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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This is an example of fado - the sound of saudade - that my grandmother used to sing. This is Mariza, one of the more modern, independent fado singers.

The YouTube of Mariza singing 'Barco Negro', an updated and personalized version of the classic fado first made popular by Amalia Rodrigues, my favorite fado artist.

Amalia's voice is closer to the memory I have of my grandmother's voice. She always wore the classic black dress and black shawl of the fado singer. You can see in the YouTube video performance below that Mariza has the black shawl, but her black dress has daring flashes of red.

Mariza's hair is also something of a scandal for the traditional Portuguese. In her album, 'Transparente', she sings of her grandmother's "hooded eyes and kinky hair", laying bare the open secret of intermarriage between Portuguese and Africans (Mozambique and Azores), and stirring great controversy in her hometown of Lisbon.

I also selected this video because Mariza gives a brief synopsis of the song before she begins to sing. The words, in Portuguese, are below. I'll ask Padre or Luiz to help me translate.

If this is your first time to hear fado music, I hope it won't be your last.

It's the next blog entry below. Enjoy!

De manhã, que medo, que me achasses feia!
Acordei, tremendo, deitada n'areia
Mas logo os teus olhos disseram que não,
E o sol penetrou no meu coração.[Bis]

Vi depois, numa rocha, uma cruz,
E o teu barco negro dançava na luz
Vi teu braço acenando, entre as velas já soltas
Dizem as velhas da praia, que não voltas:

São loucas! São loucas!

Eu sei, meu amor,
Que nem chegaste a partir,
Pois tudo, em meu redor,
Me diz qu'estás sempre comigo.[Bis]

No vento que lança areia nos vidros;
Na água que canta, no fogo mortiço;
No calor do leito, nos bancos vazios;
Dentro do meu peito, estás sempre comigo.


ROBERTA said...

i had no idea what she was singing but it was magnificent!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Her voice is amazing, isn't it?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You can hear a wee bit of Celtic tones to her voice, right? Did you know that bagpipes are also used in Portugal? A time when the Celtic tribes occupied the Iberian Peninsula.

JCF said...

Speaking of Amalia, did you see the post I made earlier today on your "Suadade" thread, below? (It's a link to an mp3 from Pagan Sphinx)

Oh well, here it is again:

The LinkTV network has run specials on BOTH Amalia, and Mariza. They may come 'round again, so check for listings.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you so much, JCF, for this link. I've posted it next to the translation for the "Black Boat".