…it’s the promise of spring, it’s the joy in your heart

She was a polymath, a Renaissance woman who studied modern languages at Berkeley and served as an EU interpreter in Brussels, while publishing award-winning fiction in “Mademoiselle” and “Cosmopolitan” and scholarly articles in “American Heritage” and “The New York Times Magazine”.  But after becoming inspired by some Billie Holiday recordings while living in Paris, she was especially a jazz singer, whose performing career began in London where she also recorded the first of her two-dozen albums.

Born in Berkeley in 1946, by the late ‘70s Susannah McCorkle (by now living in New York) was an international darling with the jazz critics. In the ‘80s and ‘90s she was a featured performer at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.  She also appeared regularly with a consummate cabaret show in the Algonquin Hotel’s eminent Oak Room, for which (thanks to her linguistic skills) she translated her own lyrics from French, Italian and Brazilian songs.

But Susannah McCorkle’s was a sad story in the end. Although she exuded a “sultry self-confidence” on-stage, and despite her many gifts, in private she battled with deep depression and, in May of 2001, tragically leapt off her 16th floor balcony on W. 86th Street in Manhattan.

With its Bossa Nova overtones and its celebration of this rejuvenating, life-affirming month of March, today’s selection is cited as McCorkle’s favorite number. Written and composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1972, with intermittent Portuguese and English lyrics and very much meant to form a collage, some critics deem it to be the best Brazilian song ever written.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SONG – Thursday 1 March 2012

 The Waters of March

 É pau, é pedra,


É o fim do caminho


É um resto de toco

É um pouco sozinho…

A stick a stone

It’s the end of the road

It’s feeling alone

It’s the weight of your load

It’s a sliver of glass

It’s life, it’s the sun

It’s night, it’s death

It’s a knife, it’s a gun

 A flower that blooms

A fox in the brush

A knot in the wood

The song of the thrush

The mystery of life

The steps in the hall

The sound of the wind

And the waterfall

It’s the moon floating free

It’s the curve of the slope

It’s an egg, it’s a bee

It’s a reason for hope

And the riverbank sings

Of the waters of March

It’s the promise of spring

It’s the joy in your heart…

 É o pé, é o chão,


É a marcha estradeira


Passarinho na mão,


pedra de atiradeira

 É uma ave no céu,


É uma ave no chão 


É um regato, é uma fonte,


É um pedaço de pão

 É o fundo do poço,


É o fim do caminho 


No rosto o desgosto,


É um pouco sozinho…

A spear, a spike,

A stake, a nail,

It’s a drip, it’s a drop

It’s the end of the tale

The dew on a leaf

In the morning light

The shot of a gun

In the dead of the night

 A mile, a must

A thrust, a bump

It’s the will to survive

It’s a jolt, it’s a jump

A blueprint of a house

A body in bed

A car stuck in the mud

It’s the mud, it’s the mud

A fish, a flash

A wish, a wing

It’s a hawk, it’s a dove

It’s the promise of spring

And the riverbank sings

Of the waters of March

It’s the end of despair

It’s the joy in your heart…

É pau, é pedra

É o fim do caminho


É um resto de toco

É um pouco sozinho

 É uma cobra, é um pau

É João, é José 


É um espinho na mão

É um corte no pé

 São as águas de março 


Fechando o verão 


É a promessa de vida 


No teu coração…

 A stick, a stone

It’s the end of the road

The stump of a tree

It’s a frog, it’s a toad

A sigh of breath

A walk, a run

A life, a death

A ray in the sun

 And the riverbank sings

Of the waters of March

It’s the promise of life

It’s the joy in your heart…

 São as águas de março 


Fechando o verão 


É a promessa de vida 


No teu coração

 É pau, é pedra

É o fim do caminho


É um resto de toco

É um pouco sozinho

É pau, é pedra

É o fim do caminho


É um resto de toco

É um pouco sozinho…

 

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