I remember in one of our family trips back from the Sacramento area I was playing music with my Mom in the front seat.  Shando was always a gentleman and sat in the back when she rode with us.  I loved it when an old classic that Mom knew would come on, whether it be from Italy or some other place.  She loved Nat King Cole, Julio Iglesias, Engelbert Humperdinck and Josh Groban even.  Caruso was a classic Italian song I never quite mastered memorizing, but it was a song she obviously knew well.  Playing music in the car kept me awake and in some cases minimized her nagging me, although now of course I would take her nagging me about anything I miss her so much.

One time an Italian song came on that I knew the words to, and my mother was floored.  I’ll never forget her cackling in laughter, cracking up as I sang Lara Fabian’s Adagio in the original Italian.  She could not fathom that I would memorize an Italian song that she never heard of and  she just thought it was the funniest thing in the world that I was singing in her mother tongue.  It’s an extraordinary song by a singer who is of Italian heritage from Belgium and my Mom just enjoyed the heck out the moment, and I was so proud that I could share this moment with her serendipitously.  I think it helped Mom to believe that I would never truly be far removed from our family in Calabria if I could accomplish something like this without her knowing.  The odds of that song coming up out of the tens of thousands on my 180GB iPod was kismet, because I never again had a chance to sing that song to my mother.  The important thing, though, was that we had a magical musical moment and I got to impress her and show off to her.  

Here are the lyrics in English and then Italian:

I don’t know where to find you; I don’t know how to look for you
But I feel a voice in the wind that speaks about you
This soul without a heart waits for you slowly
 The nights without skin; The dreams without stars
 Images of your face that pass suddenly make me hope still that I will  find you slowly
 I close my eyes and I see you
I find the way to the door from agony
 I feel it beat in me
This music that I’ve invented for you
 If you know how to find me; If you know where to look for me
Embrace me with your mind
The sun seems to me extinguished
Ignite your name in the sky
 Tell me who you are; The one that I want lives in you
 The sun seems to me extinguished
Embrace me with your mind; I’m lost without you
 Tell me who you are and I will believe in us
You are music, slowly.
Non so dove trovarti, non so come cercarti
ma sento una voce che, nel vento parla di te
quest’anima senza cuore aspetta te adagio
 Le notti senza pelle i sogni senza stelle immagini del tuo viso, che passano all’improvviso mi fanno sperare ancora che ti troverò adagio 
Chiudo gli occhi e vedo te trovo il cammino che mi porta via dall’agonia sento battere in me questa musica che ho inventato per te
 Se sai come trovarmi, se sai dove cercarmi
abbracciami con la mente il sole mi sembra spento
accendi il tuo nome in cielo, dimmi che ci sei, quello che vorrei, vivere in te
 Il sole mi sembra spento, abbracciami con la mente
smarrita senza di te dimmi chi sei e ci crederò
musica sei, adagio…

4 thoughts on “Adagio”

  1. Caro Jo
    la tua mamma per te ed anche per noi, sarà indimenticabile. Pina per me è stato il Sogno Americano e tutti eravamo orgogliosi di lei. Quando tornava in Calabria, era una notizia ed io, bambino, con mio padre, venivamo a trovarvi ed era una festa, anche se, non riuscivo a comunicare con voi per la lingua, mi affascinavate, William, Pina, Jo, Italo e Sabrina. Se hai dei bei ricordi e delle emozioni, faccele sapere e Pina sarà ancora con noi.
    Vi voglio bene.

  2. Bellissima canzone che ti lascia senza fiato e i brividi addosso! sono parole che arrivano al cuore e alla mente di chi l’ascolta. Luisa l’ha cantata spesso e ricordo che piaceva molto anche a Pina .

  3. Dear Joe,
    Zia Pina will be in our hearts for ever..
    I have so much remembers with her of my summer!
    This song is really amazing and one of my favorite too.
    I hope to see all of you as soon as possible…
    With love, Sonia

  4. Bellissima canzone emozionante, Pina ciao sei sempre la mia cugina preferita , sei sempre con me nel mio cuore……..con amore Teresa da Roma…

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