Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Affectionate Tides

Time for something a little different now: the fado of Portugal. Beautiful, timeless music. The special kind of sadness (a.k.a. saudade) that´s inherent to the genre never fails to move me, especially when Amália Rodrigues is behind the microphone. Amália (1920-1999) was the undisputed queen of fado, or in Portuguese, rainha do fado. An amazing singer, she laid down the rules that modern fadistas still respect today.

Here´s a selection of some of her best songs, including my personal favorite: the rather upbeat yet still vaguely melancholic Fado Marujo. For those who´ve never been to beautiful, ramshackle Lisbon: the Madragoa, Bairro Alto and Alfama mentioned in the lyrics are old city quarters.

"Chega a Lisboa, salta do barco num salto,
Vai parar à Madragoa ou então ao Bairro Alto,
Entra em Alfama e faz de Alfama o convés,
Há sempre um Vasco Da Gama num marujo Português...
Sempre que passa um marujo português,
Passa o mar numa ameaça de carinhosas marés..."

Which roughly translates as:
"He arrives in Lisbon, hits the quay in one jump,
He´ll end up in Madragoa or later in the Bairro Alto,
Goes to the Alfama and pretends the Alfama is his ship´s deck,
There´s a Vasco Da Gama in every Portuguese sailor...
Every time a Portuguese sailor passes by,
the sea passes with a threat of affectionate tides..."

Amália Rodrigues - Fado Marujo MP3
Amália Rodrigues - Coimbra MP3
Amália Rodrigues - Fado Malhoa MP3
Amália Rodrigues - Céu Da Minha Rua MP3
Amália Rodrigues - Fado De Adica MP3

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