Antônio Carlos Jobim – “Waters of March (Águas de Marco)” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Waters of March (Águas de Marco)” by Antônio Carlos Jobim paints a vivid and multi-faceted portrait of life. A cascade of images and symbols encapsulates the cyclic nature of existence, juxtaposing elements of life, death, hope, and renewal. The song doesn’t revolve around a specific individual but rather embodies the essence of the human experience, highlighting the transient and ever-evolving tapestry of emotions and events that define us.

Curious about the myriad of symbols and their profound implications in “Waters of March”? Read on to unravel the seamless interweaving of life’s paradoxes within the song’s intricate lyricism!

“Waters of March” Lyrics Meaning

The song starts with contrasting imagery: “A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road.” Here, the stick and stone symbolize the simplicity and fundamentality of life, while the end of the road reflects finality, possibly death or the conclusion of a journey. This juxtaposition serves as an entry point into the intricate dance between life and death, beginning and end, depicted throughout the song.

“It’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun, It is night, it is death, it’s a trap, it’s a gun,” this sequence portrays the multifaceted nature of existence, balancing elements of light and dark, life and death. These metaphors may represent the alternating phases of hope and despair that punctuate human existence, hinting at the constant flux within the cycle of life.

“And the river bank talks of the waters of March, It’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart,” here, the waters of March seem to symbolize a time of renewal and rejuvenation, perhaps aligned with spring’s arrival. The river bank talking could represent nature’s eternal witness to human experiences, and its discussions bring forth the duality of ending and rebirth, strain and joy.

“A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light, The sound of a gun in the dead of the night,” these lines convey the dichotomy of harshness and softness, peace and violence, reflecting the spectrum of human experiences and emotions.

The Story Behind “Waters of March”

Antônio Carlos Jobim, the maestro of Bossa Nova, seemed to be in a contemplative state while composing “Waters of March.” The song emerges as a philosophical exploration of life’s contrasting elements, symbolizing the interplay of opposites that construct the human experience.

Drawing inspiration from the rhythm of nature and the cycles of life, Jobim meticulously crafted a musical masterpiece that resonates with the transient beauty and inherent paradoxes of existence. He seemed to be meditating on the cyclical nature of life, where every end is a precursor to a new beginning, and every moment is a dance between joy and sorrow, life and death.

The intricate blend of images and metaphors within the song invites listeners to ponder life’s complexities, witness the harmonious coexistence of conflicting elements, and embrace the eternal dance of creation and dissolution. Jobim’s musical and lyrical composition in “Waters of March” stands as a timeless reflection of his profound understanding of the universe’s inherent balance and the transient, yet eternal nature of the human condition.

It’s not just a song; it’s a musical journey through the myriad facets of life, a harmonious echo of the universal symphony of existence, inviting all to reflect, embrace, and dance to the eternal rhythms of the cosmos.