January 20, 2010

Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil//Cada Macaco no Seu Galho

I just figured, since you were already dancing, I'd let you keep dancing.

Caetano Veloso, singer, songwriter and political activist, is amazing across the board. He's from the state of Bahia (mentioned in this song), which is the heartland of awesome Brazilian music and rhythm (and a place I would really like to visit someday). He moved to Rio in the late 60s, in hopes of breaking into the Bossa Nova scene. Instead, he helped find The Tropicalismo Movement (Tropicalia). Thanks, guy. That was a way more awesome thing for you to do.

In 1968, Veloso was arrested for "disrespect(ing) the national anthem and the Brazilian flag." In 1969, Veloso (and Gilberto Gil, who is also featured on this song) went into exile after threats by Brazil's then-totalitarian government about what would happen if they played music in the country. They moved to London and did not return to Brazil until 1973, when the political situation had eased.

I think the dedication shown by this man to his art is really outstanding. When someone told him he was not able to compose and perform (political) music, he left the country instead of backing down. Admirable and courageous. It's so interesting to contrast the craft and politics of Bob Dylans and the Caetanos with the sleazy fame-seeking drama of American Idol Winners; perfect representations in the never-ending battle of art vs. entertainment.

According to babelfish, the title of this song translates to "Each Monkey in Its Twig." I'm thinking this is wrong and that it probably translates to "Each Monkey in Its Branch" or "Tree." I used to have many full translations of Tropicalia songs and I really wish I still had them, because the lyrics of these tracks are as sharp and clever as the music is original and engaging.

Cada Macaco no Seu Galho.mp3

Each monkey in its own twig?


Raissa said...

Just so you know, it really is Each monkey in it's twig. Twig is the most accurate translation to galho, but that's because in portuguese we don't have a specific word for branch. This sentence is a popular saying, the meaning is kind of each person takes cares of it's own business.

And you have a wonderful blog, I'm having fun discovering some new songs =)

g said...

Hey Raissa,

Thanks for clearing this up for us. I had a feeling it was just something that didn't translate quite right.

Also, thanks for reading!


itsgderic said...

The DJ Tom Croose made a remix of this song... I rather like both versions :)


itsgderic said...

The DJ Tom Croose made a remix of this song...


I rather like both!