Quebra milho como gente / É macaco
It breaks corn like us / It’s a monkey
- Maculelê is another Brazilian dance form with African roots.
Ô meu mano, o que foi que tu viu lá
Eu vi capoeira matando, o meu Deus, também vi maculelê
Oh my brother, what was it you saw there
I saw capoeira killing, oh my God, I also saw maculelê
Mãe (or mamãe)
- Mother, mommy.
Minha mãe chama Maria, lavadeira de Maré
My mother is named Maria, a washer-woman of Maré
- Great, greater, greatest.
Na roda de capoeira, Mestre Pastinha é o maior
In the capoeira roda, Mestre Pastinha is the greatest
Cruz credo, Ave Maria
Quanto mais eu cantava ninguém respondia
Holy cross, Hail Mary
The more I sang, no one responded
- See Humaitá.
- Cunning, craftiness, cleverness.
É de manhã, Idalina tá me chamando
It’s morning, Idalina is calling me
- A village in the Brazilian state of Bahia, made famous by the exploits of Besouro. According to the inhabitants, the village’s name came from the gypsies who used to pass through there, who would yell Amarra a cangalha! ("harness the ox to the cart!") in order to prepare their animals for journeys. The slaves used to imitate this shout in order to mock the gypsies, and the village eventually became known as Maracangalha.
Mataram Besouro em Maracangalha
Contra faca de ticum, toda mandinga falha
They killed Besouro in Maracangalha
All magical protection fails against a knife made of ticum
- A cultural celebration that comes from the coronation of the Reis do Congo ("Kings of the Congo," slaves who were put in leadership positions). It involves a parade with drummers, singers, dancers, and characters in costume. During the procession, the calungá (a sacred doll representing tribal deities) is carried by the Lady-in-Waiting of the cortege. In Brazil, maracatu is mainly found in the northeastern state of Pernambuco.
Capoeira capu / Maculelê Maracatu
Não é karatê, não é kung-fu
Capoeira capu / Maculelê Maracatu
It's not karate, it's not kung-fu
- Wasp, hornet.
Onde tem marimbondo / É zum zum zum
Wherever there’s a wasp / It’s zoom zoom zoom
- To send, to send for.
Avisa meu mano, capoeira de angola mandou me chamar
Tell my brother, capoeira de angola sent for me
- Magic. The word comes from the Mandinga region of Western Africa, which was believed to be home to powerful sorcerers.
Quem não pode com mandinga não carrega patuá
Whoever can’t handle the magic, doesn’t carry a protection amulet
Mandingueiro - Mandingueira
- Someone skilled in the art of mandinga, a sorcerer, a clever guy.
Iê, é mandingueiro, camará
He’s a mandingueiro, comrade
Ô Dona Alice não me pegue não
Não me pegue, não me agarre, não me ponha a mão
Oh Ms. Alice, don’t grab me, no
Don’t grab me, don’t clutch me, don’t put your hand on me
Saia do mar, saia do mar marinheiro
Leave from the sea, leave from the sea, sailor
Maré, maré / Maré da beira mar
Tide, tide / Tide of the seaside
A canoa virou, marinheiro
The canoe overturned, sailor
Capoeira balança mas não cai
The capoeirista sways but doesn’t fall
- A type of earth that is like clay; it is normally black and especially well-suited to the cultivation of sugarcane.
Quem não sabe andar
Pisa no massapé escorrega
Whoever doesn't know how to walk
Steps on the clay and slips
Vou entrar na mata, vou tirar madeira
I will enter the forest, I will take out wood
- To kill.
Canarinho de Alemanha que matou meu curió
Little German canary that killed my songbird
A onça morreu, o mato é meu
The jaguar died, the underbrush is mine
- Berimbau with a medium-sized cabaça; its role is to invert the rhythm of the gunga.
- Better, best.
Eu jogo capoeira, mas meu mestre é melhor
I play capoeira, but my master is better
Menino - Menina
- Boy, girl.
O menino chorou / Nhem nhem nhem
The boy cried / Nyah nyah nyah
- A historical market in the city of Salvador where slaves were once sold. Today, the market is home to artisans and merchants selling artwork, musical instruments, and souvenirs. There have been daily capoeira rodas at the Mercado Modelo for over 50 years.
Quando chego no Mercado Modelo,perto do amanhecer
Já tem muita gente me esperando, perguntando,
”Negão, que vai fazer?”
When I arrive at the Mercado Modelo, just after dawn
There are already many people waiting for me, asking,
“Dude, what are you going to do?”
Ô mestre, ô mestre / Todo mundo quer ser mestre
Oh master, oh master / Everyone wants to be a master
Meu - Minha
- My, mine.
Ô me dá meu dinheiro, ô me dá meu dinheiro, valentão
Give me my money, give me my money, tough guy
Minha sereia, rainha do mar, não deixa meu barco virar
My mermaid, queen of the sea, don’t let my boat overturn
- Boy, kid, street urchin. The word comes from an African language and means “boy,” but in Brazil it came to have the pejorative connotation of a street kid who steals things, makes trouble, and throws stones at the houses of respectable residents. It also came to refer to an adult with the same qualities.
É tu que é moleque / Moleque é tu
You’re the moleque / You’re the moleque
- To bite.
Olha a cobra lhe morde / Senhor São Bento
The snake bites you / Lord Saint Benedict
- Girl with dark skin or dark hair.
Leva morena me leva, me leva pro seu bangalô
Take me, girl, take me; take me to your bungalow
- To die.
Quando eu morrer, disse Besouro
Não quero choro e nem vela
When I die, said Besouro
I don’t want weeping or candles
Muito - Muita
- Much, many, lots, very.
Muitos anos se passaram, o negro sempre a lutar
Many years passed, the black man always battling
Jogue comigo com muito cuidado
Play with me very carefully
Capoeira é pra homem, menino, e mulher
Capoeira is for men, women, and children
Ô que mundo velho e grande / Ô que mundo enganador
What a big, old world / What a deceptive world