Fado

Music / Discovery

If we looked at the Earth from the galaxy of Andromeda, without a doubt, you and I would make no difference between Fado and Flamenco.

When we arrive to Mars, we would say to ourselves: well? it is almost the same language, but there seems to be some differences. No ? Don’t you think so?

Towards the Moon we would come to identify that but yes, of course, you see? I was right – I am always right. Fado, look, it comes from the West there, towards the Atlantic. Flamenco is just next door, but more towards the South and East, towards the Mediterranean.

And the moment we would have landed – at random in the Pyrenees, we would be amazed: Fado, Portugal – Flamenco, Spain.
Okay, I agree, would you have said. But it must be a bit the same, right?

Unfortunate! Don’t say that – every country has its own history, misfortunes and dreams.

Fado took off in Portugal in the 19th century – all grandeur gone, society was torn apart. Fado was originally the song of the poor, the thieves, the gamblers, the outcasts, those who frequented the bars that the good people did not.
It is an improvised song; a song of resentment and bad stories, a song against “them”, those people who think they are good. So much so that in the bars of Portugal, when people say this phrase : ” Silencio, que se vai cantar o fado!”

then the silence is made. To listen to the song of one’s own is the soul of Fado.

You know Fado, I’m pretty sure – you know the voice of Amalia Rodrigues.
So they say that the women of Fado wear a shawl.
As for the men, it’s the black suit – because of a great singer from the glory days of Fado: Alfredo Marceneiro.

This form of music almost died – it needs singers and not fascism that censors it.
And then, tourism made it the heart of Portugal – which is a bit of an exaggeration – but it has allowed it to stay alive – and to give us, who arrive from other galaxies, great moments of pleasure and discovery of the low-lying areas of Portugal’s big cities: Lisbon of course, Porto – Coimbra, apparently in a special form.
A little tour with me – and above all: with them:

Maria Severa

Alfredo Marceneiro

Amalia Rodrigues

& in Coïmbra :

Isn’t it a wonderful music to accompany a whole program of discovery of Portugal, through the eyes, hearts and souls of its artists?

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4 Thoughts

  1. Wonderful! Portugal is definitely on my list of places to go/see. We have always talked about renting a house there for the winter months. I can picture myself sitting somewhere having a glass of wine and listening to this wonderful music 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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