"Spirit Voices" as written by and Paul Simon....
We sailed up a river wide as a sea
And slept on the banks
On the leaves of a banyan tree
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

Some stories are magical, meant to be sung
Songs from the mouth of the river
When the world was young
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

By moon
We walk
To the brujo's door
Along a path of river stone
Women with their nursing children
Seated on the floor
We join the fevers
And the broken bones

The candlelight flickers
The falcon calls
A lime-green lizard scuttles down the cabin wall
And all of these spirit voices
Sing rainwater, sea water
River water, holy water
Wrap this child in mercy â?? heal her
Heaven's only daughter
All of these spirit voices rule the night

My hands are numb
My feet were lead
I drank a cup of herbal brew
The sweetness in the air
Combined with the lightness in my head
And I heard the jungle breathing in the bamboo

Saudocoes -- Greetings!
Da licenca um momento -- Excuse me, one moment
Te lembro -- I remind you
Que amanha -- That tomorrow
Sera tudo ou sera naoa -- It will be all or it will be nothing
Depende coracao -- It depends, heart
Sera breve ou sera grande -- It will be brief or it will be great
Depende da paixao -- It depends on the passion
Sera sujo, sera sonho -- It will be dirty, it will be a dream
Cuidado, coracao -- Be careful, heart
Sera util, sera tarde -- It will be useful, it will be late
Se esmera, coracao -- Do your best, heart
E confia -- And have trust
Na forca do amanha -- In the power of tomorrow

Lord of the earthquake
My trembling bed
The spider resumes the rhythm
Of his golden tread
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

Lyrics submitted by adupont

"Spirit Voices" as written by Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Spirit Voices song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song was written by paul after his experience in the jungle of brasil, experimenting with ayahuasca.....hence the brujo, and the lyric......the jungle breathes through the bamboo....
    dharmacaseon April 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLike dharmacase said, this is Paul Simon's "ayahuasca song" -- though that almost diminishes it. This isn't some recreational "drug" -- it's about a spiritual journey, arriving at that awareness that everything is connected in ways that we humans can only briefly understand, that "hear[ing] the jungle breath[ing]" is as close as we can be given to a real understanding of the world that can only be understood through experience.
    Professor Mon June 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like the romantic feel to this song, though the lyrics would suggest he visited a "brujo" otherwise a witch, maybe in what seems like a "third world country"
    GrungyBeatleon January 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentunbelievable atmosphere to this song; i can actually envision the spirit voices singing here .... this whole album has such illustrations and imagery to the songs ... just beutiful :)
    steveodoreon July 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAh-hah-hah. I use this song as "my sleepy song". So calming, so pretty...Man. Woot.
    eversincethewatermelonon February 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMan, the Brazilian bit in the middle that's translated - one of the most beautiful things I've read, as is the second verse. I love this album so much. There is something so spiritual and simple about the subject matter here, true beauty. Brings out so many emotions in me simultaneously.
    MJT81on August 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's like dharmacase said, that this song tells the story of Pauls trip to the jungle and about his experiences with ayahuasca.

    The first verses tells the story of how he travels into the jungle and realises the wisdom that lies inside the forest. He also sees a different side of life, probably one he hasn't seen before.

    He then talks about the process of meeting the shaman or "brujo", drinking the ayahuasca and learning something from the trip, which he then tries to take with him to his everyday life.

    I think the portugese parts represent the lessons he learned when he drank the ayahuasca, and that he is reminded that his own faith lies in the hands of himself.

    This is ofc just my interpretation, it might not be what Paul intended at all. But these are the thoughts that are awoken in me when i hear the song :) Anyway, a very beautiful song from a superb record.
    danielwestoon October 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn American Indian friend of mine speaks of the spiritual connection between all things, that all have a spirit. Humans, animals, trees, even inanimate objects, he referred to them as "my brothers." These are the Spirit Voices I hear in the song, from leaves of a banyan tree, to a falcon call, to the trickle of holy water.

    The song also awakens in me a magical story from when the world was young. It starts sad, of separation and loss, all due to a single, tragic choice. What happens next sounds like a brujo's curse, recited over all: over man, over woman, and over the whole Earth itself -- for there is a shared, tangible spiritual connection between all.

    Even more beautiful to me, the story continues of na forca do amanha -- healing and atonement. And we wait, tense, anxious, doubtful... but not alone! For in the story, the Earth herself -- the soil and all that spring from it -- cursed because of us, waits impatiently with us, to share our promised saving grace.

    I am moved by this beautiful song, and I like to imagine it's "my brothers'" Spirit Voices whispering "se esmera, coracao e confia."

    EatingPieon September 12, 2014   Link

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