A tryst with Fado: The Portuguese version of blues

A tryst with Fado: The Portuguese version of blues

Fado is the Portuguese version of blues. Portuguese word “Saudade”, which means “longing for something lost” loosely describes it.The music originated in Lisbon around 1820’s but what inspired it is far from agreed. According to some it was inspired by sailors setting the sail and going to unknown and for some it was due to the Moorish influence. 

It’s said fado lives in heart of every Lisboeta. Fado has imprints of Lisbon’s history, culture and that’s the reason no visit to Lisbon could be complete without experiencing it. Knowledge of Portuguese language is no requirement; as Amalia Rodrigues, the most famous Fadista (fado singer) said:

‘The only thing that matters is to feel the fado. The fado is not meant to be sung; it simply happens’

Fado with kids – My experience:

There are many fado clubs spread in the neighbourhood of Alfama and Bairro Alto, ranging from shows with full dinner and music to more casual cafe’s/bar’s. Mostly shows start in late evening or night, earliest starting at 8pm.

These timings don’t work when you have a kid alongside. That’s why I was beyond happy when I came across Adega Machado in Bairro Alto. They have an early evening show called ‘Fado inside the Box’ which starts at 5pm everyday. The performance lasts for approx 45 mins and includes two singers along with guitar and voila artists. The most important part, kids are allowed…hurray! (My little one had just turned two when we visited)

Fado Inside The Box@ Adega Machado (https://www.adegamachado.pt/en/fado-inside-the-box/)

The setting of the performance is intimate with 5- 6 tables, giving you a feeling of a private show. We chose the last table so as to make a quick exit in case the little one becomes uncomfortable. All my concerns were unfounded as he enjoyed the show. This was my first tryst with fado and I loved it. I would come back to it whenever I visit Lisbon again.

What’s more to see in Lisbon:

It’s quite a long list which I will put together in another post. Sneak peak for my lovely readers, it includes vintage tram rides, yummiest sweet treats and beach time!


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