Novos rumos

Lyrics from “Novos rumos” (Rochinha & Orlando Porto, 1958)

Vou imprimir novos rumos // I’m going imprint new routes
Ao barco agitado que foi minha vida // Upon this unsteady boat that has been my life
Fiz minhas velas ao mar // I’ve set out to sea
Disse adeus sem chorar // Bid farewell without tears
E estou de partida // And I’m on my way out
Todos os anos vividos // All my years lived
São portos perdidos que eu deixo pra trás // Are lost ports that I leave behind
Quero viver diferente // I want to live differently
Que a sorte da gente // Cause the luck that we have
É a gente que faz // Is the luck that we make
Quando a vida nos cansa // When life wears us down
E se perde a esperança // And all hope is lost
O melhor é partir // It’s best to depart
Ir procurar outros mares // In search of new seas
Onde outros olhares nos façam sorrir // Where new glances might make us smile
Levo no meu coração // I carry in my heart
Esta triste lição que contigo aprendi // The sad lesson I learned with you
Tu me ensinaste em verdade // You taught me, in truth,
Que a felicidade está longe de ti // That happiness is far from you

— Commentary —

Paulinho-Elton-Medeiros-e-Clementina-de-Jesusnum-sarau-na-casa-de-Jacob-em-Jacarepagua-inedita (1)
Paulinho da Viola, Elton Medeiros and Clementina de Jesús in Jacob do Bandolim’s home. Paulinho da Viola has long been one of the strongest links between the worlds of samba and choro.  He grew up amidst chorões: His father, César Faria, played guitar for many years with Jacob do Bandolim, one of Brazil’s greatest choro composers. 

Beginning in the 1930s, composers in Rio de Janeiro, particularly, increasingly wove together the intricate melodic  aspects of choro, which had emerged with the “Brazilianization” of polka in the late 1800s, with certain elements – percussion, instrumentation, and/or lyrics, for example – more typical of samba, which was at the same time growing more distant from maxixe. This general approximation of the two genres formed a sub-genre known as “samba-choro,” and this lilting song is a perfect example of that sub-genre. Generally samba-choros with lyrics may simply be called sambas, or samba-canção,  and those without lyrics – Jacob do Bandolim’s “Bole Bole,” for example – are called choros.

“Novos Rumos” gained new recognition with Paulinho da Viola’s recording on his 1996 album Bebâdosamba, and the song so fits Paulinho da Viola’s style that it’s often mistakenly attributed to him. But it was composed by Rochinha and Orlando Porto, and Silvio Caldas was the first to record it, in 1958:


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