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English Speaking Songs vs Their Brazilian Versions

Last weekend I invited some friends over for an impromptu dinner party at my place. Before eating, I hit shuffle on my media player so that as we drank wine and caught up over a lot of pasta, it would randomly pick songs from my music library. This seemed like a such good idea at the time!

But I’d completely forgotten that a couple of months ago I’d downloaded a ‘Best of Power Ballads’ album; an album that was keen to make a reappearance for my friends! So halfway through the meal, Jennifer Rush started belting out The Power of Love.

“The whispers in the morning, of lovers sleeping tight.” As soon as I heard these opening lines I looked over at my computer in surprise.

“Oh God, no!” I thought. I was at a loss as to what to say next.

“Are rolling by like thunder now, as I look in your eyes!”

Why did hearing this make me feel uncomfortable? Well power ballads are my (now not so) guilty pleasure, a guilty pleasure I certainly never thought I’d have to admit to over a bowl of half eaten ravioli. And I hesitated. Should I defiantly tell my friends I was a fan of The Rush? Should I fake a surprise and say, “oh wow! How did that song get onto my computer?” Or should I attempt to continue the conversation we’d been having before the electronic beats of Hardwell had been replaced with this 80’s classic?

Well, I didn’t do any of these things because, whilst I was hesitating, my friend Carlos spoke up.

“Really?” he laughed, “They sing this song in English too?”

“Wait? Has someone sung it in Portuguese?” I asked.

“Andrew, the version by the Brazilian singer Rosana is much better than this one!”

In an unexpected turn of events, a temporary firmness took over and that initial embarrassment had been replaced by a need to argue that this couldn’t possibly be the case…that there can’t possibly be a version of Power of Love better than the original!

After hearing Rosana’s interpreataion we then spent the next twenty minutes playing other songs that had been covered by Brazilian artists, comparing them to their English versions. This fascinated me!

What I will do in this post is pit three English versions of songs against their Brazilian covers and argue which one is the better song. If you disagree with any of these, feel free to let me know in the comments below. So let’s start with the song that inspired this post…..

jennros

The Power of Love is a song ANY self respecting power ballad should include. It is the song many a drunk Aunt has attempted to tackle at karaoke and the video is about as 80s as you can get.  In the clip below you will see Jennifer walking around the streets of New York with amazingly backcombed hair, occasionally stopping to look emotionally into the camera.

She also spends a huge chunk of the song going up in an elevator that has no back to it. #safetyrisk.

“No Andrew, this song is too slow!” Argued my friends, “And what the hell is she wearing?”

Trying to explain 80s fashion is no easy task, especially when you’re doing it to people who clearly never went on a family outing in matching tracksuits.

“Lets watch the Rosana version!”

I wanted to hate it, I really did! But this video is so camp that I couldn’t help but be captivated by it. They lyrics have been changed and instead of it being a love song, Rosana sings about goddesses…which gives her the opportunity to dance alongside deadly cats, burning fires and to pretend to be an exotic woman from a 1980s Fry’s Turkish Delight advert (Here is a link to that advert, for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about!). As much as I like Jennifer’s original version I couldn’t help but be fascinated by Rosana’s interpretation, making her the surprise winner of the first round!

 

Winner: Rosana

English Versions: 0 Brazilian Versions: 1 

pepe

Take That were a big deal in the 90s back in my native UK. I remember hearing about them splitting up on the national news, where images of inconsolable teens were shown amongst the evenings top news stories. There was even a helpline for those who just couldn’t deal with the idea these lads were never going to be performing together again.

Back for Good is arguably the band’s signature song.

When I heard the Pepe and Nenem version, well I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan. There isn’t an official music video on youtube but my friends and I managed to track down two versions (Dinner parties at mine sound so much fun, right!?!). First we found a slow one that kind of sounds similar to the original, but with different lyrics, and then the faster one that I’ve included here. In this TV show performance the two girls enjoy some pretty ill-advised line dancing (check out the dancer with the sunglasses!). Whilst I was impressed by the undiminished speed of their choreography,I wasn’t really convinced the dancing complemented the songs original sentiment!

So the best of these two versions, in my humble opinion, belongs to Take That.

Winner: Take That 

English Versions: 1 Brazilian Versions: 1

all

Admittedly the music video to the classic All-4-One song I Swear isn’t great. According to the Wikipedia page:

“The video shows the band members kicking a cardboard box through a puddle and bantering with {a woman} until she drives off on a public bus”.

I’m sure you’ll agree this isn’t the most interesting concept for a music video, but the song is undeniably a solid TUNE!

To hear this cover by Leandro and Leonardo after the All-4-One version…well, it didn’t really fall too kindly on my ears In comparison the duos interpretation just seems lacking personality….so the winner of this round is definitely All 4 One.

Winner: All-4-One 

English Versions: 2 Brazilian Versions: 1

What do you think to this list? Are there any other Brazilian covers I could have included against their original English language versions? 

 

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