lyrics to the song here.

Anitta is undoubtedly the hottest thing in Brazilian music at the moment. She burst onto the scene last year and has had a string of No. 1 hits, and even featured in an article in Forbes magazine, which commented on the beautiful and sexy resonance of the Portuguese language and asked if she was a global superstar in the making. But there has been controversy about whether she is doing a Michael Jackson and using skin lightening cream. Here is a live performance of Anitta’s Blá Blá Blá, which is still in the top 10.

Next, just for something different, here is a Portuguese version of Pink’s Just Give Me A Reason sung by Brazilian heartthrob Gusttavo LimaDiz Pra Mim = Tell Me.


Francesco Renga, who won the Sanremo Festival nine years ago, is back in the limelight with this lovely song Il mio giorno più bello nel mondo (My most beautiful day in the world), taken off his chart-topping new album Tempo Reale. This was filmed in Berlin.

Italian singers like to travel. Here’s popular young rapper Emis Killa going to Rio de Janeiro in his song Maracanã. Naturally it has a World Cup football flavour to it.

Last is a recent No.1 in Italy by another former Sanremo winner Marco CartaSplendida Ostinazione (Splendid Obstinacy).

A Brazilian/Romanian folk music sampler with a curious language fact thrown in

fire-307592_640PREAMBLE: It’s a Sunday evening, and a little chilly; it would be nice to be sitting round a camp fire with friends, getting sentimental and nostalgic with a glass of wine or something similar that warms the insides, like a flaming sambuca or two! As we watch the flames rise and fall maybe someone would bring out a guitar and start strumming.

acoustic-guitar-145300_1280ACT ONE: Enter a Brazilian, Alceu Valença and friends to entertain us. This song has got a north-east Brazil feel to it (the music there is quite different in many respects to the genres in other parts of the country). It’s a tribute to the beauties on the beach of Boa Viagem (good voyage) in Recife, which was one of the World Cup host cities. It’s a very interesting city with a lot of historical interest, including the World Heritiage listed village of Olinda, which hosts one of Brazil’s best carnivals. Recife for a while was once held by the Dutch, who drained its swamps and called it New Amsterdam, although nowadays it is called the Venice of Brazil. Anyway, in this clip you will hear lovely unusual sounds and see some of the beauty and beauties of Recife. And as a language bonus, the title of the song is in French! The acoustic guitars are lush.

ACT TWO, SCENE 1: What put me in this mellow mood in the first place was a song that popped up on my WordPress reader, posted by a blog I follow Hai-Hui prin Sufletul Folkului. It’s sung by a Romanian troubador, Dan Vana, and the song is titled Copiii Nu Mor Niciodată or (The) Children Never Die.

ACT TWO, SCENE TWO: Here’s Dan in action, live on stage at some folk festival somewhere. It takes guts to entertain a crowd with just an acoustic guitar in your hand. And talent to be able to pull it off.


OK, here it is: it’s something I remembered my teacher telling me on my language course in Romania last year. Let’s hope she was right and my memory is true.

world-76211_640In Romanian, the definite article is a suffix (add-on at the end of a word). Thus

  • a child = un copil
  • the child = copilul
  • children = copii
  • the children = copiii

Copiii (“the children”) is the only word in Romanian with three ‘i‘s at the end of it. 😀

As its usage here in the song title shows, Romanian sometimes uses a definite article where other languages would use the indefinite article.


Chesty Brazilian singer Alexandre Pires back in the limelight

Performing at an Avicii-style, dance music pace must have been quite a challenge for Alexandre Pires, the Brazilian singer on the official 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem, Dar Um Jeito. Pires is better known as a crooner of smooth romantic ballads, and is one of the few Brazilian superstars who has also managed to crack the Latin (Spanish-speaking) market, including in the United States, with this type of music. Dar Um Jeito is the fastest I’ve ever heard him sing! I can’t envisage him becoming a rapper.

Alexandre Pires came from a musical family and along with his brother and cousin was a member of a popular group Só Pra Contrariar (often known as SPC for short), who had considerable chart success in the 1990s in Brazil. However, he left them in 2002 to go solo and their fortunes waned somewhat after that while his international career took off. However, Pires recently got together with SPC again for their 25th anniversary compilation, recorded live in Porto Alegre. One of the songs from it, Recordações, (which could be translated as recollections, remembrances, souvenirs) recently made the Brazilian top 10. It is very typical of his and the band’s style.

Pires baresEstrela-guiaPires often appears in a white vest, or topless, to show off his chest. The example pictured left is the cover of his very successful album from 2003, Estrela Guia (Estrella Guia in Spanish). But if you do a image search on him on the internet you will find more provocative poses and you might even come across a photo or two of him in a revealing, wet white swimming costume or “sunga branca”. Anyway, this next song is one of the singles from that album, Bum Bum Bum. Now, I know what you’re thinking – you’re imagining it’s a homage to the human posterior, or rather three human posteriors. But you’re wrong, it’s not about bums, it’s about boom boom booms, the beating of a heart. Now there’s a pronunciation lesson for you.

Pires often re-records his songs in Spanish to target the rest of the South American market; if you would like to compare the two versions of what was probably his biggest hit, see my post entitled Great songs in one language or another.

Here’s a more recent single, A Chave É O Seu Perdão (The Key is Your Forgiveness/Pardon), taken from his most recent solo album Eletrosamba, which won a Grammy award last year.


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