Marinheiro Só – Capoeira Song

Many of Capoeira’s songs actually originated in popular folklore, songs that were first sung by fishermen, sailors, dock workers and slaves, then later incorpoerated into capoeira. The song Marinhero Só is just one such example!

Capoeira grew up around the major ports of Brazil, São Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. For this reason many of its practictioners either worked as sailors or dock workers. Also, many were followers of Candomble, and therefore the orixa of the sea Iemanjá.

Tracing the history further back, one cannot forget that the first practitioners of capoeira were African slaves, brought to Brazil across the ocean in Portuguese slave ships, so the connection with the sea has always been very strong.

This song is originally from Samba. It was sung in many popular festivals like the Marujada. (Don’t know what Marujada is? Well, stay tuned as we’ll do another post about this party because it deserves it!)

Marinhero Só is a song in the public domain, original author unknown. There have been many versions recorded by famous singers like  Caetano Veloso and the great sambista Clementina de Jesus.

Lyrics and Translation

(Chorus in Bold)

Translations are never straightforward, especially when the author is long gone and even the original versions are in dount. There are two possible translations for the title alone of this song!

Marinhero Só roughly translates as “Lone Sailor” but it’s also often interpreted as Marinhero Sou which mean “I am a Sailor”. Take your pick!

Eu não sou daqui (I’m not from here)
Marinheiro só
Eu não tenho amor (I don’t have love)
Marinheiro só
Eu sou da bahia (I’m from Bahia)
Marinheiro só
De são salvador (From São Salvador)
Marinheiro só

Ô, marinheiro marinheiro (Oh Sailor, Sailor)
Marinheiro só
Ô, quem te ensinou a nadar? (Who taught you to swim?)
Marinheiro só
Ô, foi o tombo do navio? (Was it the sinking of the ship?)
Marinheiro só
Ou foi o balanço do mar? (Or was it the tides of sea?)
Marinheiro só

Lá vem, lá vem (There he comes, there he comes)
Marinheiro só
Ele vem faceiro (He comes gracefully OR cheekily depending on translation)
Marinheiro só
Todo de branco (All in white)
Marinheiro só
Com o seu bonezinho (With his little hat)
Marinheiro só

We’ll leave it up to you to decide what that all actuallly means!

If by any reason you’re not already familar with the song, here’s a version by Carolina Soares:

1 thought on “Marinheiro Só – Capoeira Song”

  1. Pingback: Tem Areia (no Fundo do Mar) – Capoeira song lyrics and English translation |

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