Fado is a mournful music
Made up of somber rhythms
And solemn tones
Comprising a lament,
As well as an acceptance,
For what once was
But now has been lost.
Yet, its songs may not always be funereal;
At times they might contain the sounds of celebration
Set to a more lively tempo
Offering up defiance
In the face of circumstances
Which try to confine our movements.
We strain, instead, to be their master
By proclaiming our fado
In a voice of our own choosing.
For those interested in sampling the diversity of fado, I would recommend Carlos Saura's film Fados. Not a talking heads history, but instead a series of performances which run from traditional to contemporary, all of which are strikingly staged. (That Saura is well known for his ability to capture dance on film is readily apparent). Here are two excerpts, both featuring Mariza, one of the most well regarded living fado singers: