Posts Tagged ‘tradução inglês canto das três raças’

The Brazilian People’s Song: Canto das três raças

June 8, 2020

Translation into English of the famous Samba song about the struggle of the Brazilian people.

Canto das três raças > The song of the three races

Ninguém ouviu > No one heard
Um soluçar de dor > a sob of pain
No canto do Brasil > in the Song of Brazil

Um lamento triste > A sad mourn
Sempre ecoou > always echoed,
Desde que o índio guerreiro > ever since the Native warrior
Foi pro cativeiro > was enslaved;
E de lá cantou > and from where he sang

Negro entoou > The Black Man sang in tune
Um canto de revolta pelos ares > a song of rebellion ignited
No Quilombo dos Palmares > in the Palmares Free Settlement
Onde se refugiou > where he found refuge

Fora a luta dos Inconfidentes > And in the Inconfidentes Independence Uprising
Pela quebra das correntes > to break the chains
Nada adiantou > Nothing was gained

E de guerra em paz > From war to peace and
De paz em guerra > from peace to war
Todo o povo dessa terra > All the people of this land
Quando pode cantar > whenever they can sing,
Canta de dor > they sing in pain

Canto das três raças has profound lyrics and melody which resonate in your soul. It’s a song performed by Clara Nunes, a famous Samba singer, who was known as the Queen of Samba by many.

The song was written in the mid 1970s by Paulo Cesar Pinheiro and he composed it with Mauro Duarte. I found no information about Mauro Duarte in English that you can open in a link, but from what I read in Portuguese, he was a gifted musician who settled in Rio de Janeiro at an early age, a city that is known to be a hotbed of Samba.

Pinheiro, a writer, poet and composer, who is still alive today, is of White, Native and African ancestry, which is why he named the song of “the Three Races,” which he considered at the time to be the “fundamental races of Brazil.” According to information I found online, in one of his books, he says the song was “born out of that interbreeding of the three races; from the strong nostalgia of the white colonizer, from the fatal fear the black man felt by being away from his land (banzo africano), and out of the native man’s suffering.”

The word banzo is an African word which is also found in American English slang.

I’m not the first to translate this famous song into English and neither does my translation pretend to be the best out there. My translation is not literal and takes context and rhyme into account.

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa


Diccionário Universal Milénio Língua Portuguesa, Lisboa 1999, Texto Editora

Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Vinícius Vieira ft on