Available in ebook from May 29, 2020.
Welcome back! I am so happy that you looked us up again this week to read more of my new short-story Fate and Longing in Lisbon. Last week we met some of the colorful characters of the story and I hope you fell in love with the postman Afonso and chuckled when you were introduced to his boss, Carlos Cabrilho. (We’ve all had a boss like him!)
In this week’s reading installment, (see links below) I will take you to watch a performance of the traditional Portuguese music, from Lisbon, known as Fado. The word ‘Fado’ means ‘Fate’. The first artists to sing in this style, from the mid-19th century, developed this folk music, to sing away the blues caused by the hard life that fate dealt them, but also to pay homage to their neighborhood and city which they had great affection for; proud to be from Alfama, and Lisbon. While the plot of the story follows the characters Afonso, Carlos, Joao and Amalia through this fateful, melodramatic romance, the story is actually about the music and how it shapes and moves the characters by the force of its emotion. You will read about the characters doing things that they might otherwise not do if Fate, or Fado, had not taken them by the hand and strummed their hearts like a Portuguese guitar.
The Portuguese Guitar
I will never be able to sing Fado. I am too old to begin to learn its secrets and I firmly believe that only the Portuguese can sing this art form, and then only a handful will ever be masters. My wish is that somehow this story will one day be recognized and included in the discography of Fado, valued for the love and passion for the music with which I wrote it; my own unique, written contribution to the history of the music.
Museu do Fado, in Alfama (Lisbon)
I hope that the way I describe the music and the culture that swirls around it will pique your curiosity enough that you will sample the suggested Spotify playlist with the same name as the story. I know you will enjoy it.
For now though, let’s read the second excerpt and join Afonso in the tavern waiting for the weekend singing to start (click below and scroll down to Excerpt 2). If you’ve missed the first excerpt, you can find it, too, at the same link:
A Fado tavern in Lisbon