17 Portuguese Music Hits You Need to Download Today

Portuguese Music: The Major Genres and 17 Hit Songs Worth Hearing

If you’re not already listening to Portuguese music, it’s time to start.

You can increase your vocabulary, learn correct pronunciation, see grammar structures in real-world contexts and experience Portuguese and Brazilian culture from the comfort of your home just by using songs as study material.

Here are 17 Portuguese music hits you need to download today.




When you’re learning a new language, you’re also adopting its culture. So knowing about Portugal’s most traditional genres—like fado—will enrich your musical experience.

There are two styles of fado, hailing from Lisbon and Coimbra. The genre’s origins can be traced as far back as the 1820s.

Its heritage value is globally recognized by UNESCO and the genre has recently enjoyed a resurgence.

This type of song is largely characterized by melancholic sounds and lyrics, capturing the hardships experienced by the poor and ill-fated (the word fado is believed to come from the Latin fatum, which means destiny or fate).

Symbolism tied to life at sea is another constant in fado music.

1. “Fado Português” by Amália Rodrigues

Translation: “Portuguese Fado”

Read the Lyrics

A song that poetically talks about the origins of fado itself. For European Portuguese learners, this tune will expose you to vocabulary and adjectives related to nature and the sea, and how these can be strung together to paint a picture of sorrowful surroundings.

The vocabulary is accessible enough for beginners, but its nuances might be a better fit for intermediate to advanced learners.

2. Lisboa Menina e Moça by Carlos do Carmo

Translation: “Lisbon Girl and Young Woman”

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A musical ode to Lisbon, the home of fado. Which is lovingly described as a young girl who has developed into a beautiful woman.

This song is ideal for intermediate to advanced learners as it’ll offer insight into the composition of metaphors.

3. “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sobral

Translation: “Love for Two”

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This fado song from Salvador Sobral is more modern than most, but still contains the classic fado vibes and is yet another expression of sorrowful love. Released in early 2017, “Amar Pelos Dois” is the singer’s plea for his ex-lover to come back to him.

This song is perfect for beginners, as there are only two verses and a chorus, making it easy to memorize and follow.

Plus, the vocabulary is extremely useful for casual Portuguese conversations, and you’ll find that many words are repeated in other romance songs.

4. “Corzinha De Verão” by Deolinda

Translation: “A Little Summer Color”

Read the Lyrics

Deolinda is a neofado Portuguese group whose main vocalist is Ana Bacalhau. They released their first album in 2008 and are still prevalent in the Portuguese music scene today. Their second album stayed in the Portugal top 10 for 15 weeks, demonstrating just how loved they are.

In this fun song, vocalist Ana expresses her frustration with the weather. She says she always watches other people enjoying vacations and playing in the sun, but it’s dark and gloomy whenever she finally gets a day off or saves up her money for a trip.

All she wants is to enjoy a swim and get “a little summer color” (a tan).

The song isn’t fast-paced, making it easier than others for beginners to comprehend. But the vocabulary is better suited for intermediate learners.


Like fado, folk music is a genre that’s stood the test of time, weaving itself into the country’s customs and social contexts.

The thing to note about Portuguese folk music is that each region has its own traditional sound.

The southern Alentejo region, for example, is known for Cante Alentejano—a polyphonic singing style that, like fado, holds UNESCO heritage status.

Another interesting example is the Trás-os-Montes province, which has its own traditional bagpipe—the gaita transmontana.

There are lots of regional gems to be discovered, and I highly encourage you to take some time to research the local traditions yourself. In the meantime, here are some folk tunes to get you inspired.

5. “Alentejo És Nossa Terra” by Vitorino

Translation: “Alentejo You’re Our Land”

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Portuguese singer-songwriter Vitorino is famous for combining the traditional music of Alentejo with a distinctive contemporary sound.

This song is a celebration of the region at large, and the fact that it only has a few words means it’s quite accessible to all Portuguese learners.

6. “Caminhos Turvos” by Dazkarieh

Translation: “Blurred Paths”

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Dazkarieh was a band, formed in 1999, that became renowned for its experimental combination of rock and neo-folk—basically embracing a mix of old and new.

This song in particular was their parting single and talks about finding one’s pathway and embarking on a journey of self-discovery.

There’s lots of descriptive imagery in its words, though the vocabulary is simple enough for an upper beginner to intermediate learner to understand.

7. “A Andorinha da Primavera” by Madredeus

Translation: “The Little Swallow of Spring”

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This famous Portuguese band combines fado with modern folk.

The song is about a black-winged swallow flying through the Springtime sky. The singer asks where he’s going and begins to imagine what it would be like to be able to take flight, too.

The incredibly short verses and slow rhythm is perfect for beginners.

8. “Canção Do Mar” by Dulce Pontes

Translation: “Song of the Sea”

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Dulce Pontes is one of the top Portuguese folk artists widely known for her song “Canção Do Mar,” which means “song of the sea.”

She sings about how she went to the cruel, ruthless sea in her boat, where she supposedly stole the light from her desired lover’s beautiful eyes. She then urges him to come to the sea to find out if this is true, where he’d find her dancing.

Although released in 1993, “Canção Do Mar” is still one of the most popular Portuguese folk songs. It only contains 12 lines, making it quick to memorize and relatively easy to grasp.

Música de Intervenção (Protest Songs)

Música de Intervenção was a product of the Portuguese dictatorship era, becoming more popularized towards the end of the Estado Novo regime that took hold of the country from 1933 until 1974.

Not only does this type of music provide a window into 20th-century Portuguese society, but its influence is still felt across popular genres today.

9. “Os Vampiros” by José Afonso

Translation: “The Vampires”

Read the Lyrics

A song that talks about the “vampires” (i.e., the political oppressors) that lurk in the darkness. As you can probably tell, there’s a lot of symbolism in it—as such, the language is quite sophisticated.

This is perhaps a better song to dissect if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level because of the different nuances it carries.

10. “Que Força É Essa” by Sérgio Godinho

Translation: “What Strength Is That”

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Sérgio Godinho is widely considered one of the greatest Portuguese singers and songwriters of all time. This song was released in the 1970s and talks about the daily struggles of the masses as they try to survive and find their força (inner strength) under a repressive regime.

The language is quite straightforward, though the verbs and grammatical conventions might be more familiar to intermediate or advanced learners.

11. “Trova do Vento que Passa” by Adriano Correia de Oliveira

Translation: “Song of the Fleeting Wind”

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Adriano Correia de Oliveira’s songs demonstrated his pro-democratic worldview during the Estado Novo regime, which caused him persecution by the political police and fame among the people.

In this song, Adriano describes asking the “fleeting wind” to bring him news of his country, but it remains silent and says nothing, which greatly disappoints him.

The song primarily consists of three basic stanzas, making it a very beginner-friendly choice and a valuable Portuguese history lesson.

12. “O Primeiro Dia” by Jorge Palma, Sérgio Godinho

Translation: “The First Day”

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“Today is the first day of the rest of your life” is the main line of this song about new beginnings, courage, walking alone and change.

The beloved Sérgio Godinho is the singer of this hit tune, along with Jorge Palma—another renowned Portuguese artist with many works in the music protest genre.

Like many, the song is slow-paced, making it relatively easy to comprehend.

Mainstream Portuguese Hits

These days, popular Portuguese music intersects various genres and styles.

Here’s a small peek at some of the mainstream tunes our Lusophone friends have been listening to in recent years.

13. “A Paz Não Te Cai Bem” by Clã

Translation: “Peace Doesn’t Suit You”

Read the Lyrics

Clã is a Portuguese pop-rock band established in the mid-1990s and scored most of its success from the 2000s onwards.

This song, released in 2014, is all about the disappointment, conflict and misunderstandings you’d typically find in a rocky relationship.

Even though this tune delves into a complicated topic, its message is conveyed in a no-frills manner, making the language quite easy for an upper beginner or intermediate learner to grasp.

14. “Brasa” by Mundo Segundo and Sam the Kid

Translation: “Embers”

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Hip-hop is a genre that experienced a rapid surge in popularity in 21st century-Portugal. With this revolution came several Portuguese rappers who adapted the genre to suit the local context.

Sam the Kid and Mundo Segundo are among the most famous and joined forces to record and produce an album released in 2017. This debut single talks about the hot fire and brasa (embers) that make up Portuguese rap music.

This one is composed of some slang words and lots of complicated symbolism. As such, it’s best suited for more advanced learners.

15. “Dança Este Som” by TT

Translation: “Dance to This Beat”

Read the Lyrics

R&B singer Tiago Teixeira (TT) made his debut in 2007 with this single.

It’s a dance tune (hence its title) incorporating familiar English words as the singer tries to convince a girl to dance with him.

Colloquialism is another constant in this tune. Combined with the aforementioned English terms, it can get confusing to follow if you’ve only recently started learning European Portuguese.

16. “Como Tu” by Bárbara Bandeira

Translation: “Like You”

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This trending Portuguese pop song is about a messy, complicated breakup.

Both singers take turns singing the chorus, which says the relationship doesn’t make sense anymore and they no longer see a future with each other. But because they miss each other so much, they want to find someone like each other.

The singers are both widely known in the Portuguese music scene, so adding this song to your playlist will keep you up-to-date with Portugal’s pop culture.

Plus, the vocabulary is relatively simple and the words you’ll learn will come in handy.

17. “Senhora de Si” by Ivo Lucas ft. Carolina Deslandes

Translation: “Lady of Yourself”

Read the Lyrics

This 2022 pop song is from Ivo Lucas and features Carolina Deslandes, both big names in the current Portuguese music scene.

According to the lyrics, the song is about a relationship that is meio complicada (kind of complicated). Both singers are in love with each other but feel ignored and as if the other isn’t interested.

How to Learn Portuguese with Music

Portuguese music—traditional or contemporary—comes in all kinds of flavors.

You’ll benefit from knowing a little about songs across different eras. Mostly because it’ll give you a well-rounded perspective on how different genres were a product of and an influence on the local culture at large.

Here are a few tips for learning Portuguese with music:

  • Read the lyrics closely while you’re listening. Make sure to note and look up words you don’t recognize. Pay attention to how the singer pronounces them and how they fit into the song’s rhyme scheme (if there is one).
  • Try to figure out the words from the song’s context before you look them up to see whether you were right.
  • Shadow the singer. Singing your favorite songs can drastically improve your pronunciation, especially by shadowing the lyrics. Shadowing is a language learning method that involves repeating native speaker audio as close to the speaker as possible. You can record yourself to make it even more effective. Listen back on it later to see where you can continue to improve.
  • Use a program with built-in interactive subtitles. These programs should come with clickable captions providing instant definitions and native pronunciations for every word, like the music videos on FluentU. They come with full transcripts, flashcards and personalized quizzes to help you remember the new words once you’re done watching.


How’s that for a varied playlist?

I hope you’ve found at least a few songs that resonate with your musical and linguistic interests. Have fun singing along to these and other tunes you stumble across during your Portuguese learning journey.

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