This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of our parish magazine.
This song is based on the solo “Gabriel’s Oboe”, music composed by Ennio Morricone for the 1986 film “The Mission”. A few years later Sarah Brightman begged Morricone to allow her to set lyrics to the music, and eventually he relented. It is thought that Brightman wrote the lyrics in English, and they were translated into Italian by Chiara Ferrau. It is usually sung in Italian:
|Nella Fantasia||In My Fantasy|
I first sang this with the Manchester Chorale in the spring of 2017. I was struck by the beauty of both the words and music, and knew that, although not a sacred song, I would have to write about it for the parish magazine. Liturgically, May is the month of the Ascension and Pentecost. So much hope, so much promise. Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to be our companion. Often portrayed as a dove, the Holy Spirit can also be represented as fire or wind. Elements of this are present in this song – souls soaring in freedom, rising on thermals generated by warm winds blowing. Also represented are some of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: peace, healing, joy and goodness.
Even if we take a secular point of view, there can be no denying that our world is in desperate need of healing. Environmentally, spiritually, politically and racially. This song aspires to a world of justice, peace, honesty, freedom and light. In this month of Ascension and Pentecost, these gifts of the Holy Spirit are there for us, if only we choose to live by and within them.
Here is Sarah Brightman singing Nella Fantasia