First 11 Capoeira songs you should learn with Translations

In Capoeira, music is a huge deal! Knowing Capoeira songs is a big part of learning the art and for some people this can be intimidating. If you’re not sure what songs to start learning, below is a list of 11 songs that are great for beginners. These song work for beginners because they are relatively easy to learn and you often hear them sung in the roda. The songs and their translations are provided to give a little extra context for the song. 

How to Improve your singing

If you want to improve your Capoeira singing, do the following. 

1. Listen/read the song. 

2. Memorize the song chunks at a time. 

3. Work on the rhythm. Sing the choros again and again to get the rhythm down.

4. Sing the verses. Be aware that a lot of words and sounds get swallowed up from singing fast or trying to fit a lot of words in a few beats. 

5. Sing the song with a instrument you know to play or are learning to play. 

6. Try it in the roda!

1. Ô sim sim sim, Ô não não não

PortugueseEnglish
ô sim, sim, sim
ô não, não, não
ô sim, sim, sim
ô não, não, não

Mas hoje tem, amanahã não
Mas hoje tem, amanahã não
ô sim, sim, sim
ô não, não, não

Olha a pisada de lampião
Olha a pisada de lampião
ô sim, sim, sim
ô não, não, não
Oh yes, yes, yes
Oh no, no, no
Oh yes, yes, yes
Oh no, no, no

Today you have, tomorrow you don’t
Today you have, tomorrow you don’t
Oh yes, yes, yes
Oh no, no, no

Watch the steps in the lamp light
Watch the steps in the lamp light
Oh yes, yes, yes
Oh no, no, no

This is the first song that 90% of Capoeira students learn. The message is simple, as are the lyrics. Nothing too complicated. Try practicing this song while clapping and stepping with the beat!

2. Parana ê

PortugueseEnglish
Parana ê
Parana ê, Paraná
Vou dizer pra minha mulher Paraná
Capoeira me venceu Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
Ela quis bater com pé firme Parana
Isso não aconteceu, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
Tem batuque todo dia, Paraná
Mulata de qualidade, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
Mina mãe e mulher velha, Paraná
Fecha porta e dorme cedo, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
A mulher pra ser bonita, Paraná
Não precisa se pintar, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
Vou me embora, vou membora, Paraná
Como eu jaá jisse que vou, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
Parana ê
Parana ê, Paraná
I will tell my wife, Paraná
Capoeira conquered me, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
She wanted to strike hard with her foot, Paraná
That did not happen, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
There is drumming all da, Paraná
Quality mulata, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
My mother is an old woman, Paraná
Close the door and sleep early, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
A woman to be beautiful, Paraná
Doesn’t need to use makeup, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná
I’m leaving, I’m leaving, Paraná
As I said I will go, Paraná
Parana ê, Paraná

Paraná is a river on the frontier of Brazil and Paraguay. The song is about going to the war in Paraná where many Capoeiristas were sent to fight army of Paraguay. The Brazilian government though this would be a good way to get rid of many Capoeiristas, however the plan backfired when these soldier returned as heroes for decimating the army of Paraguay.

3. A manteiga derramou (vou dizer a meu sinhô…)

PortugueseEnglish
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’ll tell my master
The butter has melted

And butter is not mine
And butter is of the master

I’ll tell my master
The butter has melted


And butter is not mine
And butter is of the master

I’ll tell my master
The butter has melted


Butter is of the master
Fell into the water and got wet

I’ll tell my master
The butter has melted


The butter is of the boss
Fell to the ground and poured

I’ll tell my master
The butter has melted


The butter is not mine
It’s for the child of the master

Capoeira has its origins in the enslavement of Africans in Brazil. As a slave there is little recourse for getting back at your master. One way to annoy and make the life of your master difficult is to lie and say that there is no more butter because whatever reason you can think of. These small jabs is what the song sings about. This song is very very old. With many older Capoeira songs, we can assume that there was a direct link between the song and the topic it talks about. These songs are as much a part of the oral tradition of Africa as much as it is about Capoeira and the lives of the people associated with the art.

4. Quem vem lá sou eu

PortugeuseEnglis
Quem vem lá sou eu
Quem vem lá sou eu
Berimbau bateu
Capoeira sou eu

Quem vem lá sou eu
Quem vem lá sou eu
Berimbau bateu
Capoeira sou eu


Eu venho de longe
Venho da Bahia
Jogo Capoeira
Meu nome e (suassuna)

Quem vem lá sou eu
Quem vem lá sou eu
Berimbau bateu
Capoeira sou eu


Mas sou eu sou eu
Quem vem lá
Mas sou eu (suassuna)
Quem vem lá
Montado a cavalo
Quem vem lá
Fumando um charuto
Quem vem lá
Mas sou eu sou eu
Quem vem lá
Who’s coming is me
Who’s coming is me
Berimbau hit
I am Capoeira

Who’s coming is me
Who’s coming is me
Berimbau hit
I am Capoeira


I come from far away
I come from (say where you’re from)
I play Capoeira
My name is (your name)

Who’s coming is me
Who’s coming is me
Berimbau hit
I am Capoeira


But it’s me. It’s me
Who’s coming is me
But I’m (your name)
Who’s coming is me
Riding a horse
Who’s coming is me
Smoking a cigar
Who’s coming is me

A simple song about presenting yourself. In many Capoeira CDs you’ll notice that the artists take the time to talk to the audience and introduce themselves. Presenting yourself is a cultural norm from Brazil that can be seen in this song.

5. A hora é essa

PortugueseEnglish
A hora e essa

A hora e essa

Berimbau tocou na Capoeira
Berimbau tocou eu vou jogar

Berimbau tocou na Capoeira
Berimbau tocou eu vou jogar

A hora e essa

A hora e essa

Berimbau tocou na Capoeira

Berimbau tocou eu vou jogar
The hour is now

The hour is now

The Berimbau played during Capoeira
The Berimbau played I will play

The Berimbau played during Capoeira
The Berimbau played I will play


The hour is now

The hour is now

The Berimbau played Capoeira

The Berimbau played I will play
Author: Unknown

The hour is now! Another simple song that is great for beginners to learn. When the berimbau plays, that “I” go to play Capoeira. This is the spirit of the Capoeirsita. When they hear the berimbau, it pulls on their hearts to play the game of Capoeira. If you start to practice Capoeira, you’ll understand how inviting the call of the berimbau can be.

6. Ai ai ai ai São Bento me chama

PortugueseEnglish
Ai ai ai ai
São bento me chama

Ai ai ai ai

São bento me quer

Ai ai ai ai

Pra jogar capoeira

Ai ai ai ai

O meu mestre me chama

Ai ai ai ai

O meu mestre chamou
Ai ai ai ai
São Bento calls me

Ai ai ai ai

Saint Benedict wants me

Ai ai ai ai

To play capoeira

Ai ai ai ai

My master calls me

Ai ai ai ai

My master called

The Portuguese tried very hard to christianize the slaves of Brazil. In a strange turn of events, the slaves used the christian doctrine to hid their existing religious beliefs. São Bento would be a stand in for one of their gods (perhaps Oxum, Ogum, Oxala, etc.). On the surface, the song is asking for Saint Benedict for protection when they play Capoeira. One layer below that, you can see how the slaves used their creativity to continue practicing their religious beliefs. Capoeira does not have any religious affiliation. This is similar to how in America we say in the pledge of allegiance “…Under god, indivisible…”. This line shows us how at one moment, America was a deeply christian country. Similarly, this song gives us a glimpse of the lives of the people who lived over 100 years ago.

7. Oh areia, oh areia

PortugueseEnglish
Oh areia, oh areia
Oh areia, oh areia
Oh saia do meu caminho
Areia
Eu quero passar
Areia
Sou pequeninho
Areia
Filho de Oxala
Areia
Capoeira Angola
Areia
E comforme a razão
Areia
Da-me licença moça
Areia
Berimbau quebro
Areia
Eu quero pescar
Areia
Berimbau tocou
Areia
Eu vou vadiar
Areia
Capoeira Angola
Areia
Deixe eu passar
Areia
Oh pequeninho
Areia
Aprender a lição
Areia
Vá pro terreiro
Areia
Oh sand, oh sand
Oh sand, oh sand
Oh get out of my way
Sand
I want to pass
Sand
I’m little
Sand
son of Oxalá
Sand
Capoeira Angola
Sand
According to reason
Sand
Excuse me miss
Sand
Berimbau broke
Sand
I wan to fish
Sand
Berimbau played
Sand
I go to play
Sand
Capoeira Angola
Sand
Let me through
Sand
Oh little one
Sand
Learn the lesson
Sand
Go to the terreiro
Sand

The sand, the ocean, and the beach all had tremendous significance to the slaves of Brazil. They knew that across the ocean was their homelands. There are many references to fishing, the ocean, the beach etc. This is partially because in Brazil, the majority of the population lives near the beach. Many slaves worked on the docks of these beaches. The other reason is that the ocean was a constant reminder of the journey to Brazil. And that across the ocean was Africa.

8. Gunga é meu

PortugueseEnglish
Gunga é meu, gunga é meu
Gunga é meu, é meu, é meu
Gunga é meu, gunga é meu
Gunga é meu foi meu pai que me deu
Gunga é meu, gunga é meu
O gunga e forte o esse gunga é meu
Gunga é meu, gunga é meu
Gunge é meu eu dou a ninguem
Gunga é meu, gunga é meu
Gunga is mine, Gunga is mine
Gunga is mine, is mine, is mine
Gunga is mine, Gunga is mine
Gunga is mine, it was my father who gave it to me
Gunga is mine, Gunga is mine
The Gunga is strong, this gunga is mine
Gunga is mine, Gunga is mine
Gunga is mine, I don’t give it to anyone
Gunga is mine, Gunga is mine

The Gunga is the leader of the roda. They are like the DJ at the party. They decide what to play and how it is played. They control the atmosphere of the roda and are responsible for it. Capoeiristas hold their berimbaus dearly and do not easily let others play them. for some, the berimbau is almost a sacred instrument.

9. Vou mandar Leco, Cajuê

PortugueseEnglish
É manda leco
Cajuê
Ê manda loiá
Cajuê
Mestre Bimba
Cajuê
Mestre Pastinha
Cajuê
O seu Traira
Cajuê
Cobrinha verde
Cajuê
Canjiquinha
Cajuê
Mestre Gigante
Cajuê
Ezequiel
Cajuê
Seu Caiçara
Cajuê
O seu Nagé
Cajuê
Send Leco
Cajuê
Send Loiá
Cajuê
Mestre Bimba
Cajuê
Mestre Pastinha
Cajuê
O seu Traira
Cajuê
Cobrinha Verde
Cajuê
Canjiquinha
Cajuê
Mestre Gigante
Cajuê
Ezequiel
Cajuê
Seu Caiçara
Cajuê
O seu Nagé
Cajuê

Caju in english means Cashew. This nut was seen to have many powers for healing people. This is another old song that has been passed down for many years. Today we might laugh at the thought of a cashew’s healing properties, but that was the belief at the time. The song tells us to send Leco to get Cashews. From there, we can improvise with the song (which is often done with every Capoeira song). This song is great to learn improvisation. Start by calling out people’s names. In the lyrics you can see the names of many famous mestres. You can also call out the names of some famous mestres or some friends that are with you.

10. Adues adeus, boa viagem

PortugueseEnglish
Adeu adeus
Boa viagem
Eu vou
Boa viagem
Eu vou, eu vou
Boa viagem
Eu vou me embora
Boa viagem
Eu vou agora
Boa viagem
Eu vou com deus
Boa viagem
E com nossa senhora
Boa viagem
chegou a hora
Boa viagem
Bye bye
Good trip
I go
Good trip
I go, I go
Good trip
I am leaving
Good trip
I go now
Good trip
I go with God
Good trip
I go with our lady
Good trip
The time has come
Good trip

Many great rodas finished with this song. The message is simple. it’s time to end the roda. We’re leaving now. Goodbye! This is a great note to leave this article on. If you’re interested in Capoeira instruments, make sure to check out our page (below) where you can purchase pandeiros, atabaques, reco-recos, and of course, Berimbaus straight from Brazil!