Lascia ch'io pianga (Let me weep)
The composer is George Frederick Handel, and I never thought that a Handel aria would prove such a hit with people. I think it goes to prove if you have a great tune, then it doesn't matter when it was written it appeals to people.
Great tune? - then use it again
I think the baroque instrumentation and melody summs up people's feelings in a way only music, and in particular song can express. The deep sadness and melancholy of the aria have proved timeless in its beauty.
The character of Handel’s opera is bemoaning and mourning her freedom, sad to be away from her lover and trapped seemingly beyond help. This sadness easily translates to the sadness associated with the loss of a loved one.
Lascia ch'io pianga
la cruda sorte,
e che sospiri
Il duolo infranga
de' miei martiri
sol per pietà.
Let me weep
May sorrow break
Of my sufferings,
for pity’s sake.
- All Things Fair, by Bo Widerberg
- L.I.E., by Michael Cuesta
- Antichrist and Nymphomaniac, by Lars von Trier.
But I think many of us know it as the tune from the Harrod's sale advert. Here's a short excerpt for you, and yes I do love singing it!