Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From Treachery to Triumph

Do you know the song "Perfidia"? Its whole tale is told in Wikipedia:

Note the last line, indicating it was used in the off-Broadway show "Forever Plaid." In rehearsing for that show (as bassist) I saw, for the first time, lyrics I had hummed to through many recordings (though I'd forgotten The Ventures) on the Wiki list. And I had never got it.

I somehow linked it with "Poinciana", (The Song of the Tree) which can be played with the same slow latin beat. Both tunes exist in instrumental and vocal versions, and both, to belabor a point, start with the letter P and aren't words of everyday use in my world.

The opening:
To you, my heart cries out "Perfidia," for I found you, the love of my life, in somebody else's arms.

Pretty good so far--the singer calls the object of his/her affection by name (I thought) and is obviously crowing about the theft from another.

But things are going a little sideways now:

Your eyes are echoing "Perfidia", forgetful of our promise of love, you're sharing another's charms...

Our singer gets reflective through the bridge:

With a sad lament my dreams have faded like a broken melody; while the gods of love
look down and laugh and what romantic fools we mortals be...

And turns resolute:

And now, I know my love was not for you, and so I'll take it back with a sigh,
Perfidious one, goodbye!

Perfidious one? Well, "perfidia" is Spanish for "treachery." You can take it from there. Perfidia is not a name at all!

Shallowly, I thought it was a song of love. Well it is, but it has a surprise ending.

Hear a snippet, bridge to close, here:

And I have a new word to try to use 7 times today.

1 comment:

wordweevil said...

1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery: perfidy that goes unpunished. act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.

Shakespearean and fun to use when talking about sporting events, ones knitting circle, or a rogue school board member.