Amália, Queen of the Fado ( Rainha do Fado ) 04

With thanks to Catarina R for some wonderful Amália pics, and Thomas Keyes for his scholarly comments. Coimbra (April In Portugal – recorded in 1952) Commentary by Thomas Keyes July 5, 2005 “Coimbra” is the original name of a song of the 1930’s, with music by Raul Ferrao* and lyrics by José Galhardo, but more widely known as “April in Portugal”. Coimbra is a city in Portugal on the Mondego River about 100 miles north of Lisbon. It is also the seat of an old university, and the original lyrics of this romantic song are such an odd, incomprehensible allusion to student life that one can hardly imagine that anybody wrote them with any expectation that the song would become world-famous. It did indeed achieve fame, though, with new title and new lyrics in English, French and other languages. Choupal is a district along the Mondego, and Inês was the heroine of a medieval drama. The song, which is called a ‘fado’ (fate) has a truly beautiful melody. In the US, it was performed by such … as Bing Crosby, Liberace and Louis Armstrong. I visited Portugal briefly in 1991, without knowing a word of the language, but now that I’ve already spent 6 months in Brazil and am planning another 6 months soon, I have gotten interested in Portuguese, spoken in Brazil also. Below I have reproduced the original Portuguese lyrics of “Coimbra”, with my own literal translation. The obscurity is part of the song; it’s not my doing. I’ve also appended the English lyrics of “April in Portugal” by