One of the most beloved songs in Brazil is also one of my favorites, the classic “Àguas de Março” by Antonio Carlos Jobim. On the surface, the song sounds like a list of stuff. A stick, a stone, the end of the road, a tree stump, a little alone. Taken altogether, though, it’s the essence of life: the good and bad, the joyous and tragic.
I learned the Portuguese version first, then when I subsequently heard the English versions, they didn’t mean the same to me. There’s nothing wrong with them and there’s no reason to not like them but they didn’t make me feel the same.
Because I couldn’t find a translation that I could relate to, I wrote my own interpretation. It does have some of the original lyrics translated into English but for the most part, it’s based on my everyday life.
A friend (I agreed not to use her name, not that I don’t want to) and I recorded a duet of the song and had a lot of fun in the process. Partly because of that, I think we captured some of the spirit of one of the best known performances by Jobim and Elis Regina.