Here’s another song that’s been stuck in my head.
I like the way the lyrics capture the feeling of being in a huge city (which is where I am as I write this, oddly enough). This is from the Manhattan Transfer’s Brasil album, which is a gem– you can listen to it end-to-end and walk away humming more than one tune, which is a credit to the composers (Djavan, Lins, Nascimento and others) and the Transfer’s arrangements.
The unfortunate thing about this album is that it fell through the cracks– many of the Manhattan Transfer’s fans thought it was too experimental, and many Brazilian music purists had issues with the English lyrics created for many of these songs. (Rather than opting for straight translations, the group enlisted Doug Fieger (of The Knack) to write English lyrics that *sounded* like the original Portuguese. As a result, the English words had nothing to do with the lyric content of the original songs.) The group had a minor hit from this disc with their version of Djavan’s “Sina,” reworked as “Soul Food to Go.”

Metropolis (Arlequim Desconhecido)
(Music by Ivan Lins & Vitor Martins, Lyrics by Brock Walsh)
Once there was light
Perfectly white
Far as the eye could wander
Once there was time
Morning and night
Once there was sky — over yonder
The day begins
Metropolis lies sleeping like a drunken soldier
Behind the wheel you come alive
And down into its heart you motor
Atop the rise – Metropolis
Defender of the high and mighty
At every turn the homeless wait
Reminding you of all that might be
Hurry now, there is somebody there to meet you
Office girls sweet and innocent poised to greet you
Through the glass fifty stories below you
There’s a place I’ve been meaning to show you
Full of sights that are certain to blow you away
Beneath the haze
Metropolis awakens with a hiss and rumble
You’ll hear a knock, don’t hesitate
They mustn’t ever see you stumble
You’ll never last down on the street
Where staying on your toes ain’t ballet
It’s getting by or getting beat
From curtain to the grand finale
In the air there is music and sounds of laughter
For the moment it’s happily ever after
Through the glass fifty stories below you
In the shadows where nobody knows you
There’s a stranger who’s dying to show you the way
Now entering Metropolis
Creation of a world gone crazy
The alleyway – the resting place
Still echo from the souls trapped under
You lock the doors, step on the gas
And push until it goes no faster
You close your eyes and leave behind
Metropolis lord and master