Since its reveal back in January, the Conan Osíris song “Telemóveis” has been making waves online and in print. It’s among the most talked-about tracks of the year, dividing opinion with its mysterious sound and unpredictable progression.

Pushing boundaries through instrumentation and lyrical content, the artist known in real life as Tiago Miranda has fans — both at home and abroad — questioning the meaning of the lyrics. Given that he’s among the Top 10 in the Eurovision 2019 betting odds, the time is ripe to dive into the “Telemóveis” lyrics to try and understand the wondrous world of Osíris. Charge your phone and top up your SIM card — it’s time to connect…

Scroll down for the “Telemóveis” lyrics

What do the “Telemóveis” lyrics mean?

There is simplicity in Osíris’ complexity. Have you ever wanted to talk to someone who has already died? That’s the premise on which “Telemóveis” is built, using the metaphor of the cellphone to make a connection with loved ones who have now departed.

Why a cellphone? According to Conan, it’s because we use smartphones for almost everything nowadays. He takes the “connection” they establish between people one step further, using them to reach into the world beyond our own. It puts a whole new spin on “other-worldly”.

One sign this is his intention is the hard-to-translate phrase “saudade”. It’s “a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing” for someone who is absent.

Beyond that intended message, the song offers plenty of scope for interpretation. Many have taken it as a statement of resistance against technology and on our dependence on mobile devices. Conan’s apparent rage comes through clearly: “I’ll ruin the cell phone, I want to live.”

Destroying the phone to end the connection with those who have gone? Removing a bit of tech so that he can live his life through his eyes rather than his device? It’s all for you to decide. 

You can read the complete Portuguese lyrics and English translation below.

What do you think of Portugal’s chances this year? Do you connect with the song and its message? Tell us in the comment section below. 

READ MORE PORTUGAL NEWS HERE

“Telemóveis” lyrics / translation — Conan Osiris (Portugal, Eurovision 2019)

“Telemóveis”

Eu parti o telemóvel

A tentar ligar para o céu
Pa saber se eu mato a saudade
Ou quem morre sou eu

Quem mata quem, quem mata quem, mata?
Quem mata quem?
Nem eu sei
Quando eu souber eu não ligo a mais ninguém

Se a vida ligar, se a vida mandar mensagem,
Se ela não parar e tu não tiveres coragem de atender
Tu já sabes o que é que vai acontecer
Eu vou descer a minha escada e vou

Estragar o telemóvel
O telelé
Eu vou partir o telemóvel
O teu e o meu
E eu vou estragar o telemóvel
Eu quero viver
E escangalhar o telemóvel

E se eu partir o telemóvel?
Eu só parto aquilo que é meu
Tou pa ver se a saudade morre
Vai na volta quem morre sou eu

Quem mata quem mata?
Eu nem sei
A chibaria nunca viu nascer ninguém

Eu partia telemóveis
Mas eu nunca mais parto o meu
Eu sei que a saudade tá morta
Quem mandou a flecha fui eu
Quem mandou a flecha fui eu
Fui eu.

English translation

I broke the cell phone

Trying to call heaven
To find out if I kill ‘saudade’
Or if I’m the one who dies

Who kills who, who kills who, kills?
Who kills who?
I don’t even know
When I find out I won’t call anyone else

If life calls, if life sends a message,
If life doesn’t stop and you don’t have the courage to pick up
You already know what will happen
I’ll come down my stairs

And I’ll ruin the cell phone
The cell, I’ll
break the cell phone
Yours and mine
And I’ll ruin the cell phone
I want to live
And to wreck the cell phone

What if I break the cell phone?
I only break what’s mine
Let’s see if ‘saudade’ dies
Or if in the end I’m the one who dies

Who kills who, kills?
I don’t even know
Snitchery never gave birth to anyone

I used to break cell phones
But I will never break mine again
I know that ‘saudade’ is dead
It was me who shot the arrow
It was me who shot the arrow
It was me.

 

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Ana
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Ana

I personally interpreted “I want to live And to wreck the cell phone” as a cry for not wanting to be dependent on the cell phone as the means to call heaven, i.e. moving on in the grief and moving on from wanting to hear from loved ones that have past because one needs to carry on in life and live it… Grief is so painful, there comes a time where you either give in to the pain or you decide to move forward and Live! I reckon he has the intention but hasn’t gotten there yet since he’s still… Read more »

Luis
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Luis

Conan Osiris just arrived to Israel!
https://twitter.com/_etranid/status/1110559779381043201

opus1612
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opus1612

In a world full of “cliche” and over-sexual or depressing pop songs, it’s so good when someone brings something different (sound,lyrics and performance) that really MAKES YOU THINK.It’s the difference between some pre-fabricated songs where some “pop-hit factory” make the same sounds and stage performance only changing minor elements to distract the audience, and the work of artists that clearly have a vision and a message to convey. And before saying that i’m wrong and this is pretentious let me just say that I prefer this “pretentious cr*p” over basic and boring music.Of basic and uninspired things life is already… Read more »

GazilionPT
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GazilionPT

In one interview Conan says the lyrics don’t necessarily refer to dead people. He said it may include people that once were very important in your life but now, while still being alive, grew apart from you and are as distant as if dead; He said that, in a sense, could be sadder.

GazilionPT
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GazilionPT

If you can understand Portuguese, it’s here: https://youtu.be/Y8syQ5akgyA?t=176

GazilionPT
Guest
GazilionPT

The lyrics is ambiguous even in Portuguese; some verses have multiple possible meanings, which means they have multiple translations.
For example:
— “Ou quem morre sou eu” may also mean “Or otherwise I’m the one who dies”
— “Quando eu souber eu não ligo a mais ninguém” may also mean “When I find out I won’t care about anyone else”
— “Mas eu nunca mais parto o meu” may also mean something like “I’m desperate because I don’t succeed in breaking mine”

Susana Franco
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Susana Franco

Hello everyone. Have you heard the acoustic version of the song Conan Osiris “Telemóveis”? He sang it in a TV program.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XAXId4Vf70

pooky1001
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pooky1001

Really great version of the song, i already loved the song but that version makes me love it more!!! Parabens Conan!!!

Maria João
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Maria João

So damn beautiful this version!!! His voice is amazing!!!!
I love this song in any way. My winner!!!

INAMOO
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INAMOO

Authentic. Portuguese music is having a redefined identity in Eurovision now.

David
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David

He deserves to be TOP 3. Hands up for Portugal not playing safe!

Kit Kat
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Kit Kat

The stairs are a central point of his staging. In anther post here about Conan, “Maria” gave a beautiful explanation to it: “The lyrics have several intertextual allusions. For example, as they descend the stairs and the dancer falls on the ground, he’s referring to a well-known poem by Fernando Pessoa (Álvaro de Campos), which says “My soul broke like an empty vase, it fell down the stairs, etc.). In the song, the word “soul” is replaced by “cell phone”, so it is the cell phone that falls down the stairs and splits into bits. In the end, an arrow… Read more »

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I don’t really know what to say about the lyrics. Except, I know this is art.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Of course, I could talk about the music at length, but that can wait until the April reviews.

James
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James

I like the use of a mobile phone as a metaphoric “hotline” to heaven. Adds to the list of items used in songs to reach that place and otherwise (i.e. “Stairway to Heaven”, “Highway to Hell”). Hehe

Sabrina
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Sabrina

My (long) comment was filtered (I promise I haven’t even mentioned the land of ice and its band), if any moderator can help with that, I would appreciate. 🙂

Max Williams
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Max Williams

This is amazing! Hope he wins

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

If I must be honest, I prefer Aina mun pitää to this…

Tony
Guest
Tony

Easily the best song this year, only 2 or 3
other songs with some quality, many bad songs this year!!!

Elsa
Guest
Elsa

Agree, this year is very poor compared to last one

Anael
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Anael

Go Conan! Love the song growing on me. Winner for me

Sabrina
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Sabrina

When I’ve listened to it for the first time, my interpretation was that it’s a song about digital dependency. In that case, trying to communicate with heaven through a cellphone would be a sign of how much we’re attached to our devices and how we end up losing connection to what really matters. But Bernardo’s explanation comes from a spiritual angle and also fits it perfectly. I guess this is the best thing about is lyrics, they’re thought-provoking and lead to multiple interpretations, but at the same time, they aren’t just a nonsense collection of words. They work from the… Read more »

Christopher
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Christopher

Wow, it’s even worse when you read what the lyrics mean. Pretentious crap that will hopefully remain in the semi.

Just messing around...
Guest
Just messing around...

WHY YOU MAD CAUSE PORTUGAL’S PUSSY POPS SEVERLY AND YOURS DONT BITCHHHHH

ONE OF THE BEST SONGS THIS YEAR

R
Guest

Well, if anyone needs to satisfy some kind of needs, Conan is the man to ask for advice! x’D

Mari
Guest
Mari

In your dreams maybe to stay in semi! Portugal is my favorite entry this year and wouldn’t mind if it wins the whole thing.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Beautiful song, fantastic lyrics and amazing staging. Congrats Portugal for this art piece! Wishing all the best!

Jo.
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Jo.

Clever lyrics.

Jigglypuff
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Jigglypuff

“I’ll ruin the cell phone, I want to live.” means he is going to stop trying to call the dead and move on with his life. The song doesn’t talk about phone dependancy in any part as I interpret it.

Miguel Lupi
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Miguel Lupi

My interpretation : when Conan says “I ll break the cell Phone, yours and mine”, that’s where the implication that they are bad is.

Jigglypuff
Guest
Jigglypuff

The question is who is the “yours” he refers to. It can be “yours and mine” referring to the dead person’s phone so he can’t definitely call again.

pooky1001
Guest
pooky1001

I have loved this song since it was first released, its uniqueness and lyrics are what make it so great but they could also prove to be its downfall unfortunately. Alot of people will love it but others will be wtf was that!!! Hopefully its originality and Conans live performance will be enough to give Portugal atleast a top 5 position.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

In terms of originality, vocals and lyrics, it’s great
However, the melody kills the song *for me* and unfortunately, that’s why it’s my last place so far

Colin
Guest
Colin

Despite me liking the song, I think you said nothing that calls for 14 minuses. Differences are okay. I’d be interested in hearing how come this is your very last place. Not one of the other songs is equally melodically off and less creative according to your taste?

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Fans hate other opinions, rip
I simply don’t find myself listening to this song or enjoying it
I prefer all others over this although I really appreciate it :\

Love love Peace piece
Guest
Love love Peace piece

I understand Roy Moreno but in this contest it’s more than a personal taste, if you enjoy it and would download or not. It’s about the show and the impact it causes in peoples hearts, souls and memories! If you think like that I’m sure this song isn’t in your bottom. 😉

Yeeep
Guest
Yeeep

Man, what is interesting is that, either here or in Youtube, in most of Portugal’s posts, YOU appear, stating how much you deslike the song… Get over it, dude, we got it! For people loving it, your opinion is irrelevant, and wil not change that fact…. GOSH…..

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Oh no, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, never
I’m simply expressing my opinion, it’s about every song, also those I really love
I enjoy the conversations 🙂
For my personal taste, it’s in the bottom
But if I had to judge it not personally, I would probably make it qualify because it’s quality
No need to get mad 🙂

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I fully agree, the music is what really puts me off. I really don’t see anything enjoyable in it.

oli
Guest
oli

I just love this song. It is so cool and unique, and the performance is great. I hope Portugal finishes at least in th top 10 or higher. PS: Conan is cute! 😛

Una
Guest
Una

I salute the work put into the lyrics and performance as opposed to those meaningful, plastic and generic lyrics of other entries. That said I don’t know how the casual viewer will understand the staging and make a connection. Otherwise it’s a very good effort by CO and kudos to the Portuguese juries and public that chose something so artsy. Very good effort, respect for Portugal this year.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Meaningless lyrics like seeing the reflection of your father within you (Hungary), remembering the departed love through shared memories (Netherlands), rough satire of how Europe eats itself in intolerance and extremism (Island), socio-economic struggles within the broken family (Italy) or calling for all the ones lost and damaged in life to return to their homeland (Albania)?

Of course that Portugal has clever and deep lyrics, but don’t underestimate others either.

Love love Peace piece
Guest
Love love Peace piece

Colin, Una didn’t say all the other entries were meaningless, he was referring to the ones that are meaningless and plastic, not all of them!

Colin
Guest
Colin

I can certainly agree there are some of those as well. I wasn’t sure who she was referring to as ”other entries”, so I just wanted to emphasize there are several of quite deeply written songs in this year’s line-up.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I am in love with this song. One of my favorites this year.
I WOULD NOT complain about returning to Lisbon next year….or even Porto.
I find myself casually humming this song at work and everything it’s infectious yet strange.
I’m oddly attracted to Conan too which is weird as he’s not my usual type…think it’s his voice

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

🙂 I know what you mean!… It’s addictive and yes he is very attractive in an odd way 🙂

Darren
Guest
Darren

Totally 😀
Atleast I’m not alone then

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

My interpretation goes more in the direction of the inability to connect with spirituality, the transcendent, in general, including the ones that are not among us but also other sides of spiruality, in spite of our human ability to communicate more and more among us. That explains also the sentence ‘Smitchery…’. Be it as it may, quite deep stuff.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

I hope he will release an official music video for Telemoveis.

Val
Guest
Val

This is the only song that I repeatedly listened to and still enjoyed. All other songs of this year’s favourites (Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden…), gripping at first, make me sick after I’ve listened to them for 2 days.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

have you listened to this more then once? im sorry but i cant even listen to the whole song. So bad

Val
Guest
Val

That’s the trick, it grows on you.

Trh
Guest
Trh

Why don’t you try then to listen until the end… is not a very informed opinion, is it?

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I thought I was the only one. I did make myself watch the video. I don’t like it and I found the staging distracting. The same goes for Australia, That obviously doesn’t mean that those songs are bad.

Yeeep
Guest
Yeeep

I totally agree with you: the Netherlands was my favorite with this one but, while I still repeat Telemoveis over and over and it still produces unexpected body movements (!), I got bored with Duncan (still thinking it is a good song though, but I don’t get the same feeling as the first time…) As for Switzerland, I still take it as what it is:totally reggaetón, but instead of a product from Puerto Rico, it came from the Alps….

TOM
Guest
TOM

Best song this year

Atlas
Guest
Atlas

Winner

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

thank god Netherlands , Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland,Italy is here so this CANT win:)

Val
Guest
Val

Did you hear Italy live?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

what’s the problem with Mahmood’s vocals?

Trh
Guest
Trh

Many said the exact same sentence with other countries in 2017. My guess is that you were one of them.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Make a FABULOUS video and rock it baby! Tel Aviv is ready for you! Go CONAN Go!

Anne
Guest
Anne

For me, the winner this year.