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Peito Vazio (Cartola) - With Joe on Flute, Cello and Mix

John Hollingum on September 16, 2012 22:04

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    Personnel on this
    Guitar and voice and mandolin: me
    Flute 'cello' and mix: Joe Drzewiecki;

    Massive thanks to Joe for indulging me on this

    I like this song a lot and I could see the lyrics were untranslatable and I couldn't think of any alternative lyrics, so, unfortunate listener, I decided to have a go at singing it in Portugese. I have to stress I DON'T speak the language, although I know roughly what it sounds like. The untranslatable bit is in the title which is 'Empty Chest'. If we were in the 19th century, I'd be able to use the poetic words 'breast' or 'bosom' which would be nearer to the impact of 'peito' but... well you can't really use those words now can you?

    The lyrics tell the regular samba story of tragic saudade, and a descent into drinking but with a remarkably upbeat ending where his friends tell him to sort himself out, which he promises to do with the realization that even an immensa saudade will pass in time.

    While I was wrestling with the harmony of this song I accidentally put it into 3 time. Which isn't very samba.

    The song was written by Cartola ( . I initially heard it in a version by Roberta Sa and Ney Matogrosso .

    One of my favourite sambistas, Nelson Sargento, said a wonderfully poetic thing about Cartola, he said "Cartola never really existed: he was just a dream we had"


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