Bossa Nova Daydreams


New English version of “Eu sei que vou te amar”

Here’s another new English version of a Bossa Nova classic. “Eu sei que vou te amar” is the original Portuguese title of the song by A.C. Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. My version is called “I know that I’ll love you”, which is pretty much a literal translation of the original. This song has been recorded by numerous performers, but there doesn’t seem to be any standard English version for it (though other English versions do exist). One of my favorite renditions is sung by Norma Bengell on a classic sixties album produced in Brazil called “Oooooh! Norma”. Also excellent are those of Sylvia Telles and Lenita Bruno, which were also recorded in Brazil in the 60s.

This song has been on my mind a lot over the last few days, because in addition to working on the new translation, I’ve also been making an arrangement of the music for a trio of voice, flute and guitar. As usual, if you like this version I encourage you to use it in performance. Let me know if you do. I’d love to hear it!

I know that I’ll love you
(Eu sei que vou te amar)

I know that I’ll love you,
my whole life through, I know that I’ll love you.
At every farewell I will love you,
with desperation I know I’ll love you.

And every verse I write will be my chance to say
I know that I’ll love you, love you my whole life through.

I know I’m going to cry,
whenever you’re not here I’m going to cry.
But each time you return will make up for
the loss I felt when you weren’t at my side.

I know I’ll have to bear
a never-ending feeling of despair,
while waiting for the chance to be with you,
with you my whole life through.

— English version by Matthew Marth,
based on the original Portuguese version,
entitled “Eu sei que vou te amar” by
Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes

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5 Comments so far
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I heard the Gal Costa/Tom Jobim version in youtube and wrote my own translation I’d like to share with you:

I know I’ll love you so
All of my life, I know I’ll love you so
I’ll love you every time I have to go
I’ll desperately cling and just know I’ll love you so

And every verse my pen will write
Will tell the world I know I’ll love you so
My every living moment

I know that I will cry
Each time you’re gone I know that I will cry
But your return will cause my tears to dry
And it will be as if you always stayed

I know I’ll suffer pain, misfortune reigns upon my poor domain
[Eternally I’ll wait for you again
All of my days
I know I’ll suffer pain, misfortune reigns upon my poor domain]
But I will bear the wait to be again
Beside you every moment

I know I’ll love you so

The section in square braces is where her version differs from how it is regularly sung.

Comment by Leonard

I’m Brazilian and that was the first english version that i really appreciate, that’s so good. Congratulations

Comment by David

Thanks, David. Praise from a native speaker means a lot!

Comment by Matthew

Your version is beautiful! First – because so close to the original in thought and feeling. And second, because so many open vowels make it a pleasure to sing as well. Thanks for being generous – I just might perform this sometime and will let you know!

Comment by saci

Thank you, I’m glad you like it. I did try hard to keep to the meaning and spirit, as well as a complementary rhyme scheme, where possible. I have more new versions on the way. If there’s one you’re looking for that you can’t find, let me know. Maybe I’ve already got one half-way completed.

Comment by Matthew




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