The earth softens as the thaw begins. Winter’s long shadow is receding. Each day grows brighter, warmer and the scent of moisture replaces the harsh, caustic cold. The warming winds melt the snowdrifts. There are hesitant signs of life appearing in the garden, in the fields and surrounding forests.
…and the riverbank talks of the waters of March.
The song, The Waters of March, or Aguas De Marco, composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, is well known around the world. If you listen to the artist perform the English version at the Montreal Jazz Festival, in 1986, you may recognize it. Jobim composed the music and wrote lyrics in Portuguese (the language of modern Brazil) and English. The lyrics in each language are slightly different, but both portray a collage of ideas…a thought stream. The month of March in Brazil is known for the beginning of heavy rains that signify the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. By contrast, the Northern Hemisphere experiences periods of rain and the beginning of the spring thaw during the month of March.
…And the riverbank sings
Of the waters of March
It’s the promise of Spring
It’s the joy in your heart…
If you follow the link in the verse above, you can read a wonderful interpretation of the song by a Brazilian native. In addition, the link has both language versions. The song offers a lovely rhythm and melody combined with a flowing arrangement of lyrics that evoke a multitude of images. The song moves, it is fluid, as easy as water….. Rain, rivers, mud, water flowing, life cycles, change of seasons and life goes on.
A poll in 2001, conducted by Brazil’s premiere newspaper, found that The Waters of March was selected by over 200 artists, journalists and musicians as the all-time best Brazilian song. As it is with all great art, this song is timeless with elements of universal appeal.
For students in China the English version here.
The Portuguese version here.