Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 6, Coimbra, Fado

Coimbra Fado is music intended to woo women. They are songs of destiny. The singing is passionate, barely restrained impatience at times, but refined. The Portuguese guitar adds a tone that can be bright or melancholy and the classical guitar keeps is all together.

In Coimbra, since its purpose is to woo women, it is only performed by men. Not just any men though-- only current or former students of the university can play it.

Traditionally, the wooer would stand outside the house of his beloved and sing. If the girl liked what she heard, the singing of lyrics, she'd flick the lights on and off three times. Any observers in the street would signal their approval by clearing their throats instead of clapping. The audience at our show tried it but the throat clearing quickly turned into chuckles before reverting to clapping hands.

It is beautiful music.

I have a good video but I don't know how to post one in blogger yet.

Dinner was the best yet at what I have renamed the "Point and Eat Grill". It was the first place we looked at but we wandered around for 20 minutes looking for other options before we made our way back.

Photos: Portuguese guitar


  1. I'm hooked on Amalia Rodrigues singing about Coimbra, the city.

    Keep walking and blogging, give Pontevedra a big hug from me.


  2. I'm just hooked,can you move over Rob I'm passing through

    1. Hey, sagalouts, you already pushed me out of the way at Conques!

      Guys, if you check out the "show more" feature on the youtube, you get all the lyrics. (The English refrain is out of place...a bit like a certain English pilgrim!)

      Lovely pics of the guitar. So different. Fado doesn't sound like anything else, not the singing, not the strumming. Wonderful stuff.

      Bluepony, I've only done the Portugues to and from Valenca. I can see I'll have to start in Oporto next time, or even Lisbon. Keep enjoying.