Friday, August 26, 2011

Sing along in Portuguese

For some of you it will be difficult to believe but from time to time I sing in duets with Gloria Estefan or Julio Iglesias. I know you hate Julio, but... My duets are not real, you know. Nonetheless I like to call them that way. The truth is I sing along with them in Portuguese! How come?

One of the way to practice a language I learn – that's my way and I'm sure some of you also do it – is to learn and sing songs in a given language. Sometimes they are original versions, like for example songs of Tony Carreira. Sometime they are just Portuguese versions of the songs by famous singers. Below I compiled a short list of such songs. In fact, there are no many of them. Perhaps someone will be able to add new elements to this list.

Ricky Martin: „Já não há distância”
It comes from the soundtrack to the Portuguese version of the movie „Hercules”. It was recorded originally as „Go The Distance” by Michael Bolton. Ballad, nothing special.

George Michael: „Desafinado”
Recorded as a duet with Astrud Gilberto. Released on „Ladies & Gentlemen. The Best of George Michael” (2 CD set) as well as on the CD single „Older”. „Desafinado” means roughly „tuneless” or „off key”. It's a very beautiful ballad.

Gloria Estefan: „Toda Pra Você”
She recorded the Portuguese version of her hit single „Here We Are”. In fact it doesn't have a Portuguese title on its own. It was released on her greatest hits album „Exitos de Gloria Estefan” as „Here We Are” (Portuguese version). The title „Toda Pra Você” means "All of Me For You".

Andrea Bocelli: „O mare e tu”
Italian tenor recorded this song as a duet with Dulce Pontes, a famous and popular Portuguese singer. While she sings in Portuguese, he does his parts in Italian. The title means „You And the Sea”. It's a very enchanting song. One of my favorites.

Nelly Furtado
Although of the Portuguese descent, she doesn't record much in Portuguese. There were times when she sung more in this language, e.g. „Sozinho” („Alone”) or „Onde Estás” („Where You Are”). The latter was released as a bonus track on her first album „Whoa. Nelly!” in some regions.
(It's worth mentioning here that in 2005 she released the whole album in Spanish, „Mi plan”.)
„Força” was a single from her second album „Folklore” (and later included on „The Best of...”). It was a theme song for Euro 2004. Only a chorus is sung in Portuguese. Verses are performed in English.
In 2006 she released „Loose”. One of the most beautiful songs on this album, „All Good Things (Come To An End”), was re-recorded for the Brazilian market. Nelly sings the English part, while DiFerrero does his part in Portuguese.

Julio Iglesias
You don't have to like him. Well, many people just hate him, including Spaniards for whom listening to him means but a shame. He recorded a whole album in Portuguese, titled „Ao meu Brasil”. It contains 13 songs, most of them just translations of his Spanish hits, amongst them „História de amor” („Derroche”), „Viver a vida” („Gozar la vida”) or „Pelo amor de uma mulher” („Por el amor de una mujer”).

The Colombian singer recorded some tracks in Portuguese. I managed to find only three of them: “Estou aqui” („Here I Am”), “Um pouco de amor” („A Little Bit Of Love”) and “Pés descalços” (“Bare feet”).


The Polish female singer Kayah recorded a duet with Cesaria Evora (yes, with her!). It's titled „Embarcação” („Boat”). It's performed in Portuguese, including Kayah's part. It was released on her album „JakaJaKayah”. It was also included on „Cesaria Evora &” (containg duets) and on „The Very Best of Cesaria Evora”.

Some artists tried to sing at least a few lines in Portuguese during their world tours. Among them were:
Beyoncé – she sang „Perfeição existe” („Perfection exists”) while touring in Brazil.
Madonna – she sang a very short tune „Bunda suja” („Dirty ass”) during a concert in Rio as part of her „Girlie Show Tour” in 1993.

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