This is a magnificently beautiful song in honor of the Orixá, Nanã Buruku. In Candomblé, Nanã is an elder, feminine, earth-based energy. She is the energy of the primal connection between earth and water, the holy mud out of which life forms and to which life returns to be recycled into something new. She is an ancient diety with deep powers of healing, understanding and transformation. She is a creator. She is a philosopher. And as with the other orixás, nkisis and voduns (sacred natural forces) of West and Central African tradition, she travelled, with her human children, across the Atlantic Ocean in the bowels of the slave ships during the Middle Passage and remained with them as a source of strength and renewal through times of tribulation, even unto the present day. This is a song in her honor by a great Afro-Brazilian musician, Mateus Aleluia.


Mateus Aleluia plays the guitar in this video, accompanying the singer, Thalma de Freitas. The two are also accompanied by Thalma’s father, maestro Laércia de Freitas on piano; and by Fabiana Aleluia, daughter of Mateus, on vocals.

 

 

Here are the words in Portuguese and then in English:

Fui chamado de cordeiro mais não sou cordeiro não
Preferir ficar calado que falar e levar não
O meu silencio é uma singela oração a minha santa de fé
Meu cantar vibra nas forças que sustentam meu viver
Meu cantar é um apelo que eu faço a nanã ê

Sou de Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
Sou de Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
Sou de Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê

O que peço no momento é silêncio e atenção
Quero contar sofrimento que passamos sem razão
O meu lamento se criou na escravidão que forçado passei
Eu chorei sofri as duras dores da humilhação
Mas ganhei pois eu trazia nanã ê no coração

Sou de Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
Sou de Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
Sou de Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê

—–

I was called a lamb but I’m not a lamb.
I’d rather be quiet than speak and be misunderstood
My silence is a simple prayer to my faithful saint
My singing vibrates with the forces that sustain my life
My singing is an appeal I make to Nanã.

I belong to Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
I belong to Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
I belong to Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê

What I ask for at the moment is silence and attention
I want to tell of the suffering that we go through, unjustified.
My lament grew from the bondage I was forced into
I cried, I suffered the hard pains of humiliation
But I triumphed because I carried Nanã in my heart

I belong to Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
I belong to Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê
I belong to Nanã Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê UÁ Ê

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