6. caribou – Sun
This is hard to explain, but if you come from a mediterranean country you’ll immediately get why this song has a very tight bond with Berlin. Caribou’s sun is not the warm, reassuring sun you might get to know in Italy. It hides, it lies, sometimes it freezes. It can be an ally as well as an enemy, and you never know when to trust it.
This is the feeling I often get not only about the weather in Berlin, but also about Berlin itself. Sometimes it’s the most welcoming, stimulating city and sometimes it’s a bitch able to shoot you in a colorful supersocial scene as well as to swallow you in a pond of loneliness.
more after the jump
7. tori amos – A sorta Fairytale
There’s a line, in this song, that truly breaks my heart. Scarlet is driving somewhere on the west coast along with her lover, and at some point he loses her in his rear view. I think that’s a powerful metaphor about something that happened to all of us and that certainly happened a lot to me since I’m in Berlin.
I come from a place where nobody comes to live in and very few are adventurous enough to leave, so losing people was somebody I was simply not used to. Berlin, on the other hand, is full of people that are just passing by, and they will probably slip out of your life sooner or later. So yeah, this city is actually teaching me the loss. It sounds profoundly sad, but there’s actually a bittersweet feeling attached to it. It’s not only about learning how to let people go, but also about making the most out of your time together. Friends, colleagues, lovers: I’m learning how not to be haunted by an end which is in plain sight and try to live every one of these relationships in the most intense and rewarding way.
I’m so sad, like a good book I can’t put this day back, a sorta fairytale with you I could pick up whenever I feel
8. Niccolò Fabi – Costruire (click to listen)
Costruire (tr. Building….as in to build) is one of my favourite italian songs. It’s about how the beginning and the end of things are exciting and memorable, but what actually matters most is what happens in between, the process of getting from one to the other.
And this is something that I’ve always had problems with ’cause I’m impatient, I want to be able to do/understand/make stuff in a perfect way right when I start doing it. Coming to a country where I had to learn the language from zero is probably one of the best and most instructive things that ever happened to me. I had to surrender to the fact that it will take a long time to speak german; that I will make tons of mistakes, possibly often and in public; that trying and failing is an important step in the learning process and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
E costruire è sapere. E’ potere rinunciare alla perfezione (Building is knowing. It’s being able to give up perfection)
9. martha wainwright – Tv Show
Berlin might not be the best place to have a happy long-lasting relationship, but it’s the easiest place to have meaningless sex. Not that I’m the biggest fan of it, but I’m definitely learning stuff from that too.
I’m learning to love my body more, to know it more, not to be ashamed of speaking about sex, and the fact that both the meaningless sex and the meaningful one are supposed to be fun and to release pressure off you instead of putting it on.
I’m not such a good lover, I’m a better talker, so when you touch me there I’m scared that you’ll see not the way that I don’t love you, but the way that I don’t love myself
10. cristina donà – Lettera a mano
Cristina Donà is one of the best italian lyrics-writers. Fact. She molds words into images in a way that nobody else does and everything she sings sounds true. When I listened to this song for the first time, though, I didn’t like the last two lines: it seemed like they used cheap rhymes and were too direct, not at all the subtle metaphoric style I was used too.
After many many (obsessive) listenings to the whole record I came to change my mind on that. Sometimes you just have to let go of every superstructure and just say things like they are. Bare, raw things that will make you look completely naked and fragile.
That’s exactly what she does in those last two lines, when saying that she’s scared of losing things (meaning people, probably) along the way, and I can totally relate to that. I left precious, worthy relationships in Italy and keeping contact with everybody was and is fucking hard. The thought of losing this people by letting distance and the lack of time win is my worst fear at the moment, and I should probably make this clear to everybody I love in the same direct, bare way Cristina did.