Fado and Saudade

In response to Daily Post’s Papa Loves Mambo
My parents used to hear to Fado. They would put Amália Rodrigues sounding on the stereo and I would try to cover my ears and concentrate on what I was doing.

For the ones who don’t know what kind of music is Fado:

“In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a sentiment of resignation, faithfulness and melancholia. This is loosely captured by the Portuguese word “saudade”, or “longing”, symbolizing a feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage)”

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fado

It’s not that I don’t like Fado. For lack of better wordings, I accept Fado as a Portuguese Tradition and there are some musics that I do enjoy. But it’s all so sad. It appears that we are always listening to mourning songs.

One of the Fado songs that I truly enjoy is “Foi Deus” (Translation: It was God):

“I know not, no one knows Why I sing the fado in this hurtful tone of pain and mourning And in this torment, all this suffering I feel my soul is consoled by the verses I sing.

It was God who gave voice to the wind, Light to the heavens and made the waves of the sea blue It was God who placed on my chest A feathered rosary that I unravel as I cry and sing.

He made a poet of the nightingale, he put rosemary in the fields He gave flowers to the spring Oh, he gave me this voice.

If I sing, I know not what I sing A mix of chance, longing, fondness and perhaps love However I know that when singing, I feel that When one has heartbreak and mourning on our face we are consoled.

It was God who gave light to the eyes, gave gold to the sun and silver to moonlight It was God who placed on my chest A feathered rosary which I unravel as I cry and sing.”

It did not influence my musical tastes. What it did was to create a strong resistance to loud music!



2 thoughts on “Fado and Saudade

  1. Here in Portugal we have restaurants where they sing Fado, usually a specific kind that is called “à Desgarrada”, which means that the singer is usually improving as they sing. It’s a jam session for Fado :). It’s really nice.

    You can listen to the music that I spoke about here:

    Amália Rodrigues is probably the best known Fado singer ever. If you prefer more modern one, listen to Mariza:



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