Fado

Portugues sentimental song full of melancholy

Fado is the most popular folk music in Portugal. This Portuguese of way singing about life can be traced back to early 19th century. It originates from the poor districts of Lisbon. Fado literally means “fate” (from the Latin word “fatum”), and fado is part of every Portuguese person’s life.
The songs are about things that happen in life, melancholy, sadness, nostalgia for what no longer exists, but also about happiness and feasts. The Portuguese word for these feelings is “saudade”. This is such a typical Portuguese word, in other languages there is no translation for it.

There are two varieties of fado, namely those of the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra. The Lisbon style is the most popular, and was orginally sung by women only. Coimbra's fado has a more academic character, and is exclusively sung by men.

Since the revival of fado in the nineties of the 20th century, fado gets more and more famous internationally, and reaches more people every day. Amalia Rodrigues is considered to be one of the most important and influential fadistas ever.

In both Lisbon and Coimbra there are some fado restaurants where (professional) fadistas (fado singers) perform their songs. Lisbon’s districts Bairro Alto, Alfama and Mouraria, are very well known for their fado restaurants.
Also in the Costa de Prata, several restaurants offer a complete night out, with diner and music. Prebookings are usually mandatory.

In November 2011 the Portuguese Fado was added to Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

An example...

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