Have you ever been captured by the magic of a song? A song that transports you to another world, evokes intense emotions, and leaves a lasting impression on your soul?
Twenty years ago, I was driving on the M3 motorway when such a song came on the radio. I was immediately spellbound by the combination of the singer’s voice, the lyrics, and the unusual syncopation. I had to pull over on the hard shoulder to give it my full attention.
The song aroused such intense emotions in me that I could not explain then or now. I was desperate to hear it again, but I never heard the name of the song or the singer. I had a few clues: I knew that water featured in the song and that it might be South American in origin.
It took me another eight years to hear that song again. Strangely, I had to travel to Bhutan to discover its name and singer. The connection? Spending time with a wonderful group of Brazilian people. When I asked if they knew of any songs about water, they immediately responded, “Oh, do you mean Águas de Março (The Waters of March)?”
Yes, yes, yes! I recognised it immediately. The Spanish lyrics were in fact Portuguese, and the origin of the song and singer were Brazilian.
This song is so precious to me. I really don’t know why, but something about it resonates with something I find truly profound. In 2019, I had an operation to treat bowel cancer and spent several weeks in the hospital. During that time, I held in mind the thought of being in my own house and able to listen to this song and it was the first thing I did when I got home. I only listened once and something felt complete. It always makes me cry with an emotion I have no word for, but it is not sadness or happiness. Maybe it is ‘the joy in your heart’? and maybe it really doesn’t need a name.
Today, I feel like sharing this song with anyone who cares to have read this far. Maybe you can tell what, if anything, it speaks to you. I am grateful to Tatevik Vasilyan for the images he put together in this music video.
I hope you enjoy Águas de Março as much as I do.
THE WATERS OF MARCH
A stick a stone, it’s the end of the road, it’s the rest of the stump, it’s a little alone it’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun, it is night ,it is death, it’s a trap, it’s a gun.
The oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush, the knot in the wood, the song of the thrush. the wood of the wind, a cliff, a fall, a scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all.
It’s the wind blowing free. it’s the end of a slope. it’s a beam, it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope. and the riverbank talks of the water of march. it’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart.
The foot, the ground, the flesh, the bone, the beat of the road, a slingshot stone. a fish, a flash, a silvery glow, a fight, a bet, the range of the bow.
The bed of the well, the end of the line, the dismay in the face, it’s a loss, it’s a find. a spear, a spike, a point, a nail, a drip, a drop, the end of the tale.
A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light, the shot of a gun, in the dead of the night. a mile, a must, a thrust, a bump. it’s a girl, it’s a rhyme, it’s the cold, it’s the mumps.
The plan of the house, the body in bed, the car that got stuck, it’s the mud, it’s the mud. a float, a drift, a flight, a wing, a hawk, a quail, the promise of spring.
And the riverbanks talks of the waters of march. it’s the promise of life, it’s the joy in your heart.
A snake, a stick, it is john, it is joe, it’s a thorn in your hand, and a cut on your toe. a point, a grain, a bee, a bite, a blink, a buzzard, the sudden stroke of night. a pin, a needle, a sting, a pain, a snail, a riddle, a weep, a stain.
A pass in the mountains. a horse, a mule, in the distance the shelves rode three shadows of blue. and the riverbanks talks of the waters of march. it’s the promise of life in your heart, in your heart.
A stick, a stone, the end of the load, the rest of the stump, a lonesome road. a sliver of glass, a life, the sun, a night, a death, the end of the run. and the riverbank talks of the waters of march. it’s the end of all strain it’s the joy in your heart.
A SEMblance of thoughts – these are my musings on topics, themes and questions that occur during my participation on the MA of Spirituality, Ecology & Mental Health at Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe, UK. I appreciate any (polite!) views you might wish to share.