Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Best Pilgrimage Yet - Gondolier's Song

I'm gonna be bold in a minute here.
I've heard a lot of gondoliers sing.
Some have sounded better than others.
I feel like I've heard more gondoliers sing than most folks.
There are opera singers, scratchy-voiced gondoliers that sound like the Godfather but who can carry a tune like a pro, and there are some who sound like Sinatra (and many more who try to sound like him).
Comparing the different styles seems wrong.

Andrew McHardy has a particular style, one which you'll hear once you click on the following recording.

I'm gonna be bold now and say that
Andrew is one of the best singers rowing a gondola today.
In his style, I've not heard anybody as good.

When we rowed out into Huntington Harbour on that Wednesday night, I shared a boat with Andrew and he sat down with a guitar under the bridge to sing this song.

The song he sings in this recording is known by many Southern California gondoliers as the "Gondolier's Song". Get a bunch of them together and you're likely to hear a rendition of it.
One thing we as gondoliers are good at, is singing a song over and over, night after night. As you listen to this one, you'll hear character notes and personal touches that can only come from that kind of perpetual performance.

When I listen to it, I'm right back there under that bridge, trying to row with one hand, record with the other, and soak up the moment as a memory I'll want to hang on tight to.
I'll be bold once more and say, that for me, that was a perfect moment.


Ingo said...

Yes it is.
Bravi Andrew, bravissimo!

Unknown said...

That is also OUR song, which is song often and loud whenever we row the gondola. A big difference being, we can't sing nearly as good as Andrew.

I leaned this song from my farther and he haven't hear the song for some 30 years so the text were singe is not exactly the same as Andrew song although his lyrics probably are the correct ones. Another funny difference is that Andrew is singing in Italian, where I have only heard this song song in Venizian where eg gondola is pronounced gondoja.

But this song is the perfect gondola song.

staff said...

My best congrats to Andrew for his performance. The lyric is correct and pronounce is very good for a non-venetian.

Ingo said...

In another variation in chorus I have heard this beautiful song in San Giuliamo october last year intonated by the chorus of GSVVM. It was as well great.

Unknown said...

Andrew, canti meglio dei veneziani.