you're listening to...
Fado, Portugal, Portuguese (Português)

“Barco Negro” (Amàlia Rodrigues)

Country: Portugal
Language: Portuguese (Português)
Genre: Fado
Peformed by: Amália Rodrigues in the film Les Amants du Tage (1955)
“Barco Negro” performed by Amàlia Rodrigues in Cannes, 1962 (YouTube)

Guitar Chords: Capo 2
part 1: A  A  E7 A
A  A7  A7  D
A        A7  D
E  A  E7   A
part 2:  E7   A   B7 – Bm  E7  A
part 3:  D  Dm  A

“Barco Negro”

De manhã, que medo, que me achasses feia
Acordei, tremendo, deitada na areia
Mas logo os teus olhos disseram que não,
E o sol penetrou no meu coração.

Vi depois, numa rocha, uma cruz,
E o teu barco negro dançava na luz
Vi teu braço acenando, entre as velas já soltas
Dizem as velhas da praia, que não voltas:

São loucas, são loucas

Eu sei, meu amor,
Que nem chegaste a partir,
Pois tudo, em meu redor,
Me diz que estás sempre comigo

No vento que lança areia nos vidros
Na água que canta, no fogo mortiço
No calor do leito, nos bancos vazios
Dentro do meu peito, estás sempre comigo.

“Black Boat” (English translation by ORS, 2010)

In the morning, what fear that you should find me ugly
I woke up, trembling, lying in the sand
But soon your eyes said no
And the sun penetrated into my heart

I saw later, on a rock, a cross
And your black boat was dancing on the light
I saw your arm beckoning, between the sails already loose
The old ladies of the beach say that you don’t return

They are crazy, they are crazy

I know, my love,
That you didn’t just arrive to leave
After all, all around me,
I’m told that you are always with me

In the wind that launches sand into the glass
In the water that sings, in the dull fire
In the heat of the bed, in the vacant benches
In my chest, you are always with me


Achar – to find, to think
Acordar – to wake up
Tremer – to tremble; tremendo is the gerund “trembling” but is homonym for the adjective “tremendous”
Deitar – to go to bed, to lie down to sleep
A rocha – rock, crag
O barco – boat
Acenar – to beckon, wave
A vela – a sail, also a candle
Soltar – to loosen, set free
A velha – an old female, sometimes pejorative; related to adjective velho “old”
Chegar – to arrive
O redor – the surroundings
Lançar – to launch, throw
O vidro – the glass, fiberglass, bottle
O fogo – the fire
Mortiço – dull, lifeless
O leito – bed
O banco – bench, also bank (financial)


1.  Comparison of Spanish and Portuguese vocabulary and morphology

English                        Portuguese                        Spanish

EI , E, IE

Ugly                                    feio                                    feo
Sand                                    a areia                        la arena
Always                        sempre                        siempre
Wind                                    o vento                        el viento
Bed                                     o leito                                    el lecho
Chest                                    o peito                        el pecho

O , UE, OU

Then                                     logo                                    luego
Later                                    depois                                    después
After, well                        pois                                    pues
Fire                                    o fogo                                    el fuego
Crazy                                    louco                                    loco
Everything                        tudo                                    todo

LH, J, L

Eye                                    o olho                                    el ojo
Candle                                    a velha                        la vela
Old                                    velho                                    viejo
Ç , Z , C

To say                                    dizer                                    decir
Heart                                    o coração                        el corazón
Arm                                    o braço                        el brazo
Empty                                    vazio                                    vacío


To arrive                        chegar                                    llegar

Morning                        a manhã                        la mañana
Rock                                    a rocha                        la roca
Beach                                    a praia                        la playa
Glass                                    o vidro                        el vidrio

2.  Preposition + Article Contractions

One of features which distinguishes both written and spoken Portuguese from Spanish is the heavy usage of contractions between prepositions and articles in Portuguese.  Typically these will occur in highly regular patterns with the prepositions em (in), de (of), a (to), and por (for) and variety of articles, definite (o, a, os, as ; “the”), indefinite (um, uma, uns, umas; “a, an, some”), demonstrate (este, esta, estes, estas “this, these”; esse, essa, esses, essas “that, those”; aquele, aquela, aqueles, aquelas “that, those”) .  First, the examples from the song:

“deitada na areia” (lying in the sand; na = em + a “in the”)

“o sol penetrou no meu coração” (the sun penetrated into my heart; no = em + o “in the”)

“vi depois numa rocha uma cruz” (I saw later a cross on a rock; numa = em + uma “on a”)

“No vento que lança areia nos vidros” (In the wind that launches sand in the glasses; nos = em + os “in the”)

“dizem as velhas da praia que…” (the old ladies of the beach say that…; da = de + a “of the”)

“Dentro do meu peito” (Inside of my chest; do = de + o of the”)

The basic constructions are as follows:

Em (in) –> n +article; ex, em + um = num (in a)
De (of) –> d + article; ex, de + este = deste (of this)
A (to) –> a or àˆ+ article; ex a + a = à (to the)
Por (for, by) –> pel + article; ex, por + as = pelas (by the)

Note that such contractions do exist “officially” in written Spanish with al (a el, “to the”) and del (de el , “of the”).


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: