Life Journal

Perfection – Perfeição, Legião Urbana

Perfection – Perfeição, Legião Urbana


Perfection – Perfeição, Legião Urbana

Play the song while you read…

Renato Russo, my teenage local hero made big (for people who need parallels, think a Brazilian Morrissey, although he was very different from that) wrote most of Legião Urbana’s lyrics. But it turns out it was the one I actually fancied as a teenage girl: Dado Villa-Lobos, who helped craft this gem, one of the best songs I ever heard on the subject of politics, despair and hope. Most other songs have Renato’s name first, but not this one. This is considered by some to be Brazil’s real national anthem…

The video for it doesn’t seem to have the sophistication and production values we have become accustomed to (I only saw it for the first time last year, but it’s from 1993 – and I think a lot of people are watching and singing it again). Renato Russo was very much into Lord of the Rings and medieval things, so at first I thought he probably made poor Dado wear that outfit which looked so incongruous at first… Also in there is Marcelo Bonfá wearing a more brazilian, local outfit. Perhaps they personify European and local influences in our land? No idea why Dado is riding a horse without a top on at the end 😀


The song itself invites us to evaluate all that is corrupt, greedy, shallow in our (brazilian) society by telling us to celebrate its various downfalls. This could apply to any society, of course. There are specific references to carnaval, vote buying, and some other Brazilian issues. And so we travel through a revolting and depressing landscape filled with everything that is rotten in society. I feel disgusted, cheated and angry every time I go through this journey. It’s very effective in eliciting those feelings in me.

Until the very last two verses, when suddenly it takes a sharp turn, and it says ‘enough, things can be different!’, and every time I hear it my heart fills up with hope, and I well up. EVERY TIME!!! I try to listen to this song on rare occasions, so that it can keep having this amazing effect on me. The last verses to me are a call to arms, a call to action. Time to do something about all that is wrong, time to change.

Video and Portuguese lyrics
Portuguese and English transalation (verse by verse)

Vamos celebrar
A estupidez humana
A estupidez de todas as nações
O meu país e sua corja
De assassinos covardes
Estupradores e ladrões

Let’s celebrate
Human stupidity
The stupidity of all nations
My country and its cohorts
Of murdering cowards
Rapists and thieves

Vamos celebrar
A estupidez do povo
Nossa polícia e televisão
Vamos celebrar nosso governo
E nosso estado que não é nação

Let’s celebrate
The stupidity of the people
Our police and television
Let’s celebrate our government
And our state which isn’t a nation

Celebrar a juventude sem escolas
As crianças mortas
Celebrar nossa desunião

Celebrate the youth without schools
The dead children
Celebrate our disunity

Vamos celebrar Eros e Thanatos
Persephone e Hades
Vamos celebrar nossa tristeza
Vamos celebrar nossa vaidade

Let’s celebrate Eros and Thanatos
Persephone and Hades
Let’s celebrate our sadness
Let’s celebrate our vanity

Vamos comemorar como idiotas
A cada fevereiro e feriado
Todos os mortos nas estradas
Os mortos por falta de hospitais

Let’s celebrate like idiots
Every February and holiday
All who die on the roads
Dead for lack of hospitals

Vamos celebrar nossa justiça
A ganância e a difamação
Vamos celebrar os preconceitos
O voto dos analfabetos
Comemorar a água podre
E todos os impostos
Queimadas, mentiras
E sequestros

Let’s celebrate our justice
Greed and difamation
Let’s celebrate prejudice
The illiterate voting
Commemorate stagnant water
And all the taxes
Burnings, lies
And kidnappings

Nosso castelo
De cartas marcadas
O trabalho escravo
Nosso pequeno universo
Toda a hipocrisia
E toda a afetação
Todo roubo e toda indiferença
Vamos celebrar epidemias
É a festa da torcida campeã

Our castle
Of marked cards
The slave labour
Our small universe
All the hypocrisy
And all the affectation
All robbery and indifference
Let’s celebrate the epidemics
It’s the winning team’s celebration

Vamos celebrar a fome
Não ter a quem ouvir
Não se ter a quem amar
Vamos alimentar o que é maldade
Vamos machucar o coração

Let’s celebrate hunger
Not having anyone to listen to
Not having anyone to love
Let’s feed what is bad
Let’s hurt the heart

Vamos celebrar nossa bandeira
Nosso passado
De absurdos gloriosos
Tudo que é gratuito e feio
Tudo o que é normal
Vamos cantar juntos
O hino nacional
A lágrima é verdadeira
Vamos celebrar nossa saudade
E comemorar a nossa solidão

Let’s celebrate our flag
Our past
The absurd glories
Everything which is free and ugly
All that is normal
Let’s sing together
The national anthem
The tears are real
Let’s celebrate our longing
And commemorate our loneliness

Vamos festejar a inveja
A intolerância
A incompreensão
Vamos festejar a violência
E esquecer a nossa gente
Que trabalhou honestamente
A vida inteira
E agora não tem mais
Direito a nada

Let’s celebrate envy
Let’s celebrate violence
And forget our people
Who worked honestly
Their whole lives
And now don’t even have
The rights to anything

Vamos celebrar a aberração
De toda a nossa falta de bom senso
Nosso descaso por educação
Vamos celebrar o horror
De tudo isto
Com festa, velório e caixão
Tá tudo morto e enterrado agora
Já que também podemos celebrar
A estupidez de quem cantou
Essa canção

Let’s celebrate the aberration
Of our complete lack of common sense
Our disregard for education
Let’s celebrate the horror
Of all this
With party, funeral and coffin
Everything is dead and buried now
We also have to celebrate
The stupidity of who sang
this song

Meu coração está com pressa
Quando a esperança está dispersa
Só a verdade me liberta
Chega de maldade e ilusão

My heart is in a hurry
When hope is dispersed
Only the truth sets me free
Enough of wickedness and illusion

O amor tem sempre a porta aberta
E vem chegando a primavera
Nosso futuro recomeça
Que o que vem é Perfeição!

Love always has an open door
And spring is coming
Our future starts again
What comes next is Perfection!

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