Fado, The Portuguese Blues

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Friday, September 5, 2014 Under: way of life
Anybody who visited Portugal before will certainly know it - the melodramatic sound of a Fado song.


Fado (fate) is a musical style that developed originally in Lissabon around 1800. A singer
(fadista) is usually accompanied by a Portuguese gitar and the subject of the song is often grief, sadness, poverty and loneliness.  In 2011 Fado was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO. 

Word goes that the origin of Fado even goes back to the 15th century, when women called for their husbands lost on the endless seas. "Oh waves of the salty sea, get your salt from the tears of the women in black on the sad coasts of Portugal".


Muziek van Amália Rodrigues

Lied van Dulce Pontes

Fado is the folk music of Lisbon since the 1800s. The "blues of Portugal", with its sad and beautiful ballads about lost sailors, broken hearts and bittersweet romance, are sung with a moan and a sob. The texts reflect the homage to a lover over the sea, hoping for a reunion in the future. Or it reminds us of a rosy past or dreams of a better future and the desire for what could have been, if fate had not intervened. Yet, in a nostalgic way, Fado can be swarming and happy, if the song is about the virtues of cities like Lisbon or Coimbra, or talking about the warmth of a typical Portuguese house.

Fado became internationally known since 1939, when the famous singer Amália Rodrigues was performing Fado. She made numerous stylistic innovations and was the most influencial fadista of all times. A new generation of young musicians contributed to the revival of the fado music, by adapting it and by mixing it with new trends. Fado musicians such as Mariza, Dulce Pontes, Cristina Branco, Ana Moura, Carlos do Carmo and Camané made Fado popular again, thus adding a whole lot of new fans for this bautiful and special kind of music.

There are plenty of local cafes or restaurants that regularly offer Fado evenings. It is definitely worthwhile to join in and dream away on the luscious sounds of this beautiful Portuguese music.

In : way of life 

Tags: fado  portugese blues  portugese muziek  fadista  amalia rodrigues   

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Marianne Hoesen Born in the deep south of The Netherlands, I moved to the central Algarve in 2007, together with my partner and 2 dogs. In the meantime we added some goats and chickens and are living a peaceful life in the rolling hills of the rural south of Portugal. I invite you to read a bit in my blog and to leave a comment afterwards. Also check out the holiday accommodations mentioned elsewhere in this website.


Algarve Portugal
café Portugal, bica
Esteva, rock rose, Algarve
sun, beach, Algarve
real cork real wine
beach Algarve
folklore dance Algarve
chicken piri piri

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