Once again (as I did in Barcelona with flamenco previously), I left the Fado Theater Show for my last day in Lisbon. Did know few things about fado, heard some songs, but I was surprised by its outspread in the city.
It seemed that every café or restaurant hosted some kind of “fado-night special”. And the atmosphere of such an evening has to stay stuck with you for a long time. Listening to a lady singing, over a glass of wine, you just get hypnotized by the melody. Did not understand a word, but felt it so intensively!
While strolling the city one of those days, I have stumbled across an old type of a car, turned into a stand, with the inscription Lisboa – Cidade de Fado. It was selling audio CDs. The gentleman behind the counter recommended Amalia Rodrigues’ albums as classic example of Lisbon’s fado. (Haven’t parted from them ever since!)
And so, did buy the CD that I am going to bring home, and went to have dinner along with that “fado-special”, but I also wanted to see the (real) show at the theater, to listen to the music in different surroundings which echoes and specializes in performances as such. That was my last evening in Lisbon. And what an evening!
There was a band and few singers, performing one song after another. It seems that you just feel lost at some point. With every high note the lady sings you just have another hit of those overwhelming goosebumps, even though you actually don’t have any reason to be blue or sad! It makes you wonder about your purpose in life, your loved ones, your destiny, your path, it makes you morn over all those things and people you knew, and so on, and so on… And still, I didn’t understand a word of it!
Ever since Lisbon, I try to attend most of fado-evenings or concerts (which are scarce but do happen in Belgrade from time to time), but I always keep in mind not to go alone, since it often seems that I am going to burst into tears overwhelmed by the music, without any given reason and even though I am not “that kind of a person”. It didn’t happen so far, but there is such a magic to the music that… you never know – it just might this time.
Full Barcelona/Lisbon SERIES
Fado… Charming music… I tried to visit the Museum of Fado in Alfama three times, but never had a chance to do so 🙂 🙁
Oh, I just love traditional music from all over! Hey, there is one I remember bringing from Turkey years ago, maybe you know it – Yedi Karanfil, hope I got the name right. 🙂 I still listen to it from time to time. 🙂
I love world music, too. Years ago I started to take Spanish lessons just because I had started learning Flamenco dancing and wanted to sing songs while dancing 🙂
I’d met a young man who is a fado singer at a restaurant in Alfama. When he learned I was from Turkey, he said “oh I love Turkish music, it is similar to fado” and started to imitate a Turkish singer, pretended to sing a song (doesn’t know any Turkish of course). He was hilarious. A very nice guy. I do love Turkish classical music. However, to my mind they do not sound alike mainly because Turkish music makes me drink rakı whereas I listen to fado even when I work on the computer 😀
I know Yedi Karanfil, but I don’t like them. I used to send CDs to friends all over the world. Now that we have the Internet, it is easier to share, so I may send some music from my country to yours whenever you want. Have a great day that is full of glimpses!