Compared to his older brother, the legendary Nat King Cole, Freddy Cole is much more laid back with a rough gravelly voice that is perfect for jazz and blues. Which is why I love his cover of ‘Rio de Janeiro Blue’ which was first written and performed by Richard Torrance in 1977. It’s got just that right balance of sophisticated slick smoothness that makes it great ‘turn down the lights, baby’ music. Hahah. But the real reason why I chose this song is because of the end, when Cole keeps repeating this Portuguese word, ‘saudade‘. ‘Saudade‘. Before this song, I had never come across this word, this expression, this (as I later found out) complicated to capture emotion. The emotion of ‘saudade‘.
Now, maybe you’ll be curious and you’ll want to just Google the term for yourself to find out what it means. If like me this was your first time hearing this word you might be tempted to look it up. But, if you’re able to resist the urge, it is a tradition in Brazil to celebrate the feeling of ‘saudade‘ on January 30th, which happens to be tomorrow. And I wanted to introduce this song today so that tomorrow I could write about ‘saudade‘ means to so many people and of course, what it means to me. So if you can manage to stifle your curiosity and maybe just listen to this song once, twice, or even thrice, to get an idea, an inkling, a feel for what you think ‘saudade‘ might mean, we can investigate it and discover it, tomorrow, together.
Here are the lyrics to help you get started.
Rio de Janeiro BlueThe clouds come-a creepin’ and you got me weepin’ this moment
I can’t believe you’re really gonna leave this town.
Everyone knows, I can’t make a move without you
your turnin’ my whole world, upside-down.
And I get a feelin’ that I’ve seen the last of you, Rio de Janeiro BlueThe salty air, your wind-blown hair, reflection on a dream.
Thoughts of you with who knows who, flowin’ through me like a stream.
Brazilian serenaders, linger on
help me lose my soul, in your song.
And I get a feelin’, that I’ve seen that last of you, Rio de Janeiro Blue.Months go by, I wonder why, I’m left here on my own.
Could it be my destiny, is to live this life alone?
These dark and rainy days have turned me cold
Long and sleepless nights, gettin’ old.
And I get a feelin’ that I’ve seen the last of you, Rio de Janeiro Blue.Rio. Rio. Rio.Saudade. Saudade. Saudade.