The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (44): Sodade

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (44): Sodade


norman lebrecht

April 29, 2020

Fado is the ultimate heartbreak song.

The general theme is: He kissed me. I loved him. He left me, the bastard.


  • Bruce says:

    Ha. Before I even clicked on this, I thought “He’d better mention Cesaria Evora.”

  • fflambeau says:

    What an erroneous generalization about Fado.

    First of all, an important branch of it (Coimbra) is sung by men only, so the themes above would be nonexistant.

    Second, many of the themes are about the sea, the sad life of the poor and so on.

  • Peter says:

    ‘Sodade’ is written not in Portuguese but in Cape Verdean Creole. Sodade – saudade.
    Most Portuguese speakers need a translation.
    And, yes, “What an erroneous generalization about Fado.”

    • Pedro says:

      And this is not Fado. Fado comes from Portugal. Cesaria Evora, who was a genius and enjoyed the good things of life, sang the Morna from Cape Verde. I remember hearing her live in Rennes, many, many years ago, when she was completely unknown and sang to a handful but enthusiastic audience, including Mário Soares, the former President of Portugal.

  • John Nemaric says:

    Fado is not Sodade and/or Saudade. Fado is Portugal and more akin to the Tango than any other musical forms. However, to understand what Fado is one has to go to Amalia Rodriguez (RIP). Nothing compares to her empathy in musical terms. She left many recordings and musical performances in film (go to U-Tube). She also many times went to Ladino poetry as source of inspiration. Ladino in this case refers to the Jewish community at large that lived in Portugal until they were terminated or expelled around the end of the 1200’s. As an example, Baruch Espinoza was a “Ladino” who’s family had left for what now is Holland. If you don’t know who Baruch Espinoza is, now you need to hit the books and/or internet. Amalia Rodriguez is considered by many to be the voice of Fado, period. Artur Paredes and his son Carlos Paredes were the voice of the Coimbra guitar and pure instrumental Fado. This is basic Ethnomusicology. Period.

  • Diane says:

    I live in the US and could not download because “the uploaded has not made this video available in Your country.” I love Fado!

    • John Nemaric says:

      Go directly to u-Tube and enjoy! Look for Amalia Rodrigues, Maritza, Oscar Paredes, Carlos Paredes, etc. Happy listening and be ready to shed more than a tear along the way.