Waters of March (Águas de Março)

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the promise of life, it’s the joy in your heart – from “Waters of March” by Antonio Carlos Jobim

The Waters of March (Águas de Março ), written by Antonio Carlos Jobim,  reflects the end of summer, which is March in Brazil.  For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it suggests the beginning of spring, “the promise of life in your heart”.

March is here and is it full of the promise of life. As I bend again and again to weed and clear the detritus of winter and uncover the emerging blooms and greening leaves, I hear in my mind the lovely repetitive melody of this sensuous and philosophical song by Jobim, the composer and musician who made Brazilian music accessible to the rest of the planet.

The Waters of March was originally intended to list the passages and events of life that flow and ebb and culminate in the waters of March, a stormy and wet time at the end of summer in the southern hemisphere of Brazil.  In the northern hemisphere, March is also stormy and wet but also the beginning rather than the end of the growing season. As the rain and storms bring us green leaves, bird song, and early blooms, we can consider the beauty of the song and the reality of nature’s astonishing gifts of blossom and promise.  Here are a few images of new life in my garden this week, a stream of life in the waters of March.

“It’s the promise of life in your heart”

The original song sung by Brazilian singer Elis Regina and Jobim, with English subtitles, slow to load but worth watching.

A video of a recording session with Regina and Jobim in an Argentian production that is evidence of pure joy and utter musical communication.

Al Jarreau and Oleta Adams in a very lush and sexy version of Waters of March.

The written lyrics of Waters of March – Portugeuse and English

All images ©2012 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved

34 thoughts on “Waters of March (Águas de Março)

  1. Great post, Lynn. I’d heard Art Garfunkel’s version of the song (in English, of course), but it was more than instructive to listen to ACJ perform his own song and hear it in Portugese.

    I’ve never seen anything resembling the early spring we’ve had in the upper Midwest this year. In central Indiana, crocuses were OPEN before the end of January. I saw BEES in Indiana in January. In the Chicago area, there had been a grand total of 11 days where the temperature reached at least 80 F in March in more than 140 years for which data is available. There have already been five this year alone. Blooming, both in NE Illinois and central Indiana is running about a month ahead of normal.

    • Kerry, I never realized Art Garfunkel recorded this song until I started searching for examples. Now I will have to go listen to it.

      I’ve been keeping records of first bloom dates in this area for the past 20 years and have never seen such consistently early bloom. We are about 2-3 weeks earlier than usual, but sometimes a full month early. It is only mid-March but the foliage in my garden is fully emerged as if it were early to mid-April, even a more important milestone than the blossoms. On one hand, it is worrisome, but on the other, I can’t help celebrating an early spring! I can’t control it so I am enjoying it! I do plan to mulch heavily this year, to keep soil temps more even throughout the season. Should be an interesting year in the garden:-)

  2. Fascinating! It’s one of my favorite songs but I never realized that it wouldn’t be directly about spring! Thanks for the post – I’m only familiar with Susannah McCorckle’s version, so I’ll have to look up the others.

    • Hi Jenny, thanks for your comment and your follow. I know the Susannah McCorkle version too, but I was surprised at how many versions there are by different artists. After listening to many of them, I found that I really loved the sound of Elis Regina’s voice the most. I hope you enjoy it too.

  3. Your water post added to the water in Pure Michigan commercial that I’ve seen this morning … and I’m sure you’re gardening is ahead of schedule with our abnormal spring. Enjoy!

    • Yes, we are about 2 – 3 weeks early in some blooms. I am getting all of my pruning and mulching done early, which is a great feeling! I just went and checked out the pure water Michigan ad – very nice! Thanks for visiting, Frank – you always have great suggestions!

  4. Thank you for introducing me to the Waters of March. Love the song and your pictures. It’s warm here too, and I can’t help being happy to see the flowers and life early too!

  5. The combination of fresh blooms and music put a smile on my face just now. You’ve also motivated me to open my door … to take a look at what’s popping up in my own back yard. Thanks for this!

  6. Such a refreshing display of Spring blooms. Oh, how I long to see that! I still have the straw mulch laid down. Yesterday it snowed! But under it all I can see the grape hyicinths and tips of tulips. thank you for treating me!

    • Lance, glad you enjoyed! We are having very unseasonably warm weather here, all the blooms are 2-3 weeks early. I know I should be worried but I can’t help enjoying and celebrating the early blooms!

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