Lyrics from Sasaci-Pererê by Jorge Ben (1982)


Sasaci Sasaci Pererê
Saci, Saci Pererê
Pula, brinca e joga// Jump joke play
Que eu quero ver //That’s what I want to see

Toda turma vai querer fazer // Every gang is gonna want to make
Uma aposta com você// A bet with you
E essa aposta // And that bet
Você vai ter que ganhar // You’re gonna have to win
Não pode perder não pode perder // You can’t lose, you can’t lose

Sasaci Sasaci Pererê
Saci, Saci Pererê
Pula, brinca e joga // Jump joke play
Que eu quero ver //That’s what I want to see

Pererê, Pererê// Pererê, Pererê
Toda turma vai querer // Every gang’s gonna want
Que você aposte //You to bet
O seu cachimbo e seu chapéu mágico// Your pipe and your magic hat
Contra uma torta de jiló // For a pie of jiló,
Melancia e alho //Watermelon and garlic
Cuidado Saci, cuidado com a touca// Careful Saci, careful with the your cap
Treine bem e não se compromete// Train well, and don’t take risks
Pois esta aposta consiste// Because this bet consists
Em que você ande pelo sítio de patinete// Of you skating around the farm!

— Interpretation —

The beloved tale of Pedrinho and the Saci he captured - by Monteiro Lobato.

The beloved tale of Pedrinho and the Saci he captured – by Monteiro Lobato.

o_saciHalloween keeps getting bigger in Brazil. But since 2003, October 31 has officially been “Dia do Saci,” in honor of the little one-legged rascal from Brazilian folklore. Saci is never without his magic red sock hat and pipe; he lost his leg playing capoeira, and can’t stop getting into mischief. Legend has it that he lives in whirlwinds and can be caught with a net; upon capture, his hat must be removed to ensure his obedience! Sacis are rumored to be born in bamboo shoots, where they live for seven years before emerging to wreak playful havoc for the next seventy-seven years. When they die, they turn into mushrooms.

In 1982, Jorge Ben wrote and recorded the song “Sasaci Pererê” for the TV special Pirlimpimpim, named after “pirlimpim powder,” a kind of fairy dust that Monteiro Lobato included in his stories. Monteiro Lobato was perhaps Brazil’s most beloved children’s writer, and in 1982 Brazil celebrated his centenary. One of Monteiro Lobato’s most treasured stories is about a little boy, Pedrinho, who managed to capture a Saci.

Saci Day was declared in Brazil’s Federal Law 2.762, in 2003, part of a bill presented by Rio de Janeiro’s deputy Chico Alencar (PSOL) in an effort to celebrate Brazilian folklore rather than traditions imported from abroad – in this case, the celtic celebration of Halloween, imported from the United States.


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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