23 May 2010

Os Mutantes - Baby

This is inspired by my favourite radio DJ, Vicky on WFMU's Do or DIY with People Like Us, who played an English version of Baby by Fantastic Plastic Machine on her first show of 2010. Like me, Vicky has a penchant for singers who use English as their second language. Here are the originals by Os Mutantes in Portuguese and English. Baby was written by Caetano Veloso (I believe he wrote both sets of lyrics) and both versions here are sung by Rita Lee.

The lyrics don't make much sense in either language because they were meant to be a parody of a certain kind of Brazilian middle class culture that was around at the time. The line It's time now to learn Portuguese... is a kind of mirror translation of Você precisa aprender inglês... (You need to learn English). There is an interesting New York Times article on Caetano Veloso's use of English on Caetano's website. It says that the Baby, baby, I love you that ends the song is a quote from Paul Anka's Diana, which is not exactly true because that line isn't in Diana. But I guess he quoted the melody.


Alice said...

I like the Portuguese version better :)

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Emily said...

Dear Hong Kong Pop Editors,

Hi! My name is Emily, and I'm helping make a documentary about the history and music of Os Mutantes. I've been googling around looking for blogs that have mentioned the band in the past, or posted their music, and I stumbled across your work. I'm writing to ask if you would be willing ask your readers and friends to visit and "like" our facebook fan page. When we reach one million likes, we will be able to attract investors to help fund the film, so every little bit helps!

Below I've attached a message from the film's director, telling you a little bit about the project. I hope you're as excited about the possibility of a movie made by, and about, the original members of Os Mutantes, and that you decide to help us out by sharing this link (and liking it yourself!)

Please let me know if you have any questions, and hey, thanks for taking the time to read this far!

Best wishes,


Dear Os Mutantes fan,

The time has come. Please join us on facebook and "like" our new page,http://www.facebook.com/pages/Os-Mutantes-The-Movie/288951281174215, as we kick off an all-out campaign to finally bring our animated film on Os Mutantes to the big screen!! If you love the music of Os Mutantes as much as we do, and feel they deserve the greatest rock 'n roll film of the 21st century, please join our crusade to turn on the entire world to this legendary band.

To show the world how many people demand to see this movie, we really need you to join our facebook page ASAP, and get this page up to a million "likes" (we know you're out there). To further entice you, I'll regularly post updates on the progress of the film, as well as lots of obscure and never-before seen footage of Os Mutantes, Tropicalia, and all things connected to the psychedelic world of Brazil in the '60s and '70s.

Our facebook page is just the beginning. We have so much exciting news to share in the months ahead. Please "like" our page, and take the first step in turning the creation of this film into a full-blown Os Mutantes movement!!

Much Love,
Jeff McCarty
Director, Bread and Circuses