Linda Dahl is the author of Haunted Heart: a biography of Susannah McCorkle and the novel Cleans Up Nicely.
This winter's harsh grip on New York seems to be loosening. As the temperatures slowly climb into the 40s for the weekend, we celebrate with song: Susannah McCorkle's extraordinarily powerful 1994 in-studio performance of what would become her signature song, Antônio Carlos Jobim's "The Waters of March" (Aguas de março). The song is ostensibly about the coming of spring, but also, as she points out, "about the rebirth of the human spirit" (McCorkle suffered from depression and was a cancer survivor). The show's host chokes up afterward. You might, too.
We asked McCorkle's biographer Linda Dahl about the significance of the song: "Susannah McCorkle fell in love with the enigmatic, haiku-like 'Waters' as a story as much as a song. In Jobim’s tropical homeland, the drenching season of rain ends with spring mud and new green life, but Susanna's research uncovered that the Portuguese lyrics also refer to death and violence in the old feudal system of Brazil, along with being a celebration of new life."
"It's the end of all strain..." Can the daffodils be far behind?
Listen to the full performance here.