Monday, December 08, 2008

Fado: Mariza sings "Gente da minha terra" in a Special Fado Moment

I just posted a note on a Facebook account to David da Silva Cornell. He shared a video of Fado performer Mariza performing the song "Gente da minha terra" or "People of my Land."

Here is what I wrote to him:

WOW! I wept! Thank you for sharing this here. I will post it on my blog as well. Those without Fado in their lives need to see this performance through to the end.



The lyrics listed below are taken from this page and indicate that this traditional Fado was written by Amalia Rodrigues. I have subsequently edited the English translation to try to better capture the bits of the original poetry that I can pick up.

Ó Gente da Minha Terra
by Amalia Rodrigues

É meu e vosso este fado
Destino que nos amarra
Por mais que seja negado
Às cordas de uma guitarra

Sempre que se ouve o gemido
De uma guitarra a cantar
Fica-se logo perdido
Com vontade de chorar

Ó gente da minha terra
Agora é que eu percebi
Esta tristeza que trago
Foi de vós que a recebi

E pareceria ternura
Se eu me deixasse embalar
Era maior a amargura
Menos triste o meu cantar

Ó gente da minha terra
Agora é que eu percebi
Esta tristeza que trago
Foi de vós que a recebi


People from my Land

This fado is mine and yours
Destiny that keeps us tied
The more we try to deny it
To the strings of a guitar

Each time we hear the groan
Of a singing guitar
We soon are lost
In our willingness to cry

Oh people from my land
Now I have understood
That this sadness that I carry
Came to me from you

It would look like tenderness
If I'd pack up my things
It would be the biggest bitterness
But less sadness for me to sing

Oh people from my land
Now I have understood
That this sadness that I carry
Came to me from you


If you don't know Fado, it is an amazing tradition. I have had to try to pick up as much information as I can from various sources and find myself trying to discern the lyrics in Portuguese that fulfill the requirements of the song structures. I noticed in this song, the form of a guitar is invoked. I am always amazed by the unassuming ladies who sing Fado with such strength in their voices and the pure beauty of the instrumentals. I recommend a number of artists, including Amalia Rodrigues, Misía, Madredeus, Lura, Mariza and Dulce Pontes for their work in the Fado tradition.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous U. Rhodes-Malin said...

If you would like accurate translations (as close to the meaning of the words as possible, as opposed to a literal translation), check marizafriends.blogspot.com.
You will find a few of Mariza’s fados translated.

Not meaning to offend at all, but here is a slightly better translation of ‘Ó Gente da Minha Terra':

Oh people of my land
It is now that I have perceived
This sadness which I carry
Was from you that I received

This Fado is both yours and mine
The destiny that unites us
No matter how much it is denied
By the strings of a guitar

Whenever one hears a lament
Of a guitar's song
One is instantly lost
With a longing to weep

It would seem a kindness
If I let myself be soothed
The greater the anguish
The less sorrowful my song

12/12/2008 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

No offense taken! I am glad to have your help as I don't truly speak or read Portuguese at all.

12/12/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger swine whine said...

HI from London-thanks for the translation to this amazing song. h

3/16/2010 09:59:00 AM  

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