I recently discovered the Brazilian singer Emilio Santiago through NPR’s Alt.Latino program. Went look for more of his music on youtube and instantly saw a song named Saigon that seems decently popular based on number of views. How curious is that, a Brazilian singing about Saigon! I had to email my friend Marvin from Sao Paulo right away to dig for more info. Turned out both Emilio and Saigon are huge in Brazil. The song was written during the Vietnam war and Saigon is a metaphor for hell on earth. Two lovers that can’t stop loving and fighting, and their small apartment in Rio de Janeiro is a piece of Saigon.

Tantas palavras/ Meias palavras/ Nosso apartamento/ Um pedaço de Saigon/ Me disse adeus/ No espelho com batom

So many words/ Evasive words/ Our apartment/ A piece of Saigon/ She said goodbye/ In the mirror with lipstick

Vai minha estrela/ Iluminando/ Toda esta cidade/ Como um céu/ De luz neon

My star goes/ Illuminating/ All this city/ Like a sky/ Of neon lights

Seu brilho silencia/ Todo som/ Às vezes/ Você anda por aí/ Brinca de se entregar/ Sonha pra não dormir

Her brightness silences/ All sounds/ Sometimes/ You walk around/ Pretend to surrender/ Dream to not sleep

E quase sempre/ Eu penso em te deixar/ E é só você chegar/ Pra eu esquecer de mim

And almost always/ I think of leaving you/ Right then you arrive/ So that I forget myself

Anoiteceu!/ Olho pro céu/ E vejo como é bom/ Ver as estrelas/ Na escuridão/ Espero você voltar/ Pra Saigon

Night fell!/ Eyes to the sky/ And I see how good it is/ Looking at the stars/ In darkness/ I hope you return/ To Saigon

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