Portuguese Language Blog

Music to listen to (Part III) – Elza Soares Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Entertainment, Music, Video

Ouvir música (listening to music) can be a relaxing and stimulating activity. When it comes to developing language skills, music is also educational! Today’s pick is Brazilian great diva Elza Soares.

Known as the Brazilian Tina Turner, the grammy-nominated samba singer nasceu (was born) in the ‘30s in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Elza Soares led a successful yet tragic life: she was first discovered in a singing contest in the ‘60s and her career now spans over sessenta anos (sixty years). Her rise to stardom was marked by poverty, hunger, a number of marriages (including one with the soccer idol Garrincha) and quatro (four) children. Dona (Owner) of a deep, husky voice which tornou-se (became) her trademark feature, Elza’s fierce style matches her intense and energetic performances. The artist was elected singer of the Millennium by London’s BBC and Louis Armstrong, whom she conheceu (met) at the 1962 World Cup, famously alleged that the singer has a saxophone in her throat.

Se acaso você chegasse (1961)

Her first single and a classic, notable for its use of scat:

Se acaso você chegasse

If you happened to come

No meu chateau e encontrasse

In my chateau and found

Aquela mulher que você gostou

That woman you liked

Será que tinha coragem

Would you have courage

De trocar nossa amizade

To trade our friendship

Por ela que já lhe abandonou?

For her who has abandoned you?


Eu falo porque essa dona

I say this because this lady

Já mora no meu barraco

Already lives in my shack

À beira de um regato

On the edge of a stream

E de um bosque em flor

And a grove in bloom

De dia me lava a roupa

She washes my clothes by day

De noite me beija a boca

Kisses my mouth by night

E assim nós vamos vivendo de amor

And so we’re living on love


A Bossa Negra (1961)

Her second album and a milestone work. Influenced by Jazz, it blends bossa nova with elements from black music, earning her many positive reviews:  

Mulher do Fim do Mundo (2015)

Elza’s latest and widely-acclaimed record. A potent work about sex, death, being black, violence and urban life:

If you’re interested in more songs, you can go to YouTube and other music streaming services for more of her albums, or watch her documentary “My name is now” at www.itcanal.com.br/mynameisnow

Curtiram? (Did you like it?) Espero que possam ouvir no fim de semana! (I hope you get to listen to it this weekend!)


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  1. Melany:

    I really enjoyed this post about Elza Soares. Thank you!

    • carol:

      @Melany That’s so great to hear, Melany! I’m glad you enjoyed it 😀