the promise of spring, the joy in your heart

“My Little Guardian” by Cristine Mihailescu

Hello, dear friends — Olá queridos amigos!

Let’s celebrate spring with a song. How about some jazzy bossa nova?

You’re probably familiar with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s iconic, “The Girl from Ipanema,” which won a Record of the Year Grammy in 1965, but do you know “Águas de Março” (“Waters of March”)?

In addition to composing the music, Jobim wrote both the Portuguese and English lyrics. With its comely central metaphor, these lyrics could also be considered the coolest stream of consciousness list poem ever.

“At Last Spring Rain” by Gun Legler

It was inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s rainiest month, when sudden storms and heavy winds cause flooding in some parts of the city.

“The lyrics and music have a constant downward progression much like the water torrent from those rains flowing in the gutters, which typically would carry sticks, stones, bits of glass, and almost everything and anything.”

Let the “Waters of March” wash over you with its refreshing, relentless stream of cleverly juxtaposed images, upbeat tempo, and playful spirit. There’s no stopping the river of life.


A stick, a stone,
It's the end of the road,
It's the rest of a stump,
It's a little alone

It's a sliver of glass,
It is life, it's the sun,
It is night, it is death,
It's a trap, it's a gun

The oak when it blooms,
A fox in the brush,
A knot in the wood,
The song of a thrush

The wood of the wind,
A cliff, a fall,
A scratch, a lump,
It is nothing at all

It's the wind blowing free,
It's the end of the slope,
It's a beam, it's a void,
It's a hunch, it's a hope

And the river bank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the end of the strain,
The joy in your heart

The foot, the ground,
The flesh and the bone,
The beat of the road,
A slingshot's stone

A fish, a flash,
A silvery glow,
A fight, a bet,
The range of a bow

The bed of the well,
The end of the line,
The dismay in the face,
It's a loss, it's a find

A spear, a spike,
A point, a nail,
A drip, a drop,
The end of the tale

A truckload of bricks
in the soft morning light,
The shot of a gun
in the dead of the night

A mile, a must,
A thrust, a bump,
It's a girl, it's a rhyme,
It's a cold, it's the mumps

The plan of the house,
The body in bed,
And the car that got stuck,
It's the mud, it's the mud

Afloat, adrift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the promise of life
It's the joy in your heart

A stick, a stone,
It's the end of the road
It's the rest of a stump,
It's a little alone

A snake, a stick,
It is John, it is Joe,
It's a thorn in your hand
and a cut in your toe

A point, a grain,
A bee, a bite,
A blink, a buzzard,
A sudden stroke of night

A pin, a needle,
A sting, a pain,
A snail, a riddle,
A wasp, a stain

A pass in the mountains,
A horse and a mule,
In the distance the shelves
rode three shadows of blue

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the promise of life
in your heart, in your heart

A stick, a stone,
The end of the road,
The rest of a stump,
A lonesome road

A sliver of glass,
A life, the sun,
A knife, a death,
The end of the run

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the end of all strain,
It's the joy in your heart.

~ Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim, 1972


“Fishing in Spring – The Pont de Clichy” by Vincent Van Gogh (1887)

In Jobim’s part of the world, March rains signal the end of summer — cascading waters of daily life moving in its inevitable progression towards death (winter). In the northern hemisphere, however, the spring waters of March signal new beginnings, “the promise of life”; the cascading waters with its litany of details may suggest what is yet to come.

Whether thinking in terms of endings or beginnings, Jobim’s song beautifully speaks of the “joy in your heart”: gratitude for what has been given as well as happiness for fresh possibilities on the horizon. Life, like water, finds and goes its own way.

“Dancing in the Rain” by Sherrell Rodgers

Released in 1972, “Águas de Março” was named all-time best Brazilian song in a poll conducted with over 200 Brazilian journalists, musicians, and other artists by Brazil’s leading daily newspaper, Fohla de São Paulo. It has been covered by many notable musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Art Garfunkel, Sergio Mendes, Frank Sinatra, Al Jarreau, Cassandra Wilson, and Bono.

“Blossoming Romance” by Christine Bell

I would be remiss if I didn’t share the song (many consider it best as a duet) in its original Portuguese. Here is the iconic rendition featuring Jobim with Elis Regina, recorded in 1974. There is such delight in how they interact. You don’t have to understand a single word of Portuguese to feel the pure, unadulterated joy. ♥️


The lovely and talented Susan Bruck is hosting this week’s PF Roundup at Soul Blossom Living. She’s also collecting links for the National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Roundup, so if you’re doing a special project this April, be sure to send her your details. I’ll miss doing the NPM Kidlit Roundup this year: unfortunately since mid February I’ve had tech issues with my blog editor. There’s a weird bug that makes the font microscopic. Luckily the public facing font is okay, but writing posts in the editor itself has become more tedious and time consuming. The WP developers are working on a fix, but so far they haven’t come up with one. Big thanks to Susan for taking the reins. Have a nice weekend!!


“Amazing Family Ties” by Katerina Mertikas

*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

32 thoughts on “the promise of spring, the joy in your heart

  1. Thanks for this post. My favorite rendition of The Girl From Ipanema is the Frank Sinatra and Carlos Jobim collaboration! Old Blue Eyes! Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Such a smooth rendition of Jobim’s classic. Both look very handsome in the video. I do love Astrud Gilberto’s voice in the hit record, though.


  2. Thanks for sharing this beautiful song, Jama, & those lyrics, yes, a list of life, I think. The images are lovely. We have rain (RAIN!) in our forecast today. It won’t be pounding as you’ve described, but will be welcome! Have a wonderful weekend! I hope there will be a fix for the WP problems soon.


    1. Enjoy your rainy day, Linda (better than snow?). Our early morning winds have finally died down and it’s nice and sunny and calm now. It must be a hard bug to fix; usually WP is pretty speedy about correcting problems. It seems to be affecting a number of older blog themes. I don’t feel like changing my theme so I hope they come up with a solution soon. Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Just listened to Paula’s rendition — she brings a certain smoky sophistication to the song. Love it! Amazing how many different artists have covered it.


  3. Lovely to wake with your post Jama, I was listening to Bossa Nova music yesterday, a favorite of mine. And what a treat the ending song with Jobim and Elis Regina— their energy and movements are contagious. Beautiful collection of art too—loved the Van Gogh “Fishing in Spring.” Thanks for this refreshing Spring Escape!!! ❤️


    1. Thanks for visiting, Michelle. Good to know you’re a fellow bossa nova fan! Listening to Jobim’s album “Wave” always makes me feel better. Romantic, dreamy, escapist.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a glorious celebration of poem and song and rain and spring! Hope your tech glitches get fixed soon. The very thought of tiny text makes my eyes hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiny text is definitely a challenge. I’ve been composing in google docs, then copying and pasting into the editor. Still, with my constant revising and tweaking it still means I can’t escape the eyestrain. It’s weird, no matter which browser I use, there’s no way to enlarge that font! Grrrr.


    1. Thanks for sharing the video! It’s interesting to hear how different artists have covered this famous song. They all bring their own flavor to it. 🙂


  5. Thanks for the songs and smile on this rainy (!) March morning in Switzerland! I love seeing Jobim’s lyrics (poem) spelled out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “It’s the promise of life/It’s the joy in your heart” is a wonderful refrain to have in my head today. Thank you for sharing, Jama! I love all the great images you’ve shared, too! Good luck with the tech issues. I don’t love the WP changes, but I suppose I’ll get used to them. Happy spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely an uplifting phrase to keep in mind all year round.

      It was bad enough adjusting to the WP block editor, and now this! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Because I use a lot of images in my posts, the block editor has only made things more tedious. And it’s screwed up all the recipes I carefully coded in the old classic editor.


  7. Pure joy from beginning to end! The paintings you chose are exquisite. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that particular Van Gogh before. Even the downs of March point to the ups to come. Love this, Jama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear you knew the song and the composer’s name is now no longer a mystery. 🙂 It would be great if that bug would go away but I’m not holding my breath. I may have to change my blog theme this summer — not looking forward to that.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.