While it’s delightful to be able to follow all the national finals nowadays (and I’ll be returning to those after the Contest for the 2022 season of the Second Cherry podcast) I can still remember the days where your enjoyment of a Eurovision song wasn’t tarred by knowing it beat something truly interesting in the domestic competition. Festival da Cançao was rather less gripping for me this year with the loss of Fado Bicha in the first heat, but it’s unfair of me to let that mar my enjoyment of the song that did eventually win.
Saudade is the quintessential Portuguese emotion of longing, the quality of missing someone or something, tinged with sorrow and plenty of sentimentality, but always with a hint of the happiness they or it brought at the core of the feeling. It’s been captured throughout Portugal’s Eurovision catalogue, intrinsic to so many of her entries. In fact, it’s surprising that it’s taken so long to have the word featured in the title of a song.
Here MARO emphasises the notion for the non-lusophone by adding it to a mostly English lyric, leaving you in no doubt about the emotion she’s experiencing. It’s less clear if this saudade is the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one, but you’ll sense exactly the sentiment she means.
The song has proved a bit of a sleeper. I initially didn’t sense much in it, but its simplicity belies a beautiful melody and a gentle insistence that you warm to it. This might prove an ask too much in a competition reliant on first impressions, but the sheer charm of this deserves to get to shine in the final.
My marks: 8 points