De: Jorge Ben Jor

By: Jorge Ben Jor





Jesualda parou com o morro

Jesualda left the hills

Pois ela estava no alto

Since she was up high

Mas não estava por cima

But, didn’t want to be up there

Moça simpática prendada ano ginasial completo

A nice girl, gifted at a completely virginal age.

Toda certinha ainda donzela

All too certain, yet a donzela (a kind of back hills princess)

Prá ninguém botar defeito

That no one can put a fault

Cheia de afeto

Full of affection

Desceu pra ver de perto o asfalto quente

Came down to see up close the hot asphalt

Sentir a brisa e a água salgada do mar

To feel the breeze and the salt water of the sea

Molhando seu corpo delgado

Wetting her delicate body

Procurou um emprego e achou

Looked for a job and thought


Foi trabalhar num duplex na zona sul


I’m going to work in a duplex in the southern zone (an area of matchbox housing developments in 1970’s Brazil)

De cozinheira de forno e fogão

Became a cook over an oven and fire

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Na flor da idade

In the flower of her age

Tão pura tão linda tão meiga

So pure, so beautiful so sweet

No ponto do ônibus

At a bus stop

Num domingo à tarde

On a Sunday afternoon

Sua felicidade pintou

Her happiness was painted

Pois um moço simpatico

Since a nice boy

Que ia no seu carro meio apressado

That came up in his car in the middle of the street

Com bandeira e tudo

With the flag and everything

Com bandeira e tudo ao Maracanã

With the flag and everything to the Maracanã (a soccer stadium)

No que olhou pro lado, parou

Upon seeing her on the other side, he stopped

Saltou levou um papo

Jumped out, raised the hood

E a linda simpática donzela ele amarrou

And the nice, pretty donzela, he married.

Hoje Jesualda é feliz

Today Jesualda is happy

Casou de véu e grinalda

Cloaked in veil and garland

E agora espera baby

And now has hope baby

Espera baby no exterior

Has hope baby out there

Espera baby no exterior

Has hope baby out there

Salve simpatia

Keep on with it (literally save the sympathy)




Notice the similarities in Brazilian culture and that of America, revealed in this song. Jesualda is a country girl that meets and marries a ‘hip’ city man.  This song might seem kinda corny upon reading the translation, still to me, it expresses things about Brazilian culture that are quite close  to our own. The guy is an advent soccer fan and flies the soccer stadium flag. What American can’t identify with sports mania?  Jesualda is confident she can find a better life down below in the city.  Don’t Americans travel for the same reasons. And finally she has hope, he uses the English word 'baby', as is characteristic of him. He often mixes English words in his Portuguese verse to my great annoyance. His use of English is usually out of context and difficult to effect an accurate translation, but if he likes English, and he does as many of his songs show, then let him do it.


Salve Simpatia Jorge!