Waters of March

31 03 2009

As March drips away, if you’re like me, you’ve been playing various versions of Jobim’s Águas de Março  (Waters of March) all month.  We’ve got about 40 cover versions @ the ARC.  A moving recent version is by BossaCucaNova, (Bossa Cuca Nova Ao Vivo.  Ziriguiboom, Brasil, ZIR 32, 2009) on the new CD + DVD of a live concert with many guest artists.  So here’s to one of the greatest “list’ songs ever written and to the beginning of spring.

aguas_marco_manusc2

Original score in Jobim’s handwriting, published in the Disco the Bolso (Pocket Record), a bonus record included in the weekly magazine O Pasquim, printed in Rio de Janeiro, on May, 1972.   Source: http://www.jobim.com.br/e.index.html

Sounds best in Portuguese, but here’s the English translation of the lyrics,

Waters of March

It’s stick, it’s stone
It’s the end of the road
It’s a rest of stump
It’s a little alone

It’s a shard of glass
It is life, it’s the sun
It is night, it is death
It’s the snare, it’s the fishhook

It’s peroba of the field
It’s the knot in the wood
Lamp caingá tree
It’s the matita-pereira tree

It’s wind-resistant wood
Falls of the ravine
It’s the profound mystery
It’s the you wish or you don’t

It’s the wind blowing
It’s the end of the slope
It’s the beam, it’s the span
The new roof party

It’s the rain raining
It’s riverbank talk
Of the waters of March
It’s the end of the struggle

It’s the foot, it’s the ground
It’s the walk on the road
Small bird in the hand
A slingshot stone

It’s a bird in the sky
It’s a bird on the ground
It’s a creek, it’s a fountain
It’s a piece of bread

It’s the bottom of the well
It’s the end of the way
In the face the annoyance
It’s a little lonely

It’s a thorn, it’s a nail
It’s a point, it’s a dot
It’s a drop dripping
It’s an tally, it’s a tale

It’s a fish, it’s a gesture
It’s silver shining
It’s the morning’s light
It’s the brick arriving

It’s the firewood, it’s the day
It’s the end of the trail
It’s the bottle of liquor
Splinter in the road

It’s the house’s design
It’s the body in bed
It’s the broken down car
It’s the mud, it’s the mud

It’s a footstep, it’s a bridge
It’s a toad, it’s a frog
It’s a rest of brush
In the morning’s light

They are the waters of March
Closing the summer
It’s the promise of life
In your heart

It’s a snake, it’s a stick
It’s John, it’s Joseph
It’s a thorn in the hand
It’s the cut on the foot

They are the waters of March
Closing the summer
It’s the promise of life
In your heart

It’s stick, it’s stone
It’s the end of the road
It’s a rest of stump
It’s a little alone

It’s a footstep, a bridge
It’s a toad, it’s a frog
It’s a beautiful horizon
It’s a tertian fever

They are the waters of March
Closing the summer
It’s the promise of life
In your heart

And here’s Waters of March as re-written, in English, by Jobim:

A stick, a stone,
It’s the end of the road,
It’s the rest of a 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,
A knot in the wood,
The song of a 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 the slope,
It’s a beam, it’s a void,
It’s a hunch, it’s a hope

And the river bank talks
of the waters of March,
It’s the end of the strain,
The joy in your heart

The foot, the ground,
The flesh and the bone,
The beat of the road,
A slingshot’s stone

A fish, a flash,
A silvery glow,
A fight, a bet,
The range of a 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 a cold, it’s the mumps

The plan of the house,
The body in bed,
And the car that got stuck,
It’s the mud, it’s the mud

Afloat, adrift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It’s the promise of life
It’s the joy in your heart

A stick, a stone,
It’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of a stump,
It’s a little alone

A snake, a stick,
It is John, it is Joe,
It’s a thorn in your hand
and a cut in your toe

A point, a grain,
A bee, a bite,
A blink, a buzzard,
A sudden stroke of night

A pin, a needle,
A sting, a pain,
A snail, a riddle,
A wasp, a stain

A pass in the mountains,
A horse and a mule,
In the distance the shelves
rode three shadows of blue

And the riverbank 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 road,
The rest of a stump,
A lonesome road

A sliver of glass,
A life, the sun,
A knife, 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.

B
Source of lyrics : Elma Lia Nascimento  @   http://www.brazzil.com/p08sep01.htm


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One response

29 09 2009
Carmela Gomes

It is 37 years ago that I saw this piece of paper as Jobim played a guitar in my living room in New York. He had just completed the music, handed me the lyrics and we recorded on an audio cassette, which I cannot find.
Just seeing this picture of the page floods my mind with memories and I hear the song in my head.
What a wonderful find! I am an older lady, now, but the song is fresh and young.
His first grandchild was about to be born, or had just been born. He was a very young grandfather.
I spoke Portuguese in those days.
What a find!
Thank you!

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