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The Power Of Music as Communication

d  halfnote

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For over a decade I've sought the translation of this song from Portugeuese to English.

I've not found it yet.

The intention of the story seems apparent but the fine points of slang/idioms have escaped all translators with which I've dealt.


If anyone can help, I thank you.


Beyond that, I seek to consider the power & ability of music to communicate outside the usual realms of our attention.

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I can look at it tomorrow. I am a professional translator who often works from Portuguese. I can give you what I've got, but in order to get the nuances I may have to refer to a Brazilian.


Though right now the only Brazilians are at a local Seventh Day Adventist church I went to on occasion, though I haven't gone lately.... a Saturday Jazz Ensemble came up, LOL! I'm not sure to what degree I can e-mail them and discuss these things......


Re: power of music to communicate. I have loved songs for years and not really grasped the subtleties of the lyrics, in English, I mean. Largely because I was more interested in the guitar parts.

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Just to let you know, this is a Northeastern song (i'm a northeastern born) and there are no translation to some of the slangs to any other language. I'll try to get as closer to the meaning of the words as i can but it won't be perfect, it can't be 100% translated. Give me a few days and i'll get back to you.
"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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It seems very odd to me that this is such a mystery but I've found this also in trying to translate other Brazilian songs, such as by Jorge Ben.

Why is this ?


I've been digging this song, with it's sublime vocals & tremendous instrumental track for 20 years & periodically trying to get it translated.

I've got the gist of it (a moralistic tale of "bright lights, big city & music/nnightlife's seductiveness") but why's it so hard to move from one language tio another ?


My larger point, though, is the power of this performance, instrumentally & vocally.

Music truly is a language unto itself.

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I got some parts translated and am having a hard time with others, gimme more time. Jorge Ben? haha, you'll never understand his lyrics, not even WE do, so even in portuguese it makes no sense whatsoever, he was probably high when he wrote his songs.


Now, you gotta understand that this song in particular is filled with local slangs and words, most of it is only understood by the people born in that region cause the words are unique, a local thing.

"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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As mentioned, I already know the gist of the song, having gotten that abt 20 yrs back from a Brazilian student at UT in Austin. They told me then they could only approximate the meaning b/c of the same things The CKing has mentioned.


What I've wondered abt is the details of the poetry---the idoms, the slight twists of wording, etc., that are important, sometimes at least, in defining a great lyric.

The performances, both vocally & instrumentally, are riviting, which is what keeps me coming back to the track but it would be nice to know whether the lyrics support that subtlety or of their just a hackneyed "bright lights/big city" kinda thing that got brought to life by these singers & the band.


I'm still stumped by the fact that it seems so hard to translate with any specificity but here I am after 20 yrs & being told the same thing, so...

Yhere's also the fact that slang terms come & go; heck, entire languages disappear !


This performance remains timeless though, at least for me.

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O Gosto do Amor....................A Taste [of/for] Love

Gal Costa

Composição: Gonzaga Jr.


Curiosa pra danar......................curious about [?]

Fui chegando no forró

Só vi gente impareiada

Parecendo até um nó

Todo mundo coladinho

No escuro do salão

No picado ao miudinho

Sem querer sair mais, não

Das meninas, AI e UI..................[?]I & you

Dos rapazes, UI e AI..................[?]you & I

E das véia, diga a Deus

Por que eu já não posso mais


Xote, roque, fox-trote

E um beijinho no cangote

Tome xote, muito xote

Tô querendo é provar


Mãe falou pra eu ter cuidado

Pai falou: é tentação

Mãe falou: não vá na dança

Pai falou: é perdição

Mãe falou: isso é pecado

Pai falou: faça isso não

Mãe falou: ruim pra diabo

Pai falou: até que é bom

Mãe gritou: isso vicia e esse vício só trás dor

Pai falou: de doce chega o céu é o gosto do amor


Ai mãe, que vontade de gritar

Ai mãe, que vontade de dançar

Agarradinha nesse nego, eu vou embora

Ainda tô dor e tô querendo me acabar

Imagina quando eu chegar no céu

Aí mesmo que eu vou gostar



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