O Bêbado e a Equilibrista

This highly political song is linked to a movement demanding the amnesty of political prisoners and exiled artists during the military dictatorship. Henfil, mentioned in the lyrics, was a cartoonist whose brother, Betinho (an important sociologist), had been living in political exile. Elis Regina joined Henfil in supporting the amnesty movement which contributed to the creation of the Amnesty Law (Lei da Anistia) in August 1979, freeing political prisoners and allowing 5000 artists and intellectuals to return to Brazil.
Lyrics: Carla Cristina Music: Aldir Blanc/João Bosco Singer: Elis Regina CDs on Amazon
O Bêbado e a Equilibrista
The Drunk and the Tightrope Walker
Caía a tarde feito um viaduto E um bêbado trajando luto me lembrou Carlitos A lua tal qual a dona do bordel pedia a cada estrela fria um brilho de aluguel
Evening fell like a bridge A drunk wearing a funeral suit reminded me of Chaplin’s tramp The moon, like a brothel madam asked each cold star for a rented shine
E nuvens lá no mata-borrão do céu chupavam manchas torturadas, que sufoco louco O bêbado com chapéu coco fazia irreverências mil prá noite do Brasil, meu Brasil que sonha com a volta do irmão do Henfil com tanta gente que partiu num rabo de foguete
And clouds, up there in the blotting paper of the sky sucked tortured stains, what crazy agony The drunk wearing a bowler hat was being irreverent for Brazil’s night, my Brazil is dreaming of the return of Henfil’s brother of so many people who left on the tail of a rocket
Chora a nossa pátria mãe gentil Choram marias e clarisses no solo do Brasil Mas sei que uma dor assim pungente não há de ser inutilmente A esperança dança na corda bamba de sombrinha E em cada passo dessa linha pode se machucar Azar, a esperança equilibrista sabe que o show de todo artista tem que continuar
Our gentle mother country is crying Marias and Clarices are crying on Brazil’s soil But I know that pain this sharp won’t be in vain
Hope dances on the tightrope with an umbrella And with each step on this rope you can hurt yourself Bad luck, the balancing hope knows that each artist’s show must go on

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