Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Paranaue - Videos, Lyrics, & Meaning

Edited by Azizi Powell

Capoeira Paranaue Only the Strong HD

raniel britto - Published on Aug 9, 2013

This post showcases two videos of the Brazilian Capoeira song "Paranaue". Lyrics for that song, and information about the meaning of those lyrics are also provided in this post.

The content of this post is presented for educational, historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes. The copyrights remain with their owners.

My thanks to the performers, musicians, and video producers of these featured videos. Thanks also to the uploaders of these videos, the authors of the comments that are quoted.

Axe* to all capoeristas!

*Axe = Portuguese for the Yoruba (Nigeria) word "ase" [ashay] meaning power & blessings.


Capoeira... is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences , probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps...

More than a fighting style, it was created as a hope of survival, a tool with which an escaped slave, completely unequipped, could survive in the hostile, unknown land and face the hunt of the capitães-do-mato, colonial agents armed and mounted in charge of finding escapees.

Capoeira songs feature the berimbau musical instrument.


"The berimbau... is a single-string percussion instrument, a musical bow, from Brazil. The berimbau's origins are not entirely clear, but there is not much doubt about its African origin, as no Indigenous Brazilian or European people use musical bows, and very similar instruments are played in the southern parts of Africa."

Click "Videos Of Traditional Musical Instruments A-C for videos of that instrument.


Editor: Both of these showcased videos include the version of "Paranaue" from the Capoeira movie "Only The Strong". That song was sung by Serapis Bey.

Video #1: Only the Strong - Capoeira - Paranaue

This video is presented at the top of this page.

"Paranaue" became known in the United States through the 1994 Capoeira movie "Only The Strong". Click for information that movie. The complete movie is posted on YouTube.

Video #2: Capoeira - Paranaue

Uploaded by PemBe55 on Jul 11, 2008

Capoeira is a combination of dance, ritual and martial arts that developed out of the Portugese trade of African slaves to Brazil the 16th century.



Paranaue, paranaue, parana
Vou me embora enquanto e cedo
que a noite tenho medo!

Parana Paranaue, paranaue, parana
Mulher pra ser bonita, parana
Nao precisa se pintar, parana.

Paranaue, paranaue, parana
A pintura e do artista, parana,
A beleza e Deus que da, parana.

English translation:
Paranaue, paranaue, parana
I'm leaving while it's early
because at night I'm afraid!

Parana Paranaue, paranaue, parana
for a woman to be beautiful, parana
she doesn't need to paint herself, parana.

Paranaue, paranaue, parana
A painting is by an artist, parana,
Beauty is given by God, parana.

"Parana is the name of a state in Brazil. It has come to represent freedom and is used symbolically in many capoeira songs. Aruande and Luanda (the capital of Angola) are often used similarly representing freedom, or even heaven, and often carry a feeling of nostalgia. Of course this would be a common theme among slaves singing of desired freedoms. What types of freedom might modern capoeiristas be seeking?"

Here's more information about why the Brazilian state of Paranaue symbolizes freedom:

"Songs are symbolic, calling on the gods of Candomble (an Afro-Brazilian religion) or elements of the natural world, citing historic locations and battles during slavery, or paying respect to famous mestres. Without an understanding of Portuguese and the history of capoeira and Brazil, it is difficult to understand the songs. One of the most beautiful songs is "Paranaue," a song commemorating the many capoeiristas who fought in the War of Paraguay to win their liberty from the Brazilian government."


"Parana'e is one of these songs that are seen as a staple of trademark of Capoeira. Besides the usual chant (the one that says "E' Parana-e, parana, parana, parana-e, parana...", there are a few common verses used. Bear in mind, a lot of good capoeira singers also improvise during the song, based on what's happening in the roda or any particular situation related to capoeira.

Having said that, these are a few of the common verses (I used these a lot...):

Vou dizer minha mulher, Paraná
Capoeira me venceu, Paraná

[i][b]Paraná ê, Paraná ê, Paraná[/b][/i]

E bateu com o pé firme, Paraná
Isso não aconteceu, Paraná

[i][b]Paraná ê, Paraná ê, Paraná[/b][/i]

E Parana ê, Paraná
Paraná, Paranaguá, Paraná

[b][i]Paraná ê, Paraná ê, Paraná[/i][/b]

Vou me embora, vou me embora, Paraná
Como já disse que vou, Paraná

[i][b]Paraná ê, Paraná ê, Paraná[/b][/i]

Eu aqui não sou querido, Paraná
Mas na minha terra eu sou, Paraná

[i][b]Paraná ê, Paraná ê, Paraná[/b][/i]

Muito axe e salve!

- posted by pricansnowbrdr on 11/03/2005

Click for another Capoiera song "Zum Zum Zum Mata Um". Video #2 of that post also includes a sound file of "Paranuae".

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