Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Di Provenza il mare, il suol

This beautiful song from Verdi's La Traviata can be guaranteed to tug at your heart strings, bring a tear to your eye and move your soul.

It was one of my father-in-law's favourite melodies and he would quote lines from it, nodding wisely as he gave out advice from tuo vecchio padre, your old father. He was a wonderful man, devoted husband and father, loyal and honest and full of kindness so when he quoted the song we were under the impression that it was a loving one. Anyone who is familiar with the story of La Traviata knows that actually the father had written a letter to warn Violetta away from Alfredo.

Who erased the sea and the soil of Provence from your heart?
What destiny stole you away from your native, resplendent sun?
Even in sorrow remember you were happy there.
There alone can peace shine on you again.
God has guided me here.

You do not know what pain your old father has suffered.
With you away his home has been desolate indeed
But if in finding you again, my hopes are not in vain
If the voice of honour is not silent for you
God has heard me.

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