Monday, 27 February 2017

Portugal 2017 - Jorge Benvinda - Gente Bestial


You could hear the groans of bafflement and distain across the continent when the Portuguese people gave this their second highest mark at the second Festival da Canção qualifier last night. I could almost translate their rage. "What is this shit joke song by ugly middle-aged men in silly suits doing in my beautiful contest, and having the cheek to beat a nice lady in a big frock?!" Well hold onto that thought, because the lad Benvinda could still cause another upset.

Hugely popular from his days in the duo Virgem Suta, this South Portuguese troubadour is noted for his satirical takes on the mores of local life, and his plinky plonky pop song, written by his old band mate from the Suta and loosely translated as Bestial People, appeared to hit a chord with his nation's people last night - and also pretty strongly with a jury made up of seniors and songwriters, who surely appreciated the songwriter's craft more than the casual outsider ever would.

Were this song nestled away in the creases of Sanremo and sung by a handsome lad we'd all be going bonkers over it. But somehow we never seem to feel the same sentiment when it's coming from our cousins in the South West. And while I'd really prefer little Salvador to win next Sunday (if he's still alive), there's a part of me that thinks it would be hilarious if this distinctly local little ditty made it to a big international singing show.

Probably just me and the Portuguese then…

****STOP PRESS****

Good friends of Apocalypse, Pedro Sa and Sandra Nóbrega, have been so kind as to put me right on my slightly wonky assertations - the title standing not for Bestial People, but Amazing People for one - and translated the whole darned song for us. And that was no mean feat, according to those fine folks, as many of its finer points can only every really be understood by people who've lived in Portugal all their lives. A bit like me trying to explain Sleaford Mods to Americans. But if you want the best stab at understanding the lyric as best we can, take a look below. Cheers Pedro and Sandra! We really appreciate your efforts!


This is perfect, we are proper people
We have guts and we have done that much throughout the world
Namely and consequently
We have given many people, many things and such
We are little tufts, finally we did it
And besides what we wear everything about us draws attention
I lift the weather, the wine, Braga and the talent
To transform saudade in an export postcard

We are good people, genuine and different, swinging between being brave and a crying less bad
But mostly excluding some hair-triggers we are barely serious but we have a big heart
And coming from it we are amazing people

Since many years ago we are in the front row
We even facebook, giving our opinions is usual
I am aware that the genes of these people will survive and live beyond the Final Judgment
So I say not fearing any punishment
If not caring we are danger, in the rest there’s no exception
We are enormous, sometimes by the book
Other times in shapeless ways but with a mood

We are good people, genuine and different, swinging between being brave and a crying less bad
But mostly excluding some hair-triggers we are barely serious but we have a big heart
And coming from it we are amazing people

We are good people, genuine and different, swinging between being brave and a crying less bad
But mostly excluding some hair-triggers we are such a lucky people, we are amazing people
We are good people, genuine and different, swinging between being brave and a crying less bad
But mostly excluding some hair-triggers we are such a lucky people, we have real big lupin beans, it’s a shame that catches everything, Carnival replacing Shrovetide, barely serious and coming from it we are amazing people.

3 comments:

  1. As soon as he started singing I thought "this is very us, very portuguese" though I'm sure most of the local eurofans were not big fans.
    "Bestial" actually has two meanings in portuguese and I'm pretty sure in this case it's supposed to mean "great" and not "beastly" ;)

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  2. Thanks for the lyrics, even though I don't really get everything here. And what a site, niiice :)

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    1. Why thank you, Aura! We do what we can!

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