Monday, May 23, 2011

Here is the translation of Mae Preta

Mae Preta is a story written in Brazil about the treatment of the Black slaves. It was a poem turned to music for the Portuguese movie "The Lovers of the Tagus" which Amalia Rodrigues was supposed to sing. Because the lyrics referred to Portuguese dictator Salazar's background, the melody was kept but the lyrics were changed to "Barco Negro" (Black Boat). Amalia Rodrigues made this song famous. Black Boat is about a fisherman who dies at sea but his boat returns empty. His widow refuses to beleive he is dead because the boat dances in the sea. Amalia Rodrigues recorded Barco Negro and Dulce Pontes later recorded Mae Preta.

Wrinkled skin, white curly hair
Lace blouse down to the hips
Rocking the cradle of the Master's son
which not too long ago the Mistress gave birth to
Thus the Black mother carried on
Bringing up all the Whites (children) with much joy
But while in the slave's quarter's her little Black son was being flogged
Black mother not a tear did she dry
Black mother, Black mother
While the whip lashed at her beloved
Black mother cradled the Master's White son

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