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The two middle verses are the English lyrics (by Ray Gilbert) to Antonio Carlos Jobim's song Fotografia. To enable the song to be sung entirely in English and without repetition, I wrote in 2011 the first two verses, trying to be true to the established mood, style, and storyline. Much later the skeleton of the last two verses came to me in a dream and I fleshed them out partly as aftermath and partly as editorial comment on what I consider the underlying theme. All stories are, ultimately, about real people.


You and I, we two,
Out walking hand-in-hand, beside the surf;
The footprints left behind us in the sand
Erased by rolling waves that sweep the earth.
As day heads to its close, the tide withdraws
Then surges, to once more embrace the beach.
I hear its ebb and flow like soft applause
For what it seems to see
In you and me.

You and I, we two,
Together on the shore, no need to speak;
No need to put in words what we both feel,
As surging passions swell towards their peak,
To break upon the night. For night must fall,
And then we'll turn away on separate paths.
But still we'll have these moments to recall,
In memory's photographs.
In photographs.

You and I, we two,
Alone here on this terrace by the sea;
The sun is going down and in your eyes
I see the changing colours of the sea.
It's time for you to go, the day is done
And shadows stretch their arms to bring the night.
The sun falls in the sea and down below
A window light we see,
Just you and me.

You and I, we two,
Alone here in this bar with dimming lights.
A full and rising moon comes from the sea
And soon the bar will close for you and me.
But there will always be a song to tell
A story you and I cannot dismiss;
That same old simple story of desire ...
And suddenly that kiss!
That kiss!

You and I, we two,
Before piepowder's court: a stitch in time.
Those cares are yours and mine, the wares we bought
With debts we gladly ditched, because love's blind.
But in the gentle light of breaking dawn
The night's bold chances seem a world apart.
Though judge and jury hold us to account,
Those hearts defying laws
Are mine and yours.

You and I, we two,
May never stand again upon that beach,
May never walk the strand, nor sit in bars
At tables 'neath stars just beyond our reach.
Though tides still rise and fall, and time may fade
The photos of our too-brief interludes,
All roles were ours to choose, and parts we played
Together, for a while,
Just you and I ...
You and I.
composite by Stephen Alsford,
using photos by Stephen Alsford (Positano) and Krückstock (moonrise)

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford