Friday, August 6, 2010

Every Song Has An Agenda (part 2)

*read the part 1 written by a senior here*

Well, I'm thinking that our interest in capoeira songs is kinda high now thanks to ZC camp, and the excitement of new semester and new members, so what better time to learn a bit more about songs! We talked a bit about music last training, and I agree that singing and leading in the roda can't be a 'forced' thing..

But! This post is not written to persuade people to sing, but more to understand what some common songs are all about. Thing is, songs are very much part of capoeira.. They are used to comment on the players' actions in the roda (though, confession, at this stage I don't even take note what song is being sung when I'm busy evading kicks huhu..) , tease, encourage, praise, even teach moral values. Yeah, we won't be able to really delve much into their subtleties and wittiness like a Brazilian can, but still I'm convinced that knowledge about songs and their context will only make our capoeira journey richer!

Well, not a song.. but this 'cry' before the ladainha (solo littany) is sung calls the people to attention and signals that the roda is starting. At the very end of the roda, "Ieeeee.." is again sung to close it.

Eu ja vivo enjuado
I think the most popular version amongst NUS people is the Carolina Soares one.. The whole song itself tells of a rather funny story of a guy who is tired of living on earth and wants to move to the moon.. An interpretation of this song could be that nothing comes easy without hard work (including handstand.. shucks..) A bit of its lyrics:
Quem e dono nao ciuma, e quem nao e vai ciuma (haha!)
(He who is the master of his land doesn't envy, and he who is not envies)
What is the 'haha!' doing there, I'm not sure, but it could be some sort of mocking to the guy who is feeling envious, perhaps because he does not work as hard and is not as skillled (my 2 cents worth..)

Oi sim sim sim, oi nao nao nao
(Oi yes yes yes, oi no no no)
There's one explanation in the 'Every Song Has An Agenda' part 1 (go check it out!), but another interpretation I found: "yes can mean no, and no can mean yes. A simple play of words that describe the unpredictable nature of capoeira." Now that's pretty cool for such a simple song =)

Zum, zum, zum, capoeira mata um
(Zum, zum, zum capoeira killed one)
'Zum zum' refers to the sound of the berimbau, and the 'killing' part.. an interpretation is that the song reminds capoeiristas they should be aware of the potential power of attacks and take them seriously. Usually, the song is used when the roda is too 'tame' (for lack of a better word..) and the mestre would like to see some action. The chorus goes: 'Onde tem marimbondo,tem zum zum zum' - when there is a wasp there is zum, zum, zum.. Apparently this means something like 'when there's smoke there's fire', which can be extrapolated to mean 'When there's the zum zum zum of the berimbau, you know there's a capoeirista nearby.'

Dona Maria Como Vai Voce
'Dona Maria' could refer to Saint Mary, but apparently it can also refer to 'Yamanya' - a female spirit of the ocean, rivers and moon. Part of the lyrics "Joga bonito que eu quero ver" - play beautifully because I want to watch.. Is this used to remind capoeiristas to play clean and beautiful? One thing about this song.. found out from a non-ZC capoeirista that it should be sung when there's a woman playing in the roda.. Well, we don't abide by that in NUS capoeira, but since then till now I can't help smiling if this song is sung when some buff-looking guys are playing! ;p

Menino Chorou (Nyeh nyeh nyeh!)
Cry little boy! Nyeh nyeh nyeh! Kinda obvious that the song is used to make fun of one of the players.. especially when he looks frustrated and is losing his calm..

Parana e
A lot is written about this song.. The lyric goes: 'Vous dizer a minha mulher, parana.. Capoeira que venceu, parana...' - I will tell my wife, parana, that capoeira won, parana.. Apparently, in the 1864 war between Brazil and Paraguay, a lot of capoeiristas took part.. Thing is, since the 'whites' did not want to be in the front line of war, they promised that slaves who fight and returned would be given their liberty.. and they fought and survived because capoeira gave them an advantage (at that time war did not depend so much on guns as hand-to-hand combat..) Read the whole article here
Well that's it for now.. there's still a wealth of funny and meaningful songs I've came across in my browsing around to dig these stuff up. (one song tells of a man who kills a woman.. because the woman wants to go home and the man wants to continue playing capoeira.. wth??!!) Guess I'll compile the URLs for the resources and put it up here.

Para ser bom capoeira
Nao basta ter aptidao
Tem se jogar com a alma
E cantar com o coraçao

(To be a good capoeirista
Aptitude is not enough
One has to play with the soul
And sing with the heart)
- lyrics from capoeira e beleza



Anonymous said...

the haha isnt a laugh but more of an exclaimation like "aha!" to emphasize the punchline that is at the end of the Ladainha.

Bryan said...

"one song tells of a man who kills a woman.. because the woman wants to go home and the man wants to continue playing capoeira.."

Yup so Carolina Soares's "Haha" at the end may be some tool of diffusion to make light of the situation that she has just reprimanded her husband.. And she knows what Capoeirista husbands can do to their wives... :P

Nice research Salmao!

salmao said...

@anonymous (EW?): wow, thanks for tt enlightenment =)

@bryan: tsk..MCC.. (male chauvinist capoeirista..)