On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Mariza – Oica la o Senhor Vinho (2001)
We’re leaving Romania and making our way west across Europe and over to Portugal. Mariza began her career in 1997 and was encouraged to pursue fado music which originated in Portugal in the early 19th century. We join Mariza in 2001 as she is at work on her debut album, Fado em Mim, but prior to that she worked on a track by the name of Oica la o Senhor Vinho which makes our list today.
Oica la o Senhor Vinho translates as “Listen there, Mr Wine.” The track was originally performed by Amalia Rodrigues who became the most famous fado singer and actress and helped popularise the genre across the globe. Her death in 1999 was the catalyst for Mariza to pursue a similar path to the Portuguese legend. The song itself sounds rather amusing. The narrator seems to be celebrating the existence of wine, the good feeling it gives you, even though science goes out of the window when it comes to one’s ability to stand upright if you have a little too much.
Under Mariza’s guidance, Oica la o Senhor Vinho is a guitar driven track with some powerful vocals from the singer. Only in delving down into the song’s lyrics was I able to begin to try and understand what it is about. A love of wine, shared by millions of people and immortalised in song. I am not really a fan of wine, sadly, but even I could appreciate this song. Mariza would not be as successful as Amalia Rodrigues but she continues to perform to this day and has reached a worldwide audience in her own right.
Favourite songs so far: