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Why learn capoeira songs?
"Capoeira Angola is culture and oral tradition. We must always remember to preserve this large African heritage that orally transmits all the knowledge about life, nature, ritual, magic, music, ultimately all connected with the life of the human being here on the earth with its material and spiritual richness. The music of Capoeira Angola is also part of this musical and spiritual African heritage, and passed through generations giving form to the ritual of Capoeira and at the same time giving freedom of expression and creativity to each master and student of Capoeira Angola... We must recognize, in this new milennium with all its technological innovations and cultural, social, ethnic, spiritual, political, and economic changes, the necessity of preserving this oral tradition so as not to risk losing this cultural and musical beauty."
~ From the introduction to the FICA-Salvador songbook. My translation.
Everyone must sing in order to contribute to the energy and axé of the roda. Also, learning the songs provides a way to begin learning the Portuguese language. Finally, as the above passage describes, the lyrics are a gold mine of knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, I've provided some links to databases of capoeira song lyrics - this way you can look up the words to your favorite songs and sing them with confidence instead of making up Portuguese-sounding words! :-)
Lyrics Links:
60 page songbook available for download from
Capoeira Mandinga Buffalo database - capoeira, maculele, samba de roda lyrics
Capoeira Holland - lyrics with English translations
Capoeira4All - (and click on "Songs" on the left) - capoeira and maculele lyrics with English translations
Open Roda database (and click on "Lyrics" on the right) - ladainhas
Volta ao Mundo has ladainhas and corridos
FICA - lots of ladainhas
Mp3 Links: - click on "Multimedia," then scroll down for songs/instrument downloads
TABCAT Columbus - Their music section has lyrics, translations, pronunciation, and sound clips!
Capoeira CDs:
Can be bought on (search the music section for "capoeira"),, and many other places on the web, such as individual groups' websites. If you have capoeira in your area, you can buy CDs from local instructors at classes, batizados, performances, and other events. Reviews of capoeira CDs can be found at and