Here is an amazing letter from Damon from Saint Paul in the USA, comparing the gorgeous song 'Un Bel Di Vedremo' from Giacomo Puccini’s 'Madame Butterfly' with the John Lee Hooker masterpiece ‘The Waterfront’. Both such soul-stirring meditations in longing, in yearning. Thank you so much, Damon. These synchronicities are so beautiful to observe. Love Susie x
after my musings about Puccini something struck me. the other day when i was driving my 16 year old to school, i was listening to John Lee Hooker and “The Waterfront” came on. i hadn’t heard it in years. how beautiful that song is- and what a contrast to “un bel di”! Both are songs about watching the sea in hopes that the beloved’s ship appears. Hooker tells that story so beautifully - my god - if anyone ever questions that the blues heal! not sure why i am sharing this, but i made the connection last night before bed. the terrible longing in “un bel di” versus that sense in “Waterfront” that the ship won’t come - and then the amazing sense of real love that we get when the ship finally finds its way through the fog. boy, isn’t music the greatest!?! take care. love, damon
I cover the waterfront, watchin' the ship go by
I could see, everybody's baby, but I couldn't see mine
I could see, the ships pullin' in, to the harbor
I could see the people, meetin' their loved one
Shakin' hand, I sat there,
So all alone, coverin' the waterfront
And after a while, all the people,
Left the harbor, and headed for their destination
All the ships, left the harbor,
And headed for their next destination
I sat there, coverin' the waterfront
And after a while, I looked down the ocean,
As far as I could see, in the fog, I saw a ship
It headed, this way, comin' out the foam
It must be my baby, comin' down
And after a while, the ship pulled into the harbor,
Rollin' slow, so cripple
And my baby, stepped off board
I was still, coverin' the waterfront
Said "Johnny, our ship had trouble, with the fog
And that's why we're so late, so late
Comin' home, comin' down'
John Lee Hooker
One fine day we'll see
One fine day we'll see
a wisp smoke rising over the furthest edge of the sea.
And then the ship appears.
Then the white ship comes into the port, thunders its salute.
Do you see? It has arrived!
I don't go down to meet him. I don't.
I stand there on the brow of the hill
and wait, and wait for a long time and
the long wait won't be tiresome.
And... having left the city crowd
a man, a little dot
sets off up the hill.
Who will it be? Who will it be?
And when he has got close?
What will he say? What will he say?
He'll call "Butterfly" from afar.
I will remain hidden
partly as a joke and partly so
as not to die at the first meeting,
and he, somewhat distressed, will call, will call:
"tiny little bride, scent of verbena,"
the names he gave me when he first came.
All this will come true, I promise.
Hold on to your fear. I wait for him with confident faith.