Mísia sings a poem by Fernando Pessoa "Autopsicografia"

Mísia "Autopsicografia"

Mísia "Autopsicografia" (Self-analysis)

Portuguese guitar: Ângelo Friere

Mísia and Pessoa - two great pretenders

What it means:

Here's my fairly free translation, to get the meaning across.


The poet is a pretender
pretending so completely
that when they pretend that they're in pain
they end up feeling their real pain.

And to those who read what the poet writes,
the pain they are carefully reading feels
like neither of the two that the poet had,
but one the readers don't actually feel.

And thus going round on the train track,
to entertain and amuse the reason,
is this wind-up train
that we call the heart.

The poet is a pretender
pretending so completely
that when they pretend that they are in pain
it's pain that they truly feel.

Pessoa's poem only has three verses. Mísia makes it longer by repeating each couplet immediately, a fairly standard practice for a singer. Then after singing Pessoa's third and final verse, there's a violin interlude, and she ends by singing the first verse again.

This means that where Pessoa finishes up with this wind-up train that we call the heart (comboio de corda que se chama coração), Mísia ends up with the poet (or singer) feeling pain that they truly feel (a dor que deveras sente).

As sung by Mísia, complete
with repetitions and ending swap.


O poeta é um fingidor
Finge tão completamente
O poeta é um fingidor
Finge tão completamente

Que chega a fingir que é dor
A dor que deveras sente.
Que chega a fingir que é dor
A dor que deveras sente.

E os que lêem

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Tag index

Click in the left column to get a page displaying all the posts with that tag

AlentejoLarge mainly-agricultural region south of Lisbon with its own distinct culture, music and politics.
Amália RodriguesLate Queen of the Fado singers, Portugal's most famous woman.
Ana MouraStrong contender for today's Queen of Fado, she's Portugal's top-selling recording artist.
Ângelo FreireTop modern exponent of the Portuguese Fado guitar
Cabo VerdeIsland nation with distinctive music blending Portuguese and west African influences, and the world's oldest creole language.
Césaria ÉvoraLate Queen of the Morna singers, Cabo Verde's most famous woman.
CoimbraForm of Fado originating in university town and performed exclusively by male singers and players. Surprisingly emotional and intense.
Cuca RosetaCurrently active Lisbon-born Fado singer and recording star
DesgarradaDueling singers improvise biting or witty comments, backed by hypnotic accordion playing. A living tradition in the North.
EmanuelPioneering Pimba singer and producer, keeping Portugal amused and dancing over recent decades.
Erika EnderLatin American singer-songwriter included here to provide contrast
EurovisionJust occasionally TV's annual song fest gets it right
FadoDramatic, emotional music of Lisbon that has become an emblem of Portugal. Features dominant solo vocals and high-pitched Fado guitar.
FaustoVeteran intervention singer helping the Portuguese make sense of their African experience
Intervention singersSingers with something to say about Portugal and the world.
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Carlos Ramos sings a Fado from a time before divorce

Carlos Ramos "Não venhas tarde"

Carlos Ramos "Não venhas tarde" (Don't come home late)

Words: Aníbal Nazaré
Music: João Nobre

This is a song of intense male regret, posing almost as a comedy song. It goes back to 1958. There were a lot of poor quality Fado lyrics around at the time, often focusing on everyday domestic dramas. This was one consequence of the control regime Fado was still under in Portugal. Lyrics were subject to prior approval and censorship, and lighter, more conventional topics were more likely to make it through.

But there is real feeling behind Carlos Ramos's delivery of this song, and it has become a Fado classic. There is also an unstated reality behind the story it tells, which is why it resonated with listeners at time, in a way that is hard to recapture in the very different circumstances most of us live in today.

Of that more below. First here are the words in Portuguese, with my English free translation below each verse.

Não venhas tarde
Dizes-me tu com carinho,
Sem nunca fazer alarde
Do que me pedes, beixinho

Don't come home late
You say to me with affection
Without making a fuss
About what you are asking me, softly.

Não venhas tarde,
E eu peço a deus que no fim,
Teu coração ainda guarde,
Um pouco de amor por mim.

Don't come home late
And I ask to God that in the end
Your heart still keeps
A little love for me.

Tu, sabes bem
Que eu vou p'ra outra mulher,
Que ela me prende também,
Que eu só faço o que ela quer.

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History of Portugal



218 BC The Romans arrive in the Iberian peninsula

Their initial motive is to dislodge the Carthaginians, who had an expanding military presence on the south and east coasts at the time of Hannibal in the second Punic war. Defeating the Carthaginians in Iberia was to take the Romans 12 years.

The Romans then set about colonising the whole peninsula, both Spain and modern Portugal. This was to take 200 years to complete, and involved the Republic's two top generals, Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, at various stages. It was a considerable undertaking, involving at its maximum seven Roman legions in the field at the same time.

The Romans bring Latin. Modern Portuguese is basically still Latin - optimised over the years for poetry and song.

Ângela Silva Rodrigo Leão "Carpe diem"

Ângela Silva sings composer Rodrigo Leão's "Carpe diem" (Seize the day) in Latin

This is a hymn to love made up of common Latin phrases. Though Latin is not widely understood now, Portuguese singers don't have much trouble with the pronunciation and phrasing.

139 BC Death of Viriatus - resistance begins to fade

Viriatus (Viriato in Portuguese) is the Portuguese equivalent of Vercingetorix in France and Boudica or Caratacus in Britain. Resistance to the Romans was most intense in the upper Douro valley, on both the Portuguese and Spanish sides of the modern border.

Local hero Viriatus, hailing from somewhere in the Douro valley, is celebrated today in both countries. After numerous victories Viriatus was finally killed by treachery (like that other famous enemy of Rome, Arminius in Germany).


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Ana Moura and Mariza recycle a classic Fado tune

Table of contents

This tune goes back over 100 years, deep into the history of Fado. It keeps reappearing with different words, as a new song with a new name, coming back to life on the breath of each singer. This is one of the keys to Fado's survival - it's a tradition that keeps reinventing itself for new generations of listeners.

Ana Moura "Ninharia"

Ana Moura "Ninharia" (A trifling matter)

Portuguese guitar: Ângelo Freire
Music: Carlos Da Maia
Words: Maria do Rosário Pedreira
From the 2016 album "Moura". This live performance is from the Coliseu in Porto.

What it's about: Ana has argued with someone about a matter of no importance ("ninharia" - a trifling matter or trifle in English) and now regrets it. Worse, it was her lover. She saw something in their eyes that caused her to throw them out. And, as fate would have it, into the arms of another woman.

Now Ana is alone. But there is nothing she can do about it. Whenever she sees her former lover she realises that the break-up was her own fault, is overcome with emotion and simply can't face approaching them to try and make up. Instead she just howls about her plight.

This is Fado!

Here's an extract from the lyrics in Portuguese, with my English free translation below.

Precipitada, incontida
Expulsei-te da minha vida
Por uma coisa de nada!

Rashly, without restraint
I threw

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