Forgotten things (Cosas olvidadas)

roberto rufinoEven after having heard many of his songs a hundred of thousand times I am still completely amazed by Carlos di Sarli. His elegant, emotional music and I shall be passionate partners till death do us part. There are many different Di Sarlis and I had to choose one, so let us listen to a bit of Di Sarli-Rufino.

Forgotten things (Cosas olvidadas)

After a long, long time
only now I talk to you again.
What a sensation I get from listening to you,
like as if it were back then!
You see…. I am much older now,
and you too, than in those days when
you loved me so much… so much,
and now nothing remains, everything is gone.

These are forgotten things,
these old love affairs,
and when recalling better times
our glance becomes clouded.
These are forgotten things,
that return faded and
in the solitude of our lives,
open wounds to the heart.

(There is an accent of sorrow
and melancholy in your voice
and in that plea for help my soul
does its best not to cry.
It’s just that we have done ourselves harm
by reviving those dead times
and the heart opened its gates
for the gloom of remembering.)

Guys, the ronda is starting!

After quite a few sad songs it’s time to highlight a different type of tangos, namely those that tell us about dancing and personify the music. I don’t hear a lot of early Pugliese with Chanel in milongas, which is a shame, because I think they were a great combination and I believe Pugliese was still focusing on creating something that was actually meant for dancing. That is why I invite you to listen to one of their songs. The Tanturi/Campos version is also quite nice: the choice is completely up to you.

Guys, the ronda is starting! (Muchachos comienza la ronda)

Guys, the ronda* is starting, (the ronda)
that the tango is inviting to form.
Who, when hearing the beginning of such
a splendid sound, wouldn’t go dance?
And like that entangle one’s emotion
in this song that penetrates our souls.
Guys, the ronda is starting,
so make sure you enter the salon.

Don’t miss a single beat of this tango
that is abducting (us) rebelliously and sweetly.
Between turns and flirtatious, courteous remarks
let us imagine ourselves living back then,
those happy days of the grey chambergo**
the garrulous piropo***,
and the streetlight (‘’farol’’) of the arrabal****.
Don’t miss a single beat of this tango,
dancing is such fun when you hear it!

(Chanel: )
those happy days of the grey hat,
the garrulous piropo,
and the streetlight (‘’farol’’) of the arrabal.
Don’t miss a single beat of this tango….
Dancing is such fun when you hear it!

(Campos: )
And like that entangle one’s emotion
in this song that penetrates our souls.
Guys, the ronda is starting,
so make sure you enter the salon.

[Hearing this sound, so typical of Buenos Aires,
my heart gets revived,
and while I am listening to this tango
I am forgetting all my pain.
This cordial little music – second to none –
penetrates our souls.
Guys, the ronda is starting,
so make sure you enter the salon.]

*The ronda is the circle tango dancers form on the dance floor.

**a chambergo is a typical gaucho hat. As you may notice, Campos includes this word from the original lyrics, but Chanel only sings ‘’grey hat’’.

*** A piropo is a flirtatious compliment that men often give to women between dances in BA (I believe the song is referring to this behaviour), and it’s also the Argentine word for whatever flirtation.

****The arrabal is often referred to in tango as a poor neighbourhood where one grew up.

Tell me, my love… (Dime, mi amor)

hector maure

I am not afraid to admit that I have a weakness for Hector Mauré. Whenever, for a heretical reason, I haven’t been able to listen to tango for a few days, the first gentle reminder is a subtle, involuntary repetition, inside my brain, of the words ”Allá, junto a la ribera, un tano feliz vivía….”.

Hector Mauré was the singer who, perhaps, forced Juan D’Arienzo to adapt to a more lyrical style during a few years. The song that you are about to hear is still relatively up-beat compared to other Mauré songs, but still much more sensitive than your regular D’Arienzo. However, as a fanatical D’Arienzologist, I feel morally obliged to present a more… noisy counterweight from the same year (1941) soon.

Fellow worshippers of Hector Mauré ought not to despair, though, because my blog will definitely provide you with much more of this in the future.

Tell me, my love… (Dime, mi amor)

On the sleepy beat of our tango,
with my arm circling around your waist,
(I am) whispering a thousand phrases of fondness,
descrying a thousand heavens of good fortune.
I would like to know if there is,
inside your chest, still hope for me,
if my absence and that distance haven’t erased
the love that I, in your eyes, have seen.  

Tell me, my love,
tell me, my love,
if you still love me,
if the absence has not killed your affection,
if today I can, like
back then, believe.
Tell me, my love,
tell me, my love,
if you still prefer my heart
that I now put in my sad song.

(repeat) I would like to know if there is,
inside your chest, still hope for me,
if my absence and that distance haven’t erased
the love that I, in your eyes, have seen.  


You have to live it, pal


Exactly 113 years ago, Angel D’Agostino was born and on his birthday I have decided to translate one of my favourite songs by his orchestra. I am dedicating this post to a certain lady in Buenos Aires who may just be Angel’s most loyal admirer in the world.

Update: Some people from certain countries cannot access this video. You can also go to Grooveshark.

You have to live it, pal (singer: Angel Vargas, lyrics: Héctor Marcó)

You, disappointed in love, sentence
yourself to a prison cell of revulsion.
Because you got a sunstroke yesterday,
you are today shivering with cold.
You, who frightens me into laughter, almost cry
hard-heartedly and with resentment.
Raise a golden glass of champagne
and you will forget about it, like I did.

Make the most of this life, you first have to
live it, in order to find the right key to open it.
Today you have a beating heart,
but tomorrow, who knows?

You have to live it, pal! You gotta live it!
To taste its flavor you need to
close your heart and put your soul to sleep,
and you’ll see that the world is already better.

(Don’t collapse under your grief, don’t let yourself be
intimidated because a mouth lies to you,
as with that kiss of lies you can gain
another one, a burning kiss.
Move yourself deeply by listening to a bandoneón,
overturn your longing with a tango,
and you shall see that between laughter and pain
one drinks the same champagne.)



The violin is usually the instrument that gives many tango songs a very sensible, subtle quality. I feel that it often succeeds in equalling many singers in their way of telling a story. Of course, all instruments are telling us stories in their musical phrases, but whenever the violin breaks through the front, my attention becomes even more intense. Therefore, I am glad to be able to present you a song that is dedicated to the violin and has not only absolutely fan-tastic lyrics and singing, but unsurprisingly, also some hauntingly beautiful violin playing. It’s time that (relatively) forgotten but solid and danceable orchestras like those of José Garcia, Domingo Federico, Francini-Pontier and in this case Ricardo Malerba get more attention. Let me remind you that I named this blog after one of his songs, and I love each and every of his recordings. And for me this particular tango is simply one of these rare ones that are just perfect in all aspects.


Today my violin is dreaming of
love on its music stand.
Its strings are vibrating tremblingly,
because it busies itself remembering
that today, she is far away from me.

My violin is my own soul
and its song is my feeling.
My heart that loved her,
still loves her and won’t forget her,
is crying in my violin.

Violin, violin…
I love her much more now,
I love her much more than back then,
my love has no end.
Violin, violin…
I want my voice,
in the wings of your voice,
to reach my love.
Violin, violin….
She loved me as much as I loved her,
and she needs to return to me.
I shall wait for her,
and so will you,