A Manteiga Derramou – Capoeira Song Lyrics, Meaning and English Translation

Every Capoeirista is familiar with the song “A Manteiga Derramou”, but have you ever considered the meaning behind the lyrics?

The song is a very old one with no known author. As with many Capoeira songs it speaks of the era of slavery during which Capoeira was born.

Vou dizer a meu senhor que a manteiga derramou

I’m going tell my master that the butter spilled

The song tells the story of an enslaved person who must tell his master that the butter he was carrying has melted and spilled.

It is said that slave owners used to play sadistic games with the people under their rule. One such game was to give them a block of butter wrapped in banana leaves and tell them they had to deliver it to a neighbouring plantation. If they didn’t deliver the butter they’d receive a beating.

Obviously, transporting butter a long distance by foot in 40 degree heat is impossible. The unfortunate individual had no choice but to set out on the journey knowing full well that their wasted effort would likely be met by a harsh and unjust punishment.

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A Manteiga Derramou – Lyrics and English Translation

Vou dizer a meu sinhô
Que a manteiga derramou
E a manteiga não é minha
E a manteiga é de ioiô

Vou dizer a meu sinhô
Que a manteiga derramou

E a manteiga não é minha
E a manteiga é de ioiô

Vou dizer a meu sinhô
Que a manteiga derramou

A manteiga é de ioiô
Caiu na água e se molhou

Vou dizer a meu sinhô
Que a manteiga derramou

A manteiga é do patrão
Caiu no chão e derramou

Vou dizer a meu sinhô
Que a manteiga derramou

A manteiga não é minha
É pra filha de ioiô

I’m going tell my master
that the butter spilled
The butter isn’t mine
The butter is Ioiô’s

I’m going tell my master
that the butter spilled

The butter isn’t mine
The butter is Ioiô’s

I’m going tell my master
that the butter spilled

The butter is Ioiô’s
It fell in the water and got wet

I’m going tell my master
that the butter spilled

The butter is the boss’s
It fell on the floor and spilled

I’m going tell my master
that the butter spilled

The butter isn’t mine
It’s for the daughter of Ioiô

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