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Sodade is a Cape Verdean slow coladeira song written in the 1950s by Armando Zeferino Soares,[1] and best popularized by Cesária Évora on her 1992 album Miss Perfumado. The name is the Cape Verdean Creole variant of the Portuguese term saudade.

The authorship of the song was contested between the composers Armando Zeferino Soares, notably by the duo Amândio Cabral and Luís Morais, until a court ruled on December 2006 that Soares was the author.[1]


Sodade describes the nostalgia experienced by Cape Verdeans emigrants who have been seafarers and emigrants for centuries, repeating the question "Ken mostro-b es kaminhu longe?" ("Who showed you the faraway path?")[2] Cape Verdeans have been voluntarily migrating from Cape Verde to every continent, since as early 1800s. The earliest recorded migration of Cape Verdeans was to New England, because they were recruited as whalers for their exceptional seafaring skills as whalers and whale captains. This started the trend of voluntary immigration of Cape Verdeans to New England, as well as opened doors for future migration during periods of drought and following independence from Portugal.

The song Sodade refers to the migration of a small part of the population as contract laborers to São Tomé, which occurred during the authoritarian rule over Portugal and its former colonies by Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.

However, Sodade is one of many songs written throughout the history of migration in Cape Verde, including the whaling era. Departures of friends and family, known as despididas in Portuguese and Creole, were often accompanied by mornas to bid farewell to loved ones and neighbors with a serenata or serenade. Songs like Sodade are reminiscent of this tradition and represent the nostalgia associated with migration in Cape Verde for more than two centuries. Many songs, like Sodade, were composed to bid farewell to loved ones.

The history of Cape Verdeans as global migrants (an inherent influence on Cape Verdean culture and music) is why morna lyrics, like the lyrics of Sodade, are often melancholic and nostalgic.

American singer songwriter Madonna performed a live version of "Sodade" on her 2019-2020 Madame X Tour, with Cape Verdean artist Dino d’Santiago.


Chart (2009) Peak
French SNEP Albums Chart[3] 42


  1. ^ a b "Morreu Armando Zeferino Soares, pai da morna "Sodade"". A Semana (in Portuguese). CV. 4 April 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007.
  2. ^ Fernando Arenas (2011). Lusophone Africa: Beyond Independence. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-0-8166-6983-7.
  3. ^ "Évora". Les charts. Retrieved 23 October 2014.