But Still You Are Beautiful

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Lucio Battisti has two songs that I absolutely adore. The first one is “La canzone del sole” about a young man who, at the moment of his first intimacy with his young girlfriend, is shocked and intimidated to discover in her composure a much greater level of security and experience than in his (the nightmare of all Italian men, for sure, to discover that they are more innocent than their “innocent” targets).

And last night while listening to another friend describe how she is breaking up with her boyfriend (yes, everyone’s always confiding in me), I was remined of my other favorite song by Battisti, “Comunque Bella”.

“Comunque Bella” is about a man whose girlfriend arrives drenched in rain, with red eyes, obviously after a night of making love with a different man. She tells him that because he is a man she owes him no explanations and needs not ask for his forgiveness. As if after generations of being subjected to infidelities, women have no reason to justify their actions to men.

“Comunque Bella” would be translated literatlly as “however beautiful”, but I think in English it is more natural to translate it as, “but still you are beautiful”. And what I find so interesting about the song is its chorus, “you were beautiful, but still you are beautiful”. Thus, as the narrator looks upon his girlfriend entering the room with all of the evidence of having been unfaithful, he recognizes that not only was she beautiful, but that she continues to be beautiful. I really love this song, for one of the things that I most detest about my gender is its manifestation of weakness and insecurity through jealousy and possessiveness.

In any event, here is my poor attempt at translating the lyrics to “Comunque Bella”

You dressed of flowers
or of beacons in the city
with the fog or the colors
to pick the roses barefooted and then
with the scarf tightened to your white neck
like never before, but

you were beautiful, beautiful, but still you are beautiful.

When the rainbow
was at the bottom of your eyes
when beneath your breast
the ire poisoned your heart because
you saw another woman approaching me
before even I knew it and
choose you again, you

you were beautiful, beautiful, but still you are beautiful.

Also when one morning you returned
dressed in rain
with the twisted look in your eyes of a night of love, “take a seat”
“I do not ask you for forgiveness because you are a man “.
With your hair soaking – “I know that you will understand”
With those signs on your face – “how I suffer and you know it”
with your bloodshot eyes
while you lied and said to me
that still more than before you loved me, you

you were beautiful, beautiful, but still you are beautiful.


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