Nella fantasia io vedo un mondo giusto,
Li tutti vivono in pace e in onestà.

In my fantasy I see a just world
Where everyone lives in peace and honesty

Shades of John Lennon’s Imagine. I think the key word in the whole thing is “fantasy”. It’s not going to happen, a world “where everyone lives in peace and honesty”.

I’m cheating a bit, but the story behind the music is interesting. The song I last played on Spotify was the Yo-Yo Ma performance of Gabriel’s Oboe, Ennio Morricone’s theme from The Mission. The piece is a flat-out gorgeous and unforgettable melody. It doesn’t have lyrics. However, Sarah Brightman pestered Morricone for permission to put lyrics to the piece, and this resulted in Nella Fantasia. It’s become a very popular song for classical crossover artists. Later, Hayley Westenra debuted Gabriel’s Oboe with English lyrics. The English has no grounding in the Italian lyrics of Nella Fantasia.

Whispers in a dream;
The world is quiet and waiting.

It’s a departure from the fantasy of the Italian lyrics. The English is about hope, and redemption. In the end I prefer the original piece, without lyrics. All versions of Gabriel’s Oboe are fantastic though, and well worth a listen if you haven’t come across them.


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