The time has come. Rio Carnival 2014 is finally upon us and I have just enough time to squeeze in one more essential carnival marchinha to my growing list. Today’s classic comes from way back in 1964 (incidentally, I got my haircut yesterday and the women in the hairdressers were lamenting that no one makes new marchinhas anymore – why is that?).
I have to admit to a rather childish enjoyment of today’s song because of a naughty piece of crowd participation. But first, let’s hear an unadulterated rendition from the woman who made it famous, Emilinha Borba (remember she was the one that had a fight with another carnival singer over the affections of Orson Welles):
As usual, catchy as hell right? The song is sung by someone who is apparently being rowed (Remador is a rower) toward a meeting with his loved one. The first part goes:
Se a canoa não vira, [If the boat doesn’t turn over]
Olê olê olá, [Olê olê olá]
Eu chego lá [I’ll get there]
Now to the crowd participation bit – after the “Olê, olê, olá” line, there is an empty space in the lyrics that is just crying out to be filled. And how has everyone decided to fill that space? With a hearty shout of Filha da puta! (son of a bitch). What can I say? I’m not proud of it, but I find it fun to shout filha da puta along with 500 other people.
After my own carnival fun on a boat, I’ll leave you with some more people having fun on a boat and singing the FDP line with gusto! Bom Carnaval todo mundo!