Cartão de Natal

“Cartão de Natal” (Christmas Card, by Luiz Gonzaga & Zé Dantas, 1954)

Ouvindo os sinos de Deus // Hearing God’s bells
Repicando na matriz // Chiming in the parish church
Para você e os seus // For you and yours
Peço um Natal bem feliz // I wish for a merry Christmas
Blem, blem, blem
Blem, blem, blem

Um ano novo afortunado // A fortunate new year
Venturoso e abençoado //Blithesome and blessed
Tão ditosa oração do além // Let such a felicitous prayer from beyond
Seja ouvida por Deus // Be heard by God
E que os anjos digam amém // And let the angels say amen
Blem, blem, blem
Blem, blem, blem

— Commentary —

young luiz Gonzaga
To add to last year’s “Véspera de Natal,” here’s another Brazilian Christmas song, this one a ballad by the King of Baião,  Luiz Gonzaga. Gonzaga was from Exu, Pernambuco, and had spent the past ten years in the army in Ceará when he went to Rio de Janeiro in 1939. He was initially scheduled to spend just a few months in the barracks there before catching a ship back to Pernambuco. He ended up staying, and and exploded on Rio’s and Brazil’s music scene in the 1940s, essentially creating and popularizing a new genre, baião.  By 1949, Rio’s Diario Carioca reported that baião was “making the vast empire of samba tremble,” and by the time of the 1954 release of this song, recorded with Isis de Oliveira on a 78, Luiz Gonzaga had become one of Brazil’s most successful recording artist, outselling even established radio favorites like Orlando Silva. For more about Gonzaga, see these posts.