On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Lucio Dalla – Com’è profondo il mare (1977)
We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and we’re heading on over to Italy for the latest phase in our musical adventure. Born in Bologna, Lucio Dalla had indifferent success in the 1960s before collaborating with poet, Roberto Roversi, in the early 1970s. We join Dalla in 1977 after he and Roversi had gone their separate ways, leaving Dalla to release a solo album made up entirely of his own compositions – Com’è profondo il mare. 1001 Songs have gone with the album’s opening track which is also the title track. Fancy that.
Com’è profondo il mare translates as How Deep is the Sea. I’m sorry to say I have not learned any Italian as of yet so a translation here was necessary. The song is 5+ minutes with numerous verses, each united by the refrain of How deep is the sea. Dalla covers a range of subjects in the song. The overall commentary seems to be about human nature, about our negative impact on the world, our loss of faith and our relentless vices that cause so much damage. There is the hint of God’s punishment in here, the world ending and being reborn thanks to technology. The refrain about the sea seems to point to the mystery of the ocean and its dark depths but by the song’s end there seems to be the suggestion that even the sea is not safe from the malevolent grip of mankind.
It’s always nice to branch out beyond the US and the UK and what a pleasure it is to return once more to Italy. I did not feel hindered by needing a translation for Com’è profondo il mare. The many verses are packed full of imagery and ambiguity hovers over each of them to the point that my musings are likely just wild speculation when it comes to the song’s overall meaning. It feels like there is something much deeper to the song than I could garner. The song sounds pleasant though even if the lyrics suggest something slightly more foreboding.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
David Bowie – Life on Mars? (1971)
Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)
Sparks – This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us (1974)
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)