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Lelé's Capoeira Blog

Sereno eu caio

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Sereno eu caio
sereno eu caio
ô ralo a tampa do cumbuco do balaio
quero papai, quero mamãe, quero dindinha
quero agulha, quero a dedal e quero linha
rapaz oi que tenha dinheiro
a moça que garante os cabelos
cascavel de vareta
danado pra bater chocalho
Papai só roça caminho
quando é tempo de aruvalho (aruvalho = orvalho)
aê aê aê aô
aê aê
aê aô
aê aê aê aô
aê aê aê aô

This song starts with ‘Sereno eu caio’, which means ‘dew, I fall’, but sereno also means ‘light rain’, or just serene. Cumbuco is a cow or bull whose horns point at each other, and also a place, tampa is lid/cover, balaio means various things including a weave basket. I can’t quite make sense of that sentence, even in Portuguese, but it just sounds great when sang, it has a lovely rhythm to it. It makes me think of someone working hard, because ‘ralo’, ralar, means to work hard, graft, but it also means ‘to grate’.

“quero agulha, quero a dedal e quero linha” – these all the ingredients needed for sewing… needle, thimble and thread.

‘rapaz oi que tenha dinheiro’ (in other versions “sou rapaz, não tenho dinheiro” – I’m a lad, I have no money), ‘nem moça que garante os cabelos’ or a girl who, well, I guess that’s some euphemism for him not having a girlfriend and being skint…

‘cascavel de vareta’ and ‘danado pra bater chocalho’, I think that just means he plays the berimbau very well and he’s a keen musician 🙂

“Papai só roça caminho, quando é tempo de aruvalho” – I think this means his father only ploughs the way/land when it’s the time of the year of light rain.

This song may have been written by Mestre Gato Preto, or could be public domain; either way he’s the mestre first heard singing it, according to my ‘sources’ (Mestre Poncianinho and SJ) 😉

Bonus video, Mestre Pernalonga singing and playing, then CM Rafael singing (whom I met on trip to Guara in 2015):

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