Learn Portuguese with These 10 Amazing Brazilian Songs

Embarking on a language-learning journey can be an exciting and rewarding experience, especially when combined with the power of music. If you’re looking to master Portuguese, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Brazilian culture than through its incredible music. Brazil, with its diverse musical heritage, offers a treasure trove of Brazilian songs that will not only enhance your language skills but also introduce you to a myriad of vibrant genres.

In this article, we invite you to join us on a musical voyage through Brazil as we explore the captivating sounds that have made this country a global hub for rhythm and melody. By adding these songs to your Spotify favorite tracks, you’ll improve your Portuguese pronunciation and dive deep into the colorful world of Brazilian music.

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1.  Se… – Djavan (MPB)

MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) is a genre that emerged in Brazil in the 1960s, combining elements of bossa nova, samba, folk, and other Brazilian musical traditions.

An icon of MPB, Djavan showcases his mastery of metaphors in this song released in 1992. Almost every section expresses his frustration with a confusing love, where one person wants to intensify the relationship while the other remains unclear.

“Você disse que não sabe se não
Mas também não tem certeza que sim”

“You said you don’t know if it’s a no,
But you’re not sure it’s a yes either.”

The chorus employs metaphors to illustrate this situation, using elements like the climate of southern Brazil to describe the singer’s feelings.

“E me remete ao frio que vem lá do sul
Insiste em zero a zero e eu quero um a um”

“You send me back to the cold that comes from the South,
Insisting on a draw, while I want a victory.”

This song is perfect for learning the metaphoric language of Brazilian Portuguese, not to mention how relaxing and soothing the melody is!

Brazilian beach

2.  Rainha da favela – Ludmilla (Funk)

Brazilian funk, also known as “funk carioca” or simply “funk,” is a popular music genre that originated in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its infectious beats, aggressive lyrics, and energetic dance style.

Loaded with representativeness regarding the fight for dignity in the Brazilian ghetto, “Rainha da Favela” is a perfect representation of the funk style and its origins, both through its lyrics and its music video, featuring icons of funk from the 90s and 2000s.

If you want to learn Portuguese with songs, this one will teach you lots of expressions such as:

“Entre becos e vielas, rainha da favela”

“Between alleys and backstreets, I’m the Queen of the Favela”.

In Brazil, favelas are informal settlements or urban neighborhoods typically characterized by low-income housing and a lack of adequate infrastructure and services. The words becos and vielas, on the other hand, refer to specific types of pathways typically found in informal settlements

3.  A morena não é capaz – Paixão baiana (Lambadão)

Lambadão is a genre of energetic and rhythmic music and dance that originated in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, particularly in the city of Campo Grande. A morena não é capaz is one of the most popular Brazilian songs at family parties. With the typical style of the northern and central-west regions of Brazil, its lively rhythm creates a challenge, inviting people of all ages to hit the dance floor.

If you’re looking for opportunities to learn Portuguese with songs, this one will teach you a few diminutive nouns such as gatinha, which means kitten; and loirinha, which is an affectionate term for a blonde woman.

4.  Só ficou o cheiro – Rael feat Melim (Pop)

The band hails from the northwest region of Brazil and incorporates elements from their region into their catchy pop songs. Só ficou o cheiro, which means “Only a scent remains”, tells the story of someone in mourning over a relationship that didn’t have a happy ending.

This is one of the best Brazilian songs to learn terms of endearment and romantic expressions. For example, the line “Veio em mim e chamou de MEU REI” (“she came to me and called me My King”) is an interesting one. In the northwest region of Brazil, specifically the province of Bahia, when you have intimacy with someone, you refer to them as “my king” or “my queen.” Useful to know, right?

5.  Tá vendo aquela lua – Exaltasamba (Samba)

Lively and infectious, Brazilian samba is a popular music and dance genre that originated in the early 20th century in the urban areas of Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro.

The group “Exaltasamba” invites you to move your body and experience a mix of emotions with their romantic lyrics, encompassing love, suffering, betrayal, joy, and triumph. In this song, the group describes the beautiful moment when two strangers meet, and a connection begins to unfold.

Like all Brazilian songs on this blog, this is a great title if you love to learn Portuguese with songs. With this one, you’ll learn how to use the progressive tense:

“Te filmando, eu tava quieto no meu canto
Cabelo bem cortado, perfume exalando

“Filming you, I was quiet in my corner
Well-cut hair, exhaling perfume”

6.  Voa beija-flor – Jorge & Matheus (Sertanejo)

Sertanejo music is characterized by its distinctive blend of folk, country music, and pop influences. In this track, the duo Jorge & Matheus muse on the process of overcoming a relationship where the other person didn’t deserve them. Through inspired metaphors, the singers describe their lover as “a hummingbird going from mouth to mouth”.

This song is particularly great to practice past tenses:

“Você seguiu outros caminhos eu fiquei chorando aqui”

“You followed other paths, I was crying here”

7.  A lua me traiu – Banda Calypso (Forró)

Banda Calypso is the most famous forró band in Brazil, and it brings a very energetic approach to the forró style. Forró is a rhythm originating from the northern region of the country. It features accordion, zabumba (a type of bass drum), and triangle as the primary instruments

A lua me traiu, which means “The moon betrayed me”, is a melancholy song about lies and deception.

If you’re looking for Brazilian songs that read like stories, this is a great choice:

“Parece até conto de fadas
 Mas assim aconteceu
 Éramos dois apaixonados
 Julieta e Romeu”

 “It sounds like a fairy tale
But it really happened
We were two lovers
Just like Juliet and Romeo”

8.  Já faz tanto tempo – Fresno feat. Lulu Santos (Rock)

Fresno, representing the new generation of Brazilian rock, joins forces with the rock legend Lulu Santos to tell the story of a person who can’t seem to move on from a relationship but tries to accept what the other person is out of love.

As you can imagine, it’s one of the most poignant Brazilian songs in our Language Trainers playlist.

With this song, you’ll have a nice, cathartic cry while learning how to use the past simple tense in Portuguese:

“Cê ‘tava tão feliz
 De um jeito que eu jamais te fiz”

“You were so happy
In a way that I could never make you”

9.  Esquema preferido – Barões da Pisadinha (Piseiro)

Piseiro is a new musical genre that originated in the interior of northeast Brazil. It is characterized by the combination of electronic keyboards with vocal harmonization;

In this song, the musicians use a recently popularized term in Brazil, “esquema,” to refer to a casual dating situation without any serious commitment.

The song features lots of other informal expressions that remind us why it’s so great to learn Portuguese with songs. For example:

Sem coração: heartless

Eu mando logo a localização: I’ll send you the location

10.  Desde que o samba é samba – Caetano Veloso feat. Gilberto Gil (Bossa nova)

Bossa nova, which later gave birth to samba and Brazilian Popular Music, can be considered Brazil’s version of jazz. In this song, the artists speak about how samba liberates one from sadness.

Desde que o samba é samba (Since samba is samba), has beautiful phrases that would make great tattoos. Some of our favorite ones are “Cantando eu mando a tristeza embora” (I send sadness away when I sing), and “Samba é o filho da dor” (Samba is the son of pain).

These ten Brazilian songs provide a vibrant journey through the diverse musical landscape of Brazil. As you listen to them, you will immerse yourself in the richness of the Portuguese language and the captivating rhythms that define Brazilian culture.

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As you learn Portuguese with songs from different genres, you’ll not only expand your language skills but also gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural nuances embedded within the music.

So get ready to sing along, dance to the beats, and let the melodies transport you to the colorful streets of Brazil.

Would you like to go beyond Brazilian songs and start working on your speaking skills? Contact Language Trainers now or explore our tailor-made Portuguese courses!