Portuguese Love

Published March 30, 2012 by Sandee

 

At the Wave Hill gallery Sunday I explained Teena Marie to an artist from Portugal.  Why?  Be-cause, Teena Marie sang the Portuguese Love song !  I told her, “Teena Marie was a white American who sang like a black woman and she was a very popular R&B artist in the black community.  She went to Portugal and fell in love with it, and with this guy and she wrote this song.”   I sang with my eyes closed in passion and played air guitar to illustrate:   Come on in Por-tu-guese.  Say you love me baaaa-by.  Come on in Por-tu-guese, say you love meeeeee…  Saaay it to me, say it to me, say it to me, say you love me ba-by, Por-tu-guese love…

“Ohhh…,” she says when I finish.  “Yeah she really loved him, and on the beach and everything,” I told her.  We talked about other things too, but what started me on Teena Marie was our discussion of the Portuguese landscape.  I thought of Teena Marie on the beach with this sexy Portuguese guy playing his guitar.  By the way, I don’t think Teena Marie plays the guitar in this song.  I just played air guitar in my version, plus everybody knows Teena Marie did play the guitar anyway.

The artist was really friendly.  Her artwork by the way was kick-ass, photographs of trees completed by her sketch imaging.  She was intrigued by Teena Marie, so she got a pen and a piece of paper.  In her heavy Portuguese accent she asked, “How do you spell the first name?”  “Oh yes, it’s T-e-e-n-a,” I said.  I’m thinking, Holy shit!  She’s really gonna listen to it?!  I’m sure my fine air guitar and song rendition had everything to do with it.  I wonder what a woman from Portugal would think of a song about Portuguese love written by a white woman who sings like a black person…

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