Today I’m featuring photograph of the street art portrait of Amalia Rodrigues, star of Fado! Taken in Portugal by Zara Quiroga from Backpack ME Blog. Zara is running this blog with her partner Ashray and you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
Picture Story: AMALIA, the voice of Fado
Meet Amalia Rodrigues. Also known simply by “Amalia” amongst Portuguese people.
Often referred to as the voice of a nation, she is one of the most famous performers of Portugal’s unique music genre: fado. Literally translating into “fate”, fado is a type of music that carries a message of longing and nostalgia, notable both in its lyrics and sounds. When you travel to Lisbon, make sure you include fado in your plans: spending an evening in a fado house where live performances take place could easily be one of the highlights of your trip to Portugal’s capital city. If nothing else, it’s something really particular that you won’t get to experience anywhere else in the world. You might not understand the lyrics that fadistas sing pouring their hearts out, but I am sure the feeling of the songs will touch you just right.
This is a graffiti depicting Amalia found in Lisbon’s downtown area. Here, and precisely in the historical neighbourhood of Alfama, is where fado was born back in the 1800s. As an outlet for Portuguese sailors who found new ways of life out at sea, and specially for those lovers who were left behind. Fado was their way of mourning their long lost love and expressing that feeling of yearning – what in Portuguese we call “saudade”.
Now-a-days, many performers have mixed traditional fado with more contemporary sounds and even themes. But the feeling behind it is still the same: reminiscing about the past, glorifying fond memories from previous times.
When in Portugal embrace your fate, and don’t forget to listen to Fado!