FEATURED SONG: Zara Tejo & Ernesto Leite – “Fogo Frio”

I’ve been learning Portuguese on and off for three or four years, and about a year ago I heard the most beautiful song while I was listening to some Portuguese radio. The ability to do this while not being in the country of the original broadcast is one of my favourite things about the internet! It depends on the laws of each country, as I have come across some inaccessible content in the past, but fortunately Portugal’s national station Radio Antena has not been off limits here in the UK. Oh yeah – I just remembered Brexit. Anyway, sadly I forgot all about the song, on account of the intermittent nature of my studies, until I heard it again a few months ago…

“Fogo Frio” (translated: “Cold Fire”) is a song by singer Zara Tejo from her 2018 album Eu Sou Tudo Isto (translated: “I Am All of This”), featuring Ernesto Leite, who wrote and composed it. Soothing drums, light acoustic guitar, warm piano and delicate vocals conjure a feeling of strange comfort beneath poetic lyrics about longing and the persistent pain that comes with it.

When I first heard it, I could only understand a few words here and there, mostly because of the similarities with Spanish, but I was hooked by it all the same, so please don’t be put off by the language barrier. Besides, under the music video, which was also produced and directed by Leite and released in June of last year, I’ve included the lyrics along with my best effort at a translation. Please enjoy!

VERSE 1
No meio deste fogo há um vazio / In the middle of this fire, there is an emptiness
No meio do calor… uma solidão / In the middle of the heat, a loneliness
É uma alma quente que amanhece na ilusão / It is a warm soul that dawns in delusion

VERSE 2
No meio do azul há tons de pranto / In the middle of the blue, there are shades of weeping
Nas cores do meu lado mais sofredor / In the colours of the most suffering side of me
Há coisas que parecem ser mais longas do que a dor / There are things that seem to be longer than the pain

CHORUS
Chamo ou grito / I call or cry out
Espero e não consigo / I expect and don’t obtain
Só quero pensar que ainda estás comigo / I just want to think that you are still with me
Chamo ou grito / I call or cry out
Desejo e não desisto / I desire and do not give up
Só quero pensar que ainda estás comigo / I just want to think that you are still with me

VERSE 3
No meio desta luz existe a noite / In the middle of this light exists the night
Que teima em escurecer a minha razão / That tends to hide my reasoning
Ao longo das viagens que eu escrevi na minha mão / All along the journeys that I wrote on my hand

VERSE 4
Dentro de mim existe um mundo livre / Inside of me exists a free world
Cheio de desejos e ideais / Full of desires and ideals
É como um fogo frio que desembarca no meu cais / It’s like a cold fire that lands at my dock

CHORUS
Chamo ou grito / I call or cry out
Espero e não consigo / I expect and don’t obtain
Só quero pensar que ainda estás comigo / I just want to think that you are still with me
Chamo ou grito / I call or cry out
Desejo e não desisto / I desire and do not give up
Só quero pensar que ainda estás comigo / I just want to think that you are still with me

[Music & lyrics © Zara Tejo & Ernesto Leite]

Follow Zara Tejo:

facebook.com/zaratejomusica
instagram.com/zara_tejo_

Find out more about Ernesto Leite:
ernestoleite.com

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