You Must Believe in Spring

Beneath the deepest snows
The secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows
You must believe in spring

When lonely feelings chill
The meadows of your mind
Just think if winter comes
Can spring be far behind?

Just as a tree is sure
Its leaves will reappear
It knows its emptiness
Is just a time of year

The frozen mountains dreams
Of April’s melting streams
How crystal clear it seems
You must believe in spring

You must believe in love
And trust it’s on its way
Just as a sleeping rose
Awaits the kiss of May

So in a world of snow
Of things that come and go
Where what you think you know
You can’t be certain of
You must believe in spring and love

(Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Jacques Demy, Michel Legrand, 1967)
Esther Satterfield: https://youtu.be/_-yhACrdj-8
Bill Evans and Tony Bennett: https://youtu.be/2bDFDYhXqPM

Winter Song

Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again?
Rain on houses, on the street,
Wetting all the people’s feet,
Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.

Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the Winter never go?
What do beggar children do
With no fire to cuddle to,
Perhaps with nowhere warm to go?
Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.

Hail and ice, and ice and hail,
Water frozen in the pail.
See the robins, brown and red,
They are waiting to be fed.
Poor dears, battling in the gale!
Hail and ice, and ice and hail.

(Katherine Mansfield, 1888 – 1923)

What is This Thing Called Love?

I was a humdrum person
Leading a life apart
When love flew in through my window wide
And quickened my humdrum heart

Love flew in through my window
I was so happy then
But after love had stayed a little while
Love flew out again

What is this thing called love
This funny thing
Called love
Just who can solve its mystery
Why should it make
A fool of me?

I saw you there
One wonderful day
You took my heart
And threw it away
That’s why I ask the lord
In heaven above
What is this thing
Called love?

What is this thing called love
This funny thing
Called love
Just who can solve its mystery
Why should it make
A fool of me?

I was a humdrum person
Leading a life apart
When love flew in through my window wide
And quickened my humdrum heart

Love flew in through my window
I was so happy then
But after love had stayed a little while
Love flew out again

What is this thing called love
This funny thing
Called love
Just who can solve its mystery
Why should it make
A fool of me?

I saw you there
One wonderful day
You took my heart
And threw it away
That’s why I ask the lord
In heaven above
What is this thing
Called love?

What is this thing called love
This funny thing
Called love
Just who can solve its mystery
Why should it make
A fool of me?

I saw you there
One wonderful day
You took my heart
And threw it away
That’s why I ask the lord
In heaven above
What is this thing
Called love?

(Cole Porter, 1929. Billie Holiday version: https://youtu.be/fhu7x94kbzk)

Ahead by a Century

First thing we’d climb a tree
And maybe then we’d talk
Or sit silently
And listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday
Cast in a golden light
No dress rehearsal
This is our life

And that’s where the hornet stung me
And I had a feverish dream
With revenge and doubt
Tonight we smoke them out

You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century

Stare in the morning shroud
And then the day began
I tilted your cloud
You tilted my hand
Rain falls in real time
And rain fell through the night
No dress rehearsal, this is our life

But that’s when the hornet stung me
And I had a serious dream
With revenge and doubt
Tonight we smoked them out

You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century

You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
And disappointing you is gettin’ me down

(Tragically Hip, 1996: https://youtu.be/QE2joQsWXJg)

Go No More A-Roving

So we’ll go no more, no more
So we’ll go no more, no more

So we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night
Though the heart be still as loving
And the moon be still as bright
For the sword outwears its sheath
And the soul outwears the breast
And the heart must pause to breathe
And love itself have rest

Though the night was made for loving
And the day returns too soon
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon
By the light of the moon

For the sword outwears its sheath
And the soul outwears the breast
And love itself have rest
Love have rest

Though the night was made for loving
And the day returns too soon
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon

We’ll go no more a-roving
We’ll go no more a-roving
We’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon

So we’ll go no more, no more

(Leonard Cohen, 2004 : https://youtu.be/uX9EVnbYjhI)

Winter (Zemestan)

Your greetings they’ll ignore.
With their heads resting on their chests,
They seek warmth from their breasts,
None affords to lift a head to greet the guests.

Vision is limited,
The road’s dark and slick.
Your extended friendly hand is refused,
Not because they are confused;
They rather keep their hands where they are warmed.
It is frightfully cold. Do not be alarmed.

Observe your breath,
Leaving the warmth of your breast;
Turns into a dark cloud
Before it rests
On the wall before your chest.

If your breath is this unkind,
What is amiss; if
Distant and near friends,
Were to keep you out of mind?

My manly Messiah,
Uncompromising man of faith!
Winter is cowardly and cold,
You keep the words warm,
Sustain that stance bold.

Accept my greetings.
Let me in.
Your nightly guest:
The pedestrian rock,
The curse of creation,
The uneven melody.

Allow this pest, a moment of rest.
I am not from Rome or Africa.
Allow the Africans the south,
North, the Romans.
Colorblind I am,
Enough for both.

Let me in!
Let my sorrow in!
Be a good host,
To your ever-present guest,
Who shivers behind your door.
Have mercy on the poor.

There is no hail.
You may have heard a tale,
There exists no death,
Only chattering teeth and a short breath.

Tonight I intend to pay back
The account for which I lack
It is not too late
It is not midnight
There is no morning
Don’t be fooled by the dawn’s false trap.

My frozen red ears
Bespeak winter’s harsh slap.
And your universal sun
At the mercy of each breath,
Rather than your coffin
Brightens the hidden cave of death.

Dear friend, with wine,
Illumine the sight;
Night is day
Day is night.

They’ll ignore your greeting
Amid this depressing weather
Doors are shut
Heads on chests
Hands hidden,
Hopes are cruelly cut.

Trees are but
Crystalline skeletons,
The sky’s moved closer;
The land is devoid of life,
Dimmed are the sun and the moon
Winter is rife.

(Mehdi Akhavan Saless, 1928-1990)
(Translated from Persian by Iraj Bashiri )

To a Mistake Filled New Year

I hope that in this year to come,
you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes,
then you are making new things,
trying new things,
learning, living,
pushing yourself,
changing yourself,
changing your world.

You’re doing things
you’ve never done before,
and more importantly,
you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you,
and all of us,
and my wish for myself.

Make New Mistakes.
Make glorious, amazing mistakes.
Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.

Don’t freeze, don’t stop,
don’t worry that it isn’t good enough,
or it isn’t perfect,
whatever it is: art, or love,
or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing,
Do it.

Make your mistakes,
next year and forever.

(Neil Gaiman, 1960 – )

January Hymn

On a winter’s Sunday I go
To clear away the snow
And green the ground below

April all an ocean away
Is this a better way to spend the day?
Keeping the winter at bay

What were the words I meant to say
Before you left
When I could see your breath lead
Where you were going to

Maybe I should just let it be
And maybe it will all come back to me
Seeing, oh, January, oh

How I lived a childhood in the snow
And all my teens in tow
Stuffed in strata of clothes

Hail the winter days after dark
Wandering the gray memorial park
A fleeting beating of hearts

What were the words I meant to say
Before she left
When I could see her breath lead
Where she was going to

Maybe I should just let it be
And maybe it will all come back to me
Seeing, oh, Janu…
Oh, January, oh

(The Decemberists, 2010:
https://youtu.be/XqDlTKqxu2w)

Hopes for a New Year

Let the sky celebrate!
Let it pour some rain
to wash away the past years’ grief.

Let the fireworks speak
announcing a New Year to break,
displaying seasons of different flavours.

Oh New Year, can you restore
our hopes and spill our fears?

I wonder.. What will you bring?
Happiness, confusion, or sadness?
Let the other years witness..
your joy, your pity, your cruelty,
and your niceness.

So New Year, I have too many hopes in you.
My wishes are infinite, what are you going to do?
Don’t disappoint me, I suppose you already know.
The hope fountain knows no chains,
Don’t tell me it’s all in vain..
Tell me how I can refrain myself
from dreaming in my dale.

If only there was a chance
or even an opportunity in disguise,
I wouldn’t cease proving
and proving my worth all the time,
I would use my ship to sail,
And you will witness my success..
This is what I promise,
And here comes the test..
Let me declare it in that feast..

So New Year, I have too many hopes in you.
I hope you lead me safely to the shore.
I hope you can be nice to me,
just nice and nothing more.
I hope you vanquish this tornado of sores.

I don’t ask the sun to be always shining.
I don’t ask the day to be much longer.
I don’t ask the guiding stars to be brighter.
I don’t ask for more flowers or more powers.
I don’t ask the sky to be clear from clouds,
so no rain of misery and frustration to be found.

All I ask for is some peace around.
All I ask for is some peace of mind.

So New Year, I have too many hopes in you.
My wishes are infinite, what are you going to do?
Don’t disappoint me, I suppose… you already know!

(Noha Alaa El-Din, Norina Luciano, 2017 )

New Years Eve

When the bells all ring and the horns all blow
And the couples we know are fondly kissing
Will I be with you or will I be among the missing?

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s, New Year’s eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year, New Year’s Eve?

Maybe I’m crazy to suppose
I’d ever be the one you chose
Out of the thousand invitations you received

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s, New Year’s Eve?

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s, New Year’s Eve?
Oh, what are you doing New Year’s, New Year’s Eve?

(Frank Loesser, 1947)
Ella Fitzgerald: https://youtu.be/FIcuK7wW8bU

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