Maracangalha

Lyrics to “Maracangalha” by Dorival Caymmi (1956)



Good Audio Version (Dorival Caymmi)

I’m going to Maracangalha, I’m going
I’m going in a white uniform, I’m going
I’m going in a straw hat, I’m going
I’m going to invite Anália, I’m going
If Anália doesn’t want to go, I’ll go alone, I’ll go alone, I’ll go alone!
If Anália doesn’t want to go, I’ll go alone, I’ll go alone, I’ll go alone – without Anália –
But I’ll go! (3x)

— Interpretation —

Dorival Caymmi recorded "Maracangalha" for Odeon Records in 1956.
Dorival Caymmi recorded “Maracangalha” for Odeon Records in 1956.


Maracangalha
 is a little hamlet in Dorival Caymmi’s home state of Bahia.  Caymmi’s good friend Zezinho used to do business at a sugar mill there, Cinco Rios, and began using the excuse “I’m going to Maracangalha” whenever he left home and didn’t feel like telling his wife where he was going.

Dorival Caymmi, in his white shirt and straw hat
Dorival Caymmi, in his white shirt and straw hat.

Caymmi remembered this story one day in 1955 when he was at his apartment in São Paulo painting a self-portrait. (Caymmi was an avid painter; the background painting for this site is by him.) He began to sing the phrase “Eu vou para Maracangalha,” and quickly put together lyrics and music about a man who says he’s off to Maracangalha wearing a white suit and straw hat – traditional samba garb – and with a woman on his arm, if she should choose to join. As Caymmi sang to himself, his neighbor Cenira came to the window to ask Caymmi’s wife, Stella, about the pretty little tune he was singing. Caymmi told them both that he was writing a song about a guy who goes out to have fun — “He’s going to Maracangalha, and he’s going to invite Anália,” he explained. Cenira asked why he wasn’t inviting Cenira, rather than Anália. But Cenira didn’t fit with the rhythm of the song, so Caymmi begged forgiveness — Anália would be invited, this time.

Hamlet of Maracangalha in São Sebastião do Passé, Bahia.
Hamlet of Maracangalha in São Sebastião do Passé, Bahia.

Dorival Caymmi was known for taking months or years to perfect his sambas. He took nine years to finish João Valentão, for instance. But this one came to him all at once that afternoon. He put it aside until the next year, when he returned to Rio de Janeiro and recorded it at Odeon records. The song achieved instant success. It became a Carnaval hit the next year, 1957, and with its playfully rebellious spirit it continues to be among the most well-known and best-loved sambas.

Lyrics in Portuguese

Eu vou prá Maracangalha
Eu vou!
Eu vou de liforme branco
Eu vou!
Eu vou de chapeu de palha
Eu vou!
Eu vou convidar Anália
Eu vou!
Se Anália não quiser ir
Eu vou só!
Eu vou só!
Eu vou só!
Se Anália não quiser ir
Eu vou só!
Eu vou só!
Eu vou só sem Anália
Mas eu vou!…(3x)

Eu vou só!…(16x)

Main source for this post: A Canção no Tempo: 85 anos de músicas brasileiras, vol 1: 1901-1957, by Jairo Severiano and Zuza Homem de Mello

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