Caruso

Found myself falling in love with this song.  It was writted by italian song writer Lucio Dalla in 1986. The lyrics are below in both its original italian as well as the translated english version.

It tells the story of a young man, Enrico Caruso, a legend of the italian opera in the 19th century, who speaks about his pain and longings of a girl who was very dear to him while he is about to die.

The actual history of Enrico Caruso is actually quite unclear, as history portrays him as a man with many unfortunate romantic relationships with married women.  These love affairs usually ended badly.  He became famous after he moved to the United States.

Then he met and wed a woman 20 years his junior, Dorothy Park Benjamin, just a few years before he died, whom Lucio Dalla describes in this song “Caruso”. With her he had a daughter named Gloria.

My favourite versions are by Andrea Bocelli and Pavarotti (respectively).  I also liked the one sung by Alessandra during Lina Bakir’s “Une Nuit de Reves”.

(Videos below followed by the lyrics and english translations).

Lyrics

Qui dove il mare luccica
e tira forte il vento
su una vecchia terrazza davanti al golfo di Surriento
un uomo abbraccia una ragazza
dopo che aveva pianto
poi si schiarisce la voce e ricomincia il canto:

Te voglio bene assai
ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai
che scioglie il sangue dint’e vene sai…

Vide le luci in mezzo al mare
pensò alle notti là in America
ma erano solo le lampare
e la bianca scia d’un’elica
sentì il dolore nella musica
si alzò dal pianoforte
ma quando vide la luna uscire da una nuvola
gli sembrò più dolce anche la morte.
Guardò negli occhi la ragazza
quegli occhi verdi come il mare
poi all’improvisso uscì una lacrima
e lui credette d’affogare.

Te voglio bene assai
ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai
che scioglie il sangue dint’e vene sai…

La potenza della lirica
dove ogni dramma è un falso
che con un po’ di trucco e con la mimica
puoi diventare un altro
Ma due occhi che ti guardano
così vicini e veri
ti fanno scordare le parole
confondono i pensieri.

Così diventò tutto piccolo
anche le notti là in America
ti volti e vedi la tua vita
come la scia d’un’elica.

Ah si, è la vita che finisce
ma lui non ci pensò poi tanto
anzi si sentiva già felice
e ricominciò il suo canto:

Te voglio bene assai
ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai
che scioglie il sangue dint’e vene sai…
Te voglio bene assai
ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai
che scioglie il sangue dint’e vene sai…

 

Translation

Here where the sea sparkles,
and a strong wind blows,
on an old terrace overlooking the gulf of Sorrento,
a man holds a girl in his arms
after she’s been crying.
He clears his throat and starts singing again.

I love you so much;
so very much, you know.
It’s a chain, by now,
that thaws the blood in the veins you know.

He looked at the lights, out at sea,
and thought about the nights in America.
But they were only the lamps of fishing boats
and the white of a propeller wake.
He felt the pain of the music.
He got up from the piano,
but when he saw the moon come out from behind the clouds
even death seemed sweeter to him.
He looked into the girl’s eyes –
those eyes as green as the sea,
then suddenly a tear fell
and he thought he was drowning.

I love you so much;
so very much, you know.
It’s a chain, by now,
and it thaws the blood in the veins you know.

The power of opera!
where every drama is a sham;
where, with a little bit of make-up and mimicry,
you can become someone else.
But two eyes that look at you,
so close and so real,
make you forget the script,
confounding your thoughts.
And so everything became insignificant,
including the nights in America.
You look back and see your life
like a propeller wake.
Ah yes! Life is ending,
but he wasn’t worried about it any more.
Instead he felt already happy
and began to sing the song again.

I love you so much;
so very much, you know.
It’s a chain, by now,
that thaws the blood in the veins you know.

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