Rarely are we ever so touched as when we listen to something that so effuses raw, unadulterated, spine-tingling love—the purest and the loveliest kind—the kind from heaven itself! And listening to operatic tenor, Luciano Pavarotti (d. 2007), sing his part in the U2/Passengers song, Miss Sarajevo, I contend I’m brought to the brink of wonder-filled tears.
But it’s not until I received a deciphered version of his lyric that I more completely understood the meaning he expresses through his emotively booming upper register.
Pavarotti’s lyric in English:
You say that the river
Finds the way to the sea
And like the river
You will come to me
Beyond the borders
And the dry lands
You say that like a river
Like a river...
The love will come
And I don’t know how to pray anymore
And in love I don’t know how to hope anymore
And for that love I don’t know how to wait anymore.
And the type of hopelessness known to Sarajevo’s people during that bleak time during the 1990s is portrayed here, as it was in Bill Carter’s documentary which inspired the song.
And the answer to all of this, spiritually at least, is when we reach the end of our tether, we finally reach an acceptance that we seem to have little choice about. When we’re cornered and all we can do is hope or lose hope, what are we going to do—a choice still beckons.
But if we take ourselves to that river, we see it merge with the sea; a means completed in an end. Yet, the dry lands endure. We know these resplendently parched dry lands of the soul exhume our lost, ailing love; when they compel their way through our weakly rebellious spirit’s and we no longer contend against “fate” we finally reach that sweet place.
And the most wonderful image is the revelation of looking back on this place from a delivered perspective; we look back upon our hopelessness and we celebrate that somehow we managed to remain ‘mustard seed faithful.’
Here we come!
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.