Fado is a Portuguese musical genre, consisting of melancholic folk songs accompanied by plucked string instruments. The singer of fado or fadista (fadista) generally exploits recurring themes: saudade, unfulfilled love, jealousy, nostalgia for the dead and the past, the difficulty to live, sorrow, exile ... This song was first sung in popular neighborhoods before reaching the bourgeoisie. Fado was the national song of Portugal at the time of the dictator Salazar.
The word fado is derived from the Latin fatum, "destiny", itself derived from the verb fari, "to say". The Portuguese verb fadar means "to predestinate".
Fado probably appeared around 1820 or 1840 in Portugal, but its precise origins are uncertain. According to some, it would have appeared from the marine fado, a song sung by Portuguese sailors. For others, it would be the synthesis of Brazilian musical genres very popular in Lisbon in the XVIII century, such as lundum and modinha.
The first fado singer we know about was Maria Severa, who lived in the first half of the XIX century. In the 1920s and 1930s, a series of Fado recordings from Coimbra met with some success.