“Falando de amor” by Tom Jobim (1979)
Dialogue until minute 1:08:
Song without dialogue:
If I were able for a day, this love, this joy
I swear I’d give you – if I were able – this love every day
Come close, come without fear, come closer my sweet-heart
Come listen to this secret hidden in a choro song
If only you knew how I like your scent, your flower-like way
You wouldn’t deny a little kiss to he who’s lost in love
Cry, flute; cry, pine; I, your singer, cry
Cry gently, so quietly, in this choro speaking of love
When you pass by, so beautiful, on this sunbathed road
My soul grows afflicted, and I forget even football
Come in a hurry, come without fear
It was for you, my sweet-heart, that I kept this secret
Hidden in a choro song, deep down in my heart
— Interpretation —
Tom Jobim began this song in Hotel Adams in New York, where he was on honeymoon in 1978 with his second wife, Ana Lontra Jobim. He dedicated the song to Ana, whom he had met two years earlier in 1976, when she was nineteen years old. Ana spent the final seventeen years of Tom’s life with him, and they had two children together, João Franciso (1979-1998) and Maria Luiza (born 1987). Ana recalls that Tom enthusiastically declared Maria Luiza an “artistic genius” shortly after her birth; he forbade Ana from enrolling her in any art programs lest they corrupt her talent. João Fransisco died tragically at eighteen, when he crashed the car he’d been given two weeks earlier as a graduation present from Ana.
Luiz Roberto Oliveira claims a small role in these lyrics, recounting that he visited Tom at his mother Nilza Jobim’s home in Leblon in 1978 and found Tom struggling to finalize the lyrics to this song. Tom wasn’t happy with the line “chora flauta, chora pinho” (above: “cry flute, cry pine” — pine is used in portuguese as slang for guitar), in part because he thought chora pinho sounded like one word – chorapinho. But Oliveira recalls telling Tom that the line sounded fine, and so Tom left it as it was.
In the first clip above, Tom presents Falando de amor to his longtime partner Chico Buarque as a potential song for Chico to record, describing it as “that kind of Brazilian song that cries and laughs, laughs and cries.” (To read about the friendship and partnership between Tom and Chico, you can see the posts for Retrato em branco e preto – the first song they composed together, Sabiá and Piano na Mangueira.) The song is a choro canção (alternatively known as samba-choro) in the same genre as Pixinguinha’s “Carinhoso.” Choro means “cry” in Portuguese, and Tom played around with that in the lyrics: “Cry, flute; cry, pine; I, your singer, cry/ Cry gently, so quietly, in this choro speaking of love.” Tom recorded Falando de amor for his album Terra Brasilis, released in 1980.
Lyrics in Portuguese
Se eu pudesse por um dia
Esse amor, essa alegria
Eu te juro, te daria
Se pudesse esse amor todo dia
Chega perto, vem sem medo
Chega mais meu coração
Vem ouvir esse segredo
Escondido num choro canção
Se soubesses como eu gosto
Do teu cheiro, teu jeito de flor
Não negavas um beijinho
A quem anda perdido de amor
Chora flauta, chora pinho
Choro eu o teu cantor
Chora manso, bem baixinho
Nesse choro falando de amor
Quando passas, tão bonita
Nessa rua banhada de sol
Minha alma segue aflita
E eu me esqueço até do futebol
Vem depressa, vem sem medo
Foi pra ti meu coração
Que eu guardei esse segredo
Escondido num choro canção
Lá no fundo do meu coração
Main source for this post: Tom Jobim: Histórias de Canções by Wagner Homem and Luiz Roberto Oliveira.
6 thoughts on “Falando de amor”
thanks for this – it’s helpful as always …
Muito bom, escolheu bem a música!
That is indeed a beautiful song.
Thanks for this brief history and exploration. I’ve come to think of this as his most perfect, beautiful melody—it’s like pure longing, distilled. I had been curious to know more about the song and its origins; your site is the first that I was able to find with any detailed information.
Thanks so much Jeff!!!