The mason from the Nordeste

slaves away with no rest

builds pools and mansions

embellished like gardens

but he and his own

have no roof to call home


To this city we come

and end up in a slum

we build lovely villas

with doors and windows

but once we've painted the place

they slam the door in our face


Here, all the Nordestinos

are nicknamed "Baianos"

but I came here to fight

to get a job in sight

they may tell spiteful tales

but my art never fails


I and my partner

my chum, Edezel Pereira

have spent 22 years

with our weird guitars

defending the future

of our Nordestino culture


With or without a mate

in São Paulo I feel great

like me, many a half-caste

arrives from the Nordeste

tho' São Paulo takes your shirt

you can rise out of the dirt


Some dig like moles

and hide deep in their holes

some walk only by night

to keep out of sight

and some drown in drink

'til they finally sink


São Paulo may thrill you

but its sadness can kill you

some have a tear in their eyes

others stifle their cries

some live in fine villas

others suffer in favelas


I've a place down in Mocó

no window, door or patio

by dusk, I got a few cents

by dawn, my dough's all spent

so I come sing in the square

for a future we can share


Today I woke in song

drank a coffee real strong

took my adored guitar

that I carry near and far

to sing "Saudade for the Future"

for a film in which I feature



João Cabeleira & Edezel Pereira