Photo: Homero Expósito

tmp_12498-Homero Expósito-1282822573

The lyrics of Homero Expósito are often full of cryptic language and complex metaphors. He is said to have refined and retuned his poetic language without end. In this case, too,  I spent a lot of time thinking about the (like often, ambiguous) meaning of several lines, but fortunately some obstacles were clarified by an old Argentine friend. I think Margo is an underrated song in general, and the particularly fantastic Troilo recording of this song deserves more attention. This is as Golden Age as it gets.

Margo, lyrics by Homero Expósito

Margo ha vuelto a la ciudad
con el tango más amargo,
su cansancio fue tan largo
que el cansancio pudo más.
Varias noches el ayer
se hizo grillo hasta la aurora,
pero nunca como ahora
tanto y tanto hasta volver.
¿Qué pretende? ¿A dónde va
con el tango más amargo?
¡Si ha llorado tanto Margo
que dan ganas de llorar!

Margo has returned to town
with a most bitter tango.
Her weariness is so profound
that the weariness got the best of her.
In the past, night after night,
she sang like a cricket until dawn
but never as much as now
was she forced to give up.
What is she up to? Where is she going
with that most bitter tango?
Margo has wept so much
that she moves you to tears.

Ayer pensó que hoy… y hoy no es posible…
La vida puede más que la esperanza…
era oscura y cantaba su tango feliz,
sin pensar, pobrecita
que el viejo París
se alimenta con el breve
fin brutal de la magnolia
entre la nieve…
otra vez Buenos Aires
y Margo otra vez
sin canción y sin fe…

Yesterday, she thought, “I will succeed today”. And today is impossible.
Life defeated her hope.
was dark and she sang her happy tango,
without realising, poor girl…
that Paris feeds itself with the short,
brutal end of a magnolia
covered by snow.
And then,
once more Buenos Aires,
and Margo, once more,
without song or faith.

(Hoy me hablaron de rodar
y yo dije a las alturas:
Margo siempre fue más pura
que la luna sobre el mar.)
Ella tuvo que llorar
sin un llanto lo que llora,
pero nunca como ahora
sin un llanto hasta sangrar.
Los amigos que no están
son el son del tango amargo…
¡Si ha llorado tanto Margo
que dan ganas de llorar!

(“She went down the wrong path”,
they told me today,
but in my prayer I told God:
Margo has always been purer
than the moon above the sea.)
She has had to cry so much
that she was left without tears,
but unlike ever before,
the tears are replaced by blood.
Her friends, who are no longer there,
are the sound of the bitter tango.
Margo has wept so much
that she moves you to tears.

YouTube link (Troilo-Marino)

YouTube link (Caló-Iriarte)




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  1. jantango

     /  January 24, 2016

    This only confirms why portenos often describe tango as an opera in three minutes.

    In both recordings, I heard sin pensar, pobrecita and not sin saber, probrecita.

    • Thanks for paying attention! You’re right, I will change it. I often have to correct lyrics myself, not only because the available transcription may be based on a different version (which happens often), but also because they can be full of random errors, even if there is just one recording. This happens especially when there is no original source left and aficionados had to make their own transcriptions. Sometimes there’s even no transcription available at all and I have to make them myself.


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