No, not for the damned rooster… Saw my neighbour last night in the botequim (local bar) and joked with him about the rooster finding its way across his grill (yesterday’s post), he assured me not; a fact that I was assured of this morning albeit at a more reasonable hour. Apparently, it doesn’t like the rain, so I pray for rainy mornings and no cock-a-doodle-doos.

Yesterday afternoon my student (who is on holiday for two weeks) met me in the botequim to correct his homework, he brought along his guitar. I knew that he played one, determined through questions in class, but had no idea how well.

During the course of demonstrating his skills, he played O Trem das 7 horas (The Seven O’clock Train). Now this just happens to be one of my favourite pieces of Brazilian music. Originally performed by Raúl Seixas, Zê Ramalho’s version is better, at least imho. So I get to bore you with it

Nostalgic, because it is about the passing of an era. The arrival of the last steam train from the country. Here are the lyrics. Yes, I know, Portuguese, but I have added a translation to each line)

The album cover

Ói, ói o trem, vem surgindo de trás das montanhas azuis, olha o trem (Hey, hey the train, surging from behind the Blue Mountains)
Ói, ói o trem, vem trazendo de longe as cinzas do velho éon (Hey, hey the train, comes bringing from far the ashes of the past)

Ói, já é vem, fumegando, apitando, chamando os que sabem do trem (Hey, it’s here, smoking, whistling, calling those who know the train)
Ói, é o trem, não precisa passagem nem mesmo bagagem no trem (Hey, it’s the train, you don’t need tickets nor baggage on the train)

Quem vai chorar, quem vai sorrir? (Who cries, who smiles)
Quem vai ficar, quem vai partir? (Who stays, who goes)
Pois o trem está chegando, tá chegando na estação (Because the train is arriving, it’s arriving at the station)
É o trem das sete horas, é o último do sertão, do sertão (It’s the seven o’clock train, the last one from the back country)

That’s the gist of it.

Pure nostalgia, especially for those of us who remember the glory of steam and the sadness of its passing.