The Night I Heard Caruso Sing

  • The song appears on the duo's fourth album Idlewild. Ben Watt wrote the war-conscious tune in the mid-'80s after driving with his dad to Scotland to revisit some of his old stomping grounds. One of the places they went to was the Holy Loch, which was used as a submarine base in World War II.

    In our interview with Watt, he told us about his experience of standing on the edge of the Holy Loch and a nuclear submarine surfacing right in front of them, calling it "A startling moment." He explained how the story of the song is more than just about hearing the Italian operatic tenor, Enrico Caruso, sing for the first time and restoring his faith in humanity. "The song is about the redemptive power of music," said Watt. "Not just Caruso - to make sense of life, to offer succor and wonder, even when life itself may seem frightening and unknowable."
  • Unlike most EBTG songs, Ben Watt sings the lead vocals on this one. Tracey Thorn joins in to sing harmonies with Watt at the 1:30 mark.


Be the first to comment...

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.