Posted in English

Dia De S Receber

I have been listening to other Xutos and Pontapés songs after getting over my mental block with A Minha Casinha the other day, I like this one: Dia de S Receber. I’m not a catholic so the title is a little bit alien to me, but saints’ days seem to be more of a thing in Portugal than they are in britain, at least if my Twitter feed is anything to go by. the S in the title is short for Sao (“Saint”) so São Receber means “Saint Receive” and that means o Dia de Sao Receber is payday, right? I’m not wrong about that am I? I hope not or this translation is going to be a right old mess….

This is the best kind of video, by the way: It has the lyrics appearing as part of the video, not just as inaccurate subtitles, which is really helpful for us learners. If you want to find out more about them you shouldn’t find it hard: there’s loads of their stuff on Youtube, on Spotify and all the usual places. I’m sort of intrigued by a book I came across on bertrand’s website too: there’s a comic book about them with a free CD. It’s part of a series including eight well-known portuguese bands. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it but I might bung it in the basket next time I’m shopping for books, I shouldn’t be doing any such thing of course, because I’m on a book-buying ban, but it’s nearly my birthday so I might just treat myself.

Dia de S receber

Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!
Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!
Embora falar da arte / Let’s talk about art
Da arte de sobreviver / About the art of survival
Daquela que se descobre / Of what we find out
Quando não há que comer / When there’s nothing to eat
Há os que roubam ao banco / There are those who rob banks
Os que não pagam por prazer / Those who don’t pay for pleasure
Os que pedem emprestado / Those who borrow money
E os que fazem render / And those who earn money
Este dia a dia é duro / This day-to-day is hard
É duro de se levar / It’s hard to get up
É de casa pró trabalho / It’s from house to work
E do trabalho pró lar / And from work to home
Leva assim uma vida / A life could get taken up that way
Na boínha* sem pensar / Fair enough if you don’t think about it
Mas há-de chegar o dia / But the day has to come
Em que tens de me pagar / When you have to pay me
Ai é o dia / Oh** it’s the day
De S. Receber / The day of São Receber
Dia de S. Receber / Day of São Receber
Já não chega o que nos / It’s not enough what
Tiram à hora de pagar / They take from us on payday
É difícil comer solas / It’s difficult to eat
Estufadas ao jantar / stewed shoe soles for dinner
De histórias mal contadas / By badly-told stories
Anda meio mundo a viver / Half the world is living
Enquanto o outro meio / While the other half
Fica à espera de receber / Are waiting to get paid
Ai é o dia / Oh it’s the day
De S. Receber / The day of São Receber
Dia de S. Receber / Day of São Receber
Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!
Aaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii a minha vida / Oh my life!***
É assim esta diálise / That’s how it is, the dialysis****
Entre o deve e o haver / between owing and having
Sei que para o patrão custa / I know it’s hard for my boss
Enfrentar este dever / to face this duty
O dinheiro para mim não conta / Money doesn’t count for me
Eu trabalho por prazer / I work for pleasure
Mas o dia que eu mais gosto / But the day I like the best
É o dia de S. Receber / Is the day of São Receber

* You won’t find boínha in the dictionary. It’s just a diminutive though: Na boa + inha = na boínha. Ciberdúvidas says it shouldn’t have an accent but this is how I found it on the lyrics page so I’m leaving it in.

**Ai is an exclamation like “Oh!”, not to be confuised with “Aí” which means “There”. If you look at the video, it’s the same word he’s shouting at the beginning and in the middle as “AAAAAAAAIIIIII”

*** In the video, when he gets to the middle of the song at the second round of “AAAAAAAIIIIIII” etc, he adds a couple of extras in: first, a nursery rhyme called “Atirei o pau ao gato” (“I threw the stick at the cat”) which has been criticised for cruelty to animals (I wrote a blog post about this ages ago but it’s pretty much what you’d expect from people who have nothing better to do than to closely analyse nursery rhymes). Secondly, there’s a bit of swearing: “A puta da minha vida” – “My bitch of a life”, which seems to be quite a common expression. For a start, it’s used in the title of this very good collection of essays by Miguel Esteves Cardoso, which I read a few years ago when I was at B1 level and even then found very easy to read and very funny.

**** Weird word choice, this. According to Priberam it really does only have that medical meaning. I wondered if it was a misprint – maybe some other word meaning “dichotomy” or “dualism” or something but it’s right there in the video, so I asked Mrs L about it and she says yeah, it does just seem to be that idea some idea that there’s a medical procedure required to separate out the money owed and the money you have.

Posted in English, Portuguese

A Minha Casinha

Wow, well, this was going to just be another Portuguese text with footnotes but one of the footnotes sent me off down such a rabbit-hole about the origins of this song that I’ve ended up writing a whole separate blog post in English grafted onto the bottom and frankly it’s a lot more interesting than the Portuguese text. Thanks to Patis12 for help with the Portuguese parts.

Já falei do filme que eu e a minha filha vimos há uns dias – Opération Portugal. Há uma cena perto do final no qual os portugueses lutam contra os criminosos. Batem-lhes na cara com as suas pás – pumba! A banda sonora da cena é uma música famosa dos xutos e pontapés, chamada “A Minha Casinha” e os estrondos de pás contra caras sincronizam com a batida da música.

Zé Pedro of Xutos e Pontapes
Zé Pedro

Confesso que sou indiferente à canção. Seis linhas repetidas… Quantaz vezes? Quatro? Cinco? Mas a minha esposa gosta muito porque a música da nossa juventude tem sempre lugar especial nos nossos corações. Não sabia antes de começar este texto que os Xutos e Pontapés não escreveu a letra da canção: o original era parte da banda sonora dum filme dos anos quarenta do século passado chamado “O Costa* Do Castelo” Uau, que evolução imprevisível!

*= Why “O Costa”, not “A Costa”, given that Costa is a feminine noun? It’s because it’s not a noun at all, it’s the name of one of the characters in the film.

So slipping back into english, here are a few of the many manifestations of this song:

As I’ve said above, a well-known actress and singer named Maria de Lurdes de Almeida Lemos, better known as Milu sang it in a movie called O Costa do Castelo (1943) and wow, it really is almost unrecognisable. By the way, one of the commenters under the video has used an expression I mentioned a few days ago: “Nem a Grace Kelly lhe chegava aos calcanhares…”

Basically this is a very traditional song about the joys of being poor and pure at heart. This seems very much in keeping with the ethos of the dictatorship that was in place at the time.

In the eighties, Xutos e Pontapés started singing it for a laugh as a way of rounding off their shows and eventually recorded it on their album “88”. Here’s their version (they’re well into their later years in this recording, obviously)

They have stripped out the later verses about Christian humility and simplicity (neither of which is a punk virtue) and instead just taken the first verse and repeated it a few times, describing their top floor flat: “um (…) primeiro andar a contar vindo do céu” means “the first floor – if you’re counting down from the sky”, so the vibe your left with is more like a tower block anthem. This contrasts with Milu’s version which uses the same words but conjures more of a rose-tinted vision of life in a poky old house in an impoverished but proud neighbourhood in the Alfama.

The result is a pretty good anthem, as suitable for chanting on the football terraces as singing in the Coliseu.

When Metallica played Lisbon shortly after the death of Xutos’ lead guitarist Zé Pedro they chose this song as a tribute.

Xutos e Pontapés were also invited to make a video of the song to as a promo for the Spanish Netflix series A Casa De Papel (aka Money Heist)

And finally, here’s how it’s used in Operation Portugal with clanging shovels. Most of this is french of course, apart from the chant (“The people united will never be defeated”) and the soundtrack itself

Here are the lyrics:

As saudades que eu já tinha / The love I felt
Da minha alegre casinha / For my happy little house
Tão modesta quanto eu / As modest as I am
Meu Deus como é bom morar / My god, it’s good to live
Num modesto primeiro andar / On a humble first floor
A contar vindo do céu / Counting down from the sky

… And then the additional verses that were dropped from the Xutos version…

O meu quarto lembra um ninho /My bedroom is like a nest
e o seu tecto é tão baixinho / it’s cieling is so low
que eu, ao ir para me deitar, /that when I go to bed
abro a porta em tom discreto, / i open the door quietly
digo sempre: «Senhor tecto, / and say “Mr Cieling,
por favor deixe-me entrar.» / please let me come in”

Tudo podem ter os nobres / The gentry might have everything
ou os ricos de algum dia, / Or the people who happen to be rich
mas quase sempre o lar dos pobres / but almost always, poor people’s homes
tem mais alegria. / have more joy

De manhã salto da cama / In the morning I jump out of bed
e ao som dos pregões de Alfama /and to the sound of raised voices in the Alfama
trato de me levantar, / I start waking up
porque o sol, meu namorado, / because the sun, my beloved
rompe as frestas no telhado / breaks through the gaps in the roof
e a sorrir vem-me acordar. / and wakes me with a smile

Corro então toda ladina / Then I run, completely pure**
na casa pequenina, /in the little house
bem dizendo, eu sou cristão, / saying I’m a Christian
“deitar cedo e cedo erguer / “Going to bed early and rising early
dá saude e faz crescer” / makes you healthy and makes you grow”
diz o povo e tem razão. / say the people and they are right.

Tudo podem ter os nobres / The gentry might have everything
ou os ricos de algum dia, / Or the people who happen to be rich
mas quase sempre o lar dos pobres / but almost always, poor people’s homes
tem mais alegria. / have more joy

**=I’m not sure about the translation of “Ladina” meaning pure. According to Priberam, it’s an antiquated meaning, but it’s the only one that makes sense so I think it must have still be in current usage at the time the film was released.