Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog


Milton Nascimento (October 28, 1942) was born in Rio but grew up in the state of Minas Gerais in the interior of Brazil. His mother died when he was very young, he never knew his father, and he was adopted by parents who reared and cared for him. As a teenager he became a musician and as an adult one of the most revered of Brazilian artists.

He has written so many confessions, so many indices of respect, whispers and shouts of love and concern for others. His music is a map of the interior of us, of our true heartlands. Babies babble, adults conversate, Milton sings. 





He wore the word “courage” like a badge declaring he was of the tribe of resistance. He titled an album that. During the dictatorship in Brazil, when so many fled, Milton elected to stay and confront the demons, sometimes in silence, sometimes in song.





Most of us have no actual idea what it was like for an artist to sing while your life was literally under fire. Great stretches of your homeland reduced to ashes and embers, and to dead people who were shot in the head because they had their eyes open.





To turn to the music when the military is in charge is a true act of courage.

In song we recall the hope of dawn, the danger of midnight, and the valor of living full out in the glare of daylight.





The music that asks questions, eats oranges and beans with rice mixed in. That in the lonely hours sings of lost loves remembered, future loves yet to be tasted. Some of Milton’s music is hard to authentically be sung if your life is one only of comfort.





Milton has a falsetto that angels envy. The sound of black earth rising.





He looks like anyone. You pass him on the street and notice nothing. Then when you hear him singing as he strolls by; you stop, turn around. Is it possible that that Black man could sound so much like the human alma of all of us, whoever we are, whenever we are real, whenever we nurture ourselves and each other.






Das sombras quero voltar
Somente aprendi muita dor
E vi com tristeza o amor
Morrer devagar, se apagar
Quero voltar
Poder da saudade não ter
Não ver tanta gente a vagar
Sem saber viver
Vou sem parar
Das tardes mais sós renascer
E mesmo se a dor encontrar
Sabendo o que sou
Não quero mais perdão
Porque jásofri demais


Lyrics translation

From the shadows I want to return
I just learned a lot of pain
And I saw with sadness the love
Die slowly, if erased
I want to go back
Power of longing not having
Don’t see so many people wandering
Without knowing how to live
I’m going nonstop
Of the loneliest afternoons reborn
And even if the pain finds
Knowing what I am
I don’t want any more forgiveness
Because I’ve already done too much





No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS