All in a merciful blend

To me the lyrics of a song usually are less important than the melody, the harmony and the expression of the singer. Even more so – the lyrics can disturb my emotional experience of a song, and it is not necessarily because of bad lyrics. Even when the lyrics are poetic the words and the language can bring a sense of rationality that block my emotions. Melody, harmony and dramatic expression do not.

This does not mean that instrumental music is the best key to my emotions. When there is a human voice with a true dramatic expression in an ensemble, the voice is usually the emotional center of that ensemble. However, often it is enough for me if the singer understands the lyrics, and that this understanding colours his/hers expression. It is usually the colour of the expression that speaks to me, not the words.

This is probably an important key to my love of Fado. I understand a few words of Portuguese, but not enough to understand the Fado lyrics. This means that I can concentrate on the beautiful melodies and the expressions of the fadista and the instrumentalists. I have a deep affection for the Fado expression and its strong and sincere emotions. This expression gives free passage for my feelings of happiness, love, grief and melancholy – all in a merciful blend.

So far Mariza’s performance of Ó Gente Da Minha Terra in the Lisbon concert 2006 is the best key to these emotions.