Oito Anos

Oito Anos is a song written by Paula Toller, which features in her first solo album, launched in 1998. The song is a series of questions asked by her then eight-year-old son, Gabriel (she talks a bit about it in the video below).

The song was also recorded by Adriana Calcanhoto in her children’s album “Adriana Partimpim”. Below are the videos of both artists singing Oito Anos in their live concerts, followed by the lyrics and translation.


Paula Toller



Quando eu compus essa música, meu filho Gabriel tinha oito anos e agora ele tem dezoito. Daquela época pra cá,  ele já aprendeu várias coisas: o que quer dizer “impávido colosso”, por onde os filhos saem… A única coisa que ele ainda não descobriu é porque que eu sou Flamengo e o pai dele é Botafogo.
When I wrote this song, my son Gabriel was eight and now he’s eighteen. From then until now, he has learned several things: what “impávido colosso” means, where children come out from… The only thing he hasn’t been able to figure out yet is why I support Flamengo and his father supports Botafogo.

Adriana Calcanhoto


Oito Anos – Lyrics and Translation

Por que você é flamengo, e meu pai botafogo? Why do you support “Flamengo” and my dad
supports “Botafogo”?
Literally: Why are you “flamengo”, and my dad
Flamengo and Botafogo are residential
neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, famous for their
football clubs. When we refer to the team we support
we normally use the verb to be ser:
Sou Botafogo = I am Botafogo/I support Botafogo.
Here the kid doesn’t understand why his parents
support different football teams.
We can also use the verb torcer, to root for, to support:
Para que time você torce? = Which team do you

O que significa “impávido colosso”?

What does “impávido colosso” mean?
This expression features in the Brazilian National
Anthem lyrics
Impávido: fearless, courageous
Colosso: colossus, of gigantic dimensions, powerful

Por que os ossos doem enquanto a gente dorme?

Why do bones ache while we sleep?

Por que que os dentes caem?

Why do teeth fall out?

Por onde os filhos saem?

Where do children come out from?

Por que os dedos murcham quando estou no banho?

Why do the fingers get wrinkly when I’m in the
murchar: to wilt, wither, dry up

Por que as ruas enchem quando está chovendo?

Why do the streets flood when it’s raining?
encher: to fill, to become full

Quanto é mil trilhões vezes infinito?

What is a trillion times infinity?
Who is Jesus Christ?
Where are my cousins?

Well, well, well, Gabriel… / Well, well, well…

Well, well, well, Gabriel… / Well, well, well…

Por que o fogo queima?

Why does the fire burn?

Por que a lua é branca?

Why is the moon white?

Por que a terra roda?

Why does the Earth turn?

Por que deitar agora?

Why do I have to go to bed now?
deitar: to lie down

Por que as cobras matam?

Why do snakes kill?

Por que o vidro embaça?

Why do windows steam up?
(Literally: Why does the glass steam up?)
vidro: sheet or pane of glass, window glass

Por que você se pinta?

Why do you put on make-up?
(Literally: Why do you paint yourself?)

Por que o tempo passa?

Why does time go by?

Por que que a gente espirra?

Why do we sneeze?

Por que as unhas crescem?

Why do nails grow?

Por que o sangue corre?

Why does the blood flow?

correr: to run, also to flow, to circulate

Por que que a gente morre?

Why do we die?

Do que é feita a nuvem?

What are clouds made of?
(Literally: What is the cloud made of?)

Do que é feita a neve?

What is the snow made of?

Como é que se escreve… “réveillon”?

How does one spell… “réveillon”?
Brazilian sometimes use the French word “réveillon” to
refer to the New Year’s Eve party:
Onde você vai passar o Réveillon? = Where are you
going to spend New Year’s Eve?
The basic meaning of the verb escrever is to write, but
it can also be used as to spell.
But the direct translation of to spell is soletrar.
Como se soletra…? = How does one spell…?

Well, well, well, Gabriel… (x4)

Well, well, well, Gabriel… (x4)

Here are other songs by Paula Toller (and her group Kid Abelha) and Adriana Calcanhoto:

Como eu Quero

Um Dia Desses

Depois de ter você


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