Tuesday, July 26, 2016


A musical interlude.

I've always loved the song Caruso for its beautiful minor chords, its melancholy, but until now I never bothered looking up who wrote it or when. I assumed it was old, traditional, perhaps anonymous, and Neapolitan. Having finally consulted Wikipedia (please do likewise if you don't already know the story) I find that it really was about Caruso but even sadder than I thought.

Here it is on YouTube performed as a duet by Lucio Dalla (the song's composer) and Pavarotti in 1992. Listen to it before reading my rough translation.

CARUSO by Lucio Dalla 1986

Here where the sea sparkles
And the wind blows hard
On the old terrace
Facing the Gulf of Sorrento
A man embraces a girl
Who has been crying
He clears his throat
And takes up his song again

I love you very much you know
So very very much you know
We’re locked in a chain by now
It heats the blood in our veins by now

He sees lights flickering on the ocean
He thinks of nights in America
But it’s only the lights
The white froth behind a motorboat
He feels the pain in the music
He rises from the piano but then he sees
The moon emerging from behind a cloud
And even death seems sweet to him
He looks into the girl’s eyes
Her sea-green eyes
Suddenly a tear falls
And he feels he is drowning


The power of words
When every drama is a farce
A bit of makeup and makebelieve
And you can be someone else
But two eyes gazing into yours
So close, so true
Make you forget the words
Confound your thoughts
You become very small
Even your nights in America
You turn around and see your whole life
Disappearing behind the blades of a propeller
Even if life is ending
He’s not thinking too much about it
He’s even feeling quite happy
He launches into his song again



Catalyst said...

It has a beautiful melody.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Yes, it's one of those melodies that won't get out of your head once you hear it. At least for me!