Pedro Brasil

Lyrics from “Pedro Brasil” by Djavan

Album: Seduzir (1980)


Smile at me, my Brazil, like so

Laugh long, and deep, here
Laugh here, from nothing
Don’t betray your gift for landing on your feet, just now that I wrote a song of faith
Attention: it was Pedro who discovered Brazil
It was Pedro who liberated Brazil
It was Pedro who built Brazil
Who discovered…
Who liberated…
Who built…
Who has seen so many Pedros live like this?…

With bad things in the air
Pedro up in heaven did well, learning to rain, to clear up
And today he has great power up there
But can’t do anything here,
But can’t do anything here,
But can’t do anything here…

Interpretation —

At the beginning, the song refers to Pedro Alvares Cabral, who “discovered” Brazil, and then arguably moves to Dom Pedro I, who “liberated” Brazil.  The reference to Pedro in heaven alludes to Sao Pedro, who controls the weather according to Brazilian Catholic beliefs (not sure about around the world).

The song came out in 1980, nearing the end of Brazil’s brutal military dictatorship and when censorship was lightening. The line “who has seen so many Pedros suffering” seems to make reference to Brazilians suffering during the dictatorship. This is how I interpret it but would love to hear other interpretations.

Post by Victoria Broadus (About)


About lyricalbrazil

My name is Victoria Broadus and in early 2012 I moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Brazil - first São Paulo, and now Rio de Janeiro. I began studying Portuguese while working toward a Master's degree in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University, and have since become fluent. I love Brazilian music and want to be able to share it with more people, so I'm working on translating songs to English and providing some contextual interpretation and stories about the songs and the musicians.
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