Fado Corrido de Coimbra

Coimbra, rio Mondego,
Dos teus sinos ao luar
Santa Isabel deu-te rosas
E as saudades há-de dar

Hei-de perguntar um dia
Ao vento que diz às flores
Para saber se é só uma
Esta linguagem de amor

Fui encher a bilha e trago-a
Vazia como a levei
Mondego que é da tua água
Que é dos prantos que eu chorei

Coimbra, Mondego river,
With (1) your moonlit bells
Saint Elizabeth (2) gave you roses
And longings (3) shall give

I shall someday ask
To the wind what does he tell to the flowers
To find out if there is but a single
Language of love

I went to fill the water jar, but I bring it
As empty as I took it
Mondego, where's your water
Where are (4) the tears I wept

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Translation comments:

1. In Portuguese, this word can also be read as "Of" or "From".

2. Reference to the Portuguese Holy Queen Elizabeth, wife of king D. Dinis, which, caught carrying bread for the poor over her skirt, was questioned by the king "What are you carrying mylady?", answered "Roses, Mylord", and droping the fold-up skirt produced... roses. This was from then on known as "The Miracle of the Roses".

3. The word "saudade" is unstranslatable. It is "longing", "yearning", "homesickness" and "blues" combined, and more. Basically, it is a feeling of missing something very much, particurly intense, and often associated with things you'll never see again, like college days or youth days, or dead people and faraway places.

4. In Portuguese, this can also be read as "Which is from".