Mulher Rendeira – The Lace-maker


Mulher Rendeira (the Lace-maker), also known as Mulé/Muié Rendeira (regionalisms) is a well-known song set to the Brazilian xaxado (a dance from the Pernambucan sertão). The origin of the song is disputed but the most well-known version of the origin, as told by the Pernambucan biographer of Lampião, is that Lampião himself wrote the verses of the original song. Famous Brazilian folklorist Câmara Cascudo backs it up saying Lampião wrote it in honor of the birthday of his grandmother “Tia Jacosa”, who was a lace-maker. The song was composed some time between September of 1921 and February of 1922, when it was debuted in Floresta, a city in the middle of Pernambuco.

The song practically became the anthem of the war fought by Lampião and his cangaceiros (bandits). It is said that upon their attacking Mossoró (Rio Grande do Norte) in 1927, it was with all 50 bandits singing “Mulher Rendeira”.

When Zé do Norte, a northeastern composer, adapted the song for the soundtrack of the hit film O Cangaceiro (1953), the song became internationally known. The film won a prize at Cannes where the soundtrack also received special mention by the jury. In 1957, an ex-member of Lampião’s gang, “Volta Seca” recorded the song as well and it’s thought that the version he sings is closest to that which Lampião himself sung. Today, there are over 120 versions, in 7 languages, from 14 countries.

(Info translated from Wikipedia)

There are so many versions, as mentioned above, so I’ll post just 3 below (one in Spanish)…

I also recommend checking out the Rhythm and Roots site which covers the song’s history and other versions in depth.


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