Refém da Solidão

Lyrics from “Refém da Solidão” by Baden Powell & Paulo César Pinheiro (1970)

Quem da solidão fez seu bem // Anyone who’s chosen solitude for their darling
Vai terminar seu refém // Will end up its hostage
E a vida pára também // And life stops too
Não vai nem vem // Neither comes nor goes
Vira uma certa paz // Just becomes some kind of peace
Que não faz nem desfaz // That neither does nor undoes
Tornando as coisas banais // Making things so mundane
E o ser humano incapaz de prosseguir //And the human being unable to carry on
Sem ter pra onde ir // With nowhere to go
Infelizmente eu nada fiz // Unfortunately I did nothing
Não fui feliz nem infeliz // I was neither happy nor unhappy
Eu fui somente um aprendiz // I was merely an apprentice
Daquilo que eu não quis // Of that which I never wished for
Aprendiz de morrer // Apprentice of dying
Mas pra aprender a morrer // But to learn to die
Foi necessário viver // It was necessary to live
E eu vivi // And I lived
Mas nunca descobri // But I never discovered
Se essa vida existe // If this life really exists
Ou essa gente é que insiste // Or if it’s just those people who insist
Em dizer que é triste ou que é feliz // On saying they’s sad or they’re happy
Vendo a vida passar // Watching life pass by
E essa vida é uma atriz // And this life is an actress
Que corta o bem na raiz // That nips any good at the bud
E faz do mal cicatriz // And of evil makes a scar
Vai ver até que essa vida é morte // For all we know maybe even this life is death
E a morte é // And death is
A vida que se quer //The life that’s wished for.

— Commentary —


In 1969, when Baden Powell was separating from his second wife, Tereza Drummond, his friend and partner Paulo César Pinheiro went to stay with him. In the throes of Baden’s separation they composed this song, which Pinheiro says was perhaps “the craziest of all the sambas we made together, but, without false modesty, it’s one of the most beautiful, without a doubt, of all time, in the anthology of Brazilian popular songs.”

Elizeth Cardoso released the song on her 1970 LP Falou e Disse, and later that year Baden Powell and Paulo César Pinheiro released it on their album As Músicas de Baden Powell e Paulo César Pinheiro, “Os Cantores da Lapinha”. 

Here is Elizeth Cardoso singing with Baden Powell on the guitar:

Source: Histórias das Minhas Canções by Paulo César Pinheiro (2010).


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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