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Per ora arrivederci e grazie

Just a note of thanks to everyone at Castello Sforzesco, Milano – our third and final show in Italy, following a return to Rome and my first ever appearance in Palermo – during which Steve Nieve and I shared the stage with Carmen Consoli and her musicians, performing in turn and then in the finale; contrasting our songs, our voices and even our languages.

Those in attendance will note that, among other things, Carmen sang the chorus of my composition, “All This Useless Beauty”, which I first attempted to translate into Italian, many years ago, in acknowledgment of the country in which I began writing the song.

To return this favour, I adapted the two refrains of, “Le Cose Di Sempre” into English, not a literal translation but retaining some of the images and emotion of Carmen’s consoling original text, understanding it to be addressed to a child.

For those who are curious to know, these are the two stanzas that I sang:

If you close your eyes, my love, nothing can happen to you
Come and lie here in my arms and talk to me
Of the soft beating of wings and fantastic things
That you fear you may hear scuttling in these

But if I call out your name again then you may answer for me
In a place were moonlight fell and stories tell:
“Pull oyster from a shell and a pretty pearl to string
That mosquito and its sting
Are found in everything”

As Steve and I leave for our next engagement in Granada, Spain, we send our many thanks to all concerned in making this brief but delightful adventure possible.

We hope to see you all again before so very long. Elvis Costello

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