Be drunk with Love, for Love is all that exists.
Where is intimacy found if not in the give and take of Love.
Countless love songs speak of the wonder and the pain of love. Many more will be written whose pouring of emotion will only cease when we will be no more; or if we continue at the rate we’re going until we wipe each other out.
Having the love of the love of our life gives us a high like no other. Yet, falling in love and being in love are a universe apart despite the interlinking of their infinitely sacred and profane complexities. As for staying in love, it takes hard work to contain, let alone beat the corrosive tentacles of everyday concerns and chores mired in our very own flawed beings, idiosyncratic traits, and comforting habits. I will not even hint at the toll of totally unexpected life-changing experiences because, despite their horror, I still want to sing about how fabulous it is to grow in togetherness.
Yet why is it so hard for lovers to communicate their intimacy for each other? More so in a wired world of increasing disconnect.
Both a burst and a glow of iridescent physical, emotional, mental and soulful closeness, lovers’ intimacy is the oldest incomparable rhapsody. Which is why the power of music and song come close in capturing its essence in so many different, haunting strains. It is easy to hear in ballads melting out of incredible voices or the heart’s cry in the likes of Bon Jovi’s rocking ‘Bed of Roses’. There is indeed a never-ending count of songs from all over the world through the musical timbre of the Italian language or the mellifluous sound of Spanish gives their singers an edge.
Curiously, what has got me writing about lovers’ intimacy is no typical heart-wrenching song reverberating torrential passion; but one whose title conjures not a flicker of romance. On first hearing, it even makes you wonder whether the whistling bits dumb it down. I can even imagine many saying that is unlikely to be remembered as one of the most beautiful love songs ever. I am referring to Francesco Gabbani’s minted ‘Viceversa,’ the song with which he clinched second place in this year’s 25-hour Sanremo marathon which came to a close last Saturday.
For the record, Gabbani – who uncannily resembles Domenico Modugno of ‘Volare’ fame, is the Italian songwriter who three years ago lifted the trophy at the same festival with a song which showcased his irresistible charisma and extraordinarily clever exuberance only a year after he won the Newcomers Section at Sanremo itself. The expectation to score a hattrick was high among his adoring fans and he almost did with a totally different type of song. This manifests his artistic integrity to venture down new avenues while putting himself to the test in the most public of ways.
Significantly, the guitar- piano- bass- drums playing Gabbani is not a product of any talent show which I believe gives him his raw authenticity. Having inherited the passion from his parents who still run the only music shop in Carrara, (his father used to play in a local band while his younger brother is a musician too) Gabbani has been honing his music for a good number of years. Anyone who follows his compositions is familiar with his remarkable richness.
For anyone unfamiliar with Sanremo, it is Italy’s ‘holy of holies’ musical festival which grinds the nation to a halt for five days followed by days of nationwide debate. This year’s 70th edition broke all market share records and annihilated all other news headlines in the press.
It has turned out to be a sort of Gabbani week for me since his three-year-old triumphant blast of a song – ‘Occidentalis’ Karma’ – somehow flowed through an article I have just written about artificiality, Having to Be.