Accompanied here by the legendary Caetano Veloso, this is actually a tribute to the singer and actress known as Carmen Miranda, who embodied Brazil to the world — well, Hollywood, at least — in the 1930s and 1940s. Hence the batuque marking the rhythm of the song.
But underneath Carmen Miranda’s typical colorful gowns and tropical fruit headdress, her pale complexion gave away her birthplace. She was born Maria do Carmo Miranda in 1909 in a town called Marco de Canaveses, about 50 km east of Porto at the junction of the rivers Douro and Tâmega. That same year, her family emigrated to Brazil, like many Portuguese families did, especially from the north, at the beginning of the 20th century. She never returned to Portugal but apparently kept her nationality (besides Brazilian, of course) until her death in 1955.
Admittedly, there’s something slightly amusing for a Portuguese to hear someone of David Byrne’s caliber sing about Marco de Canaveses, a toponym probably unheard of beyond these borders. One can’t help wondering, though, if Carmen Miranda had been born in, say, Freixo de Espada À Cinta or Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo — not to name other “rude” ones — how would he have fitted it into that song?