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Caribbean blue (Enya) (Ireland)

Enya was born in the northwest of Ireland, the most magical part of the island, where old traditions and Celtic culture are best preserved and people still believe in magic. That will help explain why Enya's songs are usually so dreamy and magical, a mixture of angels and fairies.

... Eurus ...
... Afer Ventus ...

So the world goes round and round
With all you ever knew
They say the sky high above
Is Caribbean blue

If every man says all he can
If every man is true
Do I believe the sky above
Is Caribbean blue

... Boreas ...
... Zephyrus ...

If all we told was turned to gold,
If all we dreamed was new,
imagine sky high above
in Caribbean blue

... Eurus ...
... Afer Ventus ...
... Boreas
... Zephryus ...
... Africus ...

All the "strange" names that appear in this song are in fact mythological names of Greek gods, so we need a little lesson on Greek mythology to begin with.

In Greek mythology there were four gods representing the four winds ascribed to the cardinal points:
Boreas: the north wind. Brings the cold winter air and the snow.
Notus: (not mentioned in the song) the south wind. Brings the late summer storms and autumn strong winds and gales.
Zephyrus: the west wind. Brings light spring and summer breeze. He held dominion over plants and flowers.
Eurus: the east wind. This wind was not associated with any season in particular because early Greeks had only three seasons: Spring, Summer and Winter (mild weather, hot weather and cold weather, so most of automn was included in what we'd call winter)

There are also four minor wind gods:
Kaikias: northeast
Apeliotes: southeast wind
Skiron: northwest wind
Lips: southwest.
Of these lesser gods, Enya only mentions the last one, the southwest, but instead of using the original Greek name, as she did with the others, she uses the Roman name, "Afer ventus" ("African wind", since Africa was to the southwest of Italy), because "Lips" could easily be confused with the English word "lips".
Africus: another Roman alternative for "Afer ventus".


ABOVE= /əbʌv/ Up there, without contact. High above = Very high up over our heads.

CARIBBEAN BLUE= The colour of the sky in the Caribbean Sea (it's a very intense and saturated shade of blue but much lighter than Mediterranean blue). The important thing here is not the particular shade of blue, but the reference she makes to a blue sky (no clouds, sunshine, nice weather) with all the paradisiacal resonances the Caribbean area may have, especially for someone coming from cold, rainy and misty Ireland.

TRUE= If a person is true, they are sincere and/or they are faithful, never betray you, never cheat on you.

TURNED TO GOLD= If something turns to gold, it becomes gold.

WAS NEW= This is not a normal past tense, it is an unreal past tense (the kind of tense we use in conditionals which are impossible to become true). In the past, the unreal past (or subjunctive past) was always "were" for all persons:
- if I were rich, I would buy a castle.
- If you were a woman, you could understand this better.
- If he were a criminal, I'd never be his friend.

But in modern English (especially in AmE) we can also use the same forms as for the normal past tense:
- If I was rich...
- If you were a woman...
- If he was a criminal...

This is what the lyricist of the song, Roma Ryan, writes about the song (taken from the sheet music book of Shepherd Moons album):

"It is much easier to imagine a beautiful place on a rainy day than to imagine a dreary one. It is a simple fact, often forgotten, that people may create something good merely by thinking it so. A day-dream is as rich a gift as any. Like Afer Ventus, the wind from Africa, or Eurus, the East wind, Boreas from the North or the gentle Zephyrus, the imagination is free and can choose and create its own journey. As with all dreams we reach for the ideal, and Caribbean Blue represents such a dream."

In short, it's all about imagination.

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