Old Severa (Largo da Severa)
Old Severa, gone and almost forgotten.
Only a plaque on the wall of her old flat remains.
An Eve with countless Adams and a voice we’ve never heard
from a square of crumbling buildings, washing lines and dirty pigeons.
Old Severa once was young,
making full use of her tongue,
melodies rose from her heart and her lungs
and she sunk to her knees in the struggle for funds.
Old Severa, whore of Babylon
but mother of the fate,
the fado cries of Lisbon
in the narrow streets at night,
carrying the cross
for modern women on the game,
Severa lives in all these girls
who work against the grain,
the faces that we recognise
but never know the name,
foreign girls in leather boots
arrive to do the same,
while everybody points the blame
and tries to shame the girls
yet lose themselves in songs
that old Severa gave the world
and the square of doors and cobblestones
discreetly bears her name,
though she died without a fortune
while the fado rose to fame
but I feel her in the alleys
and I hear the raging screams,
young Severa spitting semen out
instead of tasting dreams
but old Severa’s still around
and she’ll never leave the square
and even though she touches millions,
no one notices she’s there.
– Lennie Bezwik