Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fado - The Sound of Portugal

Fado (translated as destiny or fate) is a music genre which can be traced from the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. 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. However, in reality Fado is simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. You can read more about it here. (Source: Wikipedia)

Mariza image borrowed from mia.remezcla.com

In my continuing quest to expand my music appreciation, I recently saw some videos by Portugal's Mariza, who's passion is singing Fado. Let me stress the word "passion"! Her voice is gorgeous and powerful, and her sense of drama on stage is intense. I enjoy her very much, but kind of like chocolate: a little goes a long way. While learning more about this song style, I've also been reading Isabel's poetic and sweet memories of her childhood in Portugal at A Room of One's Own. It seemed like fate (or should I say... Fado?) that Mariza's videos appeared on the World Music program at LINKtv during this time. The first video I experienced was Meu Fado:

I did a search on You Tube for some more and found the beautifully arranged song about "saudade", Gente da minha terra:

"People of My Land"

It is my and yours - this fate
A destiny that binds us,
Even when we deny it,
To the strings of a guitar

Every time we hear the lament
Of a crying guitar
We are immediately lost
With a need to cry

People of my land
Now I understand
This sadness I carry
I received from you

It would seem like tenderness
If I let myself feel it
My sorrow would be bigger
But my singing less sad

People of my land
Now I understand
This sadness I carry
I received from you

And finally, if the soaring slow drama of those two is not to your taste, try Rosa Branca. I love this one - it'll definitely get your feet moving.

"White Rose"
(this song is based on a children's song about roses)

In the ring with the rose on my lapel
I danced with anyone
So many turns I have dances
That the rose petals fell

Who has, who has
The love that fits them
Pick the white rose
And put it on the lapel

Oh Rose bush, little rose bush
Rose bush in my garden
If you love roses so
Why don't you love me?

Who has, who has
The love that fits them
Pick the white rose
And put it on the lapel

This song is based on a children's game. Kids would make a ring and dance around it until they picked the girl or boy they liked.

Don'tcha just love all those rolled r's? And I'm particularly fond of the jangly sound of the Portuguese guitar - so different from the warm Spanish guitar sound.

Many thanks to Isabel for her translations of these two songs - you're a peach!


lori vliegen said...

beautiful music sung by a beautiful woman!! i actually love to listen to music sung in a different language...it's amazing how apparent the passion of the artist is when you're not so focused on the lyrics! and, i love those rrrrrolled r's...wish i could do that! :)

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

Do you read A Cuban in London's blog? You would love it! He features LOTS of different types of music (he is a dance instructor) and he actually posted about this singer, the first song and the word "saudade."

Lovely post! Thanks for sharing!

3rdEyeMuse said...

check out you and your music-expanding self out! I love it when you share. :)

rochambeau said...

Love Fado and Portuguese music in general!! Mariza is incredible. Thank you for the introduction.

Isabel is an incredible woman too!
Have a great night!

Gabriela said...

Hello Kate,

Loved this songs...

~ Gabriela ~

Isabel said...

My dear Kate,

Thank you for posting a little of our Fado music on your blog, and for your lovely mention of my little corner. Mariza is an incredible singer. If you need a translation of those lyrics, I would lvoe to do it for you.


TattingChic said...

It is lovely music, indeed! She does have a strong and passionate voice.

High Desert Diva said...

I've heard her before on A Cuban in London's blog. Wonderful singer. Glad you found her.

Andrea said...

What beautiful music...you can sense her love for the music in her voice.

Christine said...

I've only listened to a mnute of her singing and I love it! I'm going to have to start coming here for music recommendations.