Update: Sheet music for this song is now available at gregscheer.com.
A while back, I was looking for a musical setting of Psalm 125 to fit with our church’s series on the Psalms of Ascent. Like any good researcher, I went to YouTube. There, I found a video of two Brazilians playing a song called Proteção. I had no context for the music, but I couldn’t get the song out of my mind.
A little poking around brought me to a treasure trove of newly composed songs in Portuguese, written primarily by Rubem Amorese, but often co-written with others, most notably the other man in the video, Toninho Zemuner. Toninho has also recorded many of these songs. The man has golden ears and works with extremely talented musicians! You can hear the studio recording of Proteção at Amorese’s website or at their church’s website.
I wasn’t able to finish a translation in time for the sermon series that first led me to the song, but recently returned to it. A few days ago I completed a translation and piano score, and yesterday recorded a demo.
I hope to work with more of these songs in the future, and have been dropping hints at the CICW that a trip to Brazil would be an appropriate–no, necessary–part of my work. For now I’ll have to settle for this being a long distance collaboration, bringing more of Rubem’s songs to English speakers and making my presence in Brazil felt only through “Povo do senhor,” the Portuguese translation of my song “People of the Lord.”
I thought this was wonderful. Thanks for sharing. How did you manage the translation?
I speak fluent Portuguese. No, not really. Between Google translator and the “original” Psalm 125 I had a good sense of where the text was going. In some ways it’s like flying in the dark. On the other hand, I’ve seen some “accurate” translations that are completely unsingable. Hopefully this is faithful to the spirit of Rubem’s text.
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