J’attendrai: Melodic Beauty and Grace in Performance
J’attendrai is one of those songs that, when you first hear it, you want to play it on the guitar and sing it in performance. The melody is perfect. I have yet to see a performance of the song that didn’t glide with a gracious humanity.
Translated from French as — “I Will Wait” — J’attendrai was first made popular in 1938 by Rina Ketty and was written by Dino Olivier and Nino Rastelli. J’attendrai is the hallmark song for the start of World War II as people all over the world prepared for an uncertain and dramatic future:
I will wait night and day,
I will wait forever,
For you to come back, I will wait, [I will wait]
For the bird flying away
Comes to seek oblivion in its nest.
Time flies and runs,
Beating sadly in my oh so heavy heart
And yet I will wait for you to come back
The most resonant, historic, performance of J’attendrai belongs to magnificent Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and expert violinist Stéphane Grappelli.
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