Dos ojos tristes (Two sad eyes)

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For this new and upcoming series of translations with subtitled videos, I am honoured to be assisted in my translation and editing work by a team of friends from the UK and Argentina. My special thanks goes to Terry Meinrath, the best ”literary” editor I could possibly wish for.

I love this song because it really immerses you into its story, by combining the sadness and nostalgic melancholy of long-lost love with a somewhat lighter, sweet nostalgia that is so typical of Buenos Aires’ magical streets and corners, and of some other tango songs as well. It’s an excellent recording by Pugliese who put this lighter, somehow uplifting tone in some of his earlier songs. The music, together with the evocative lyrics, truly transport me to a silent alley in a rainy, cold winter afternoon in Buenos Aires, to one of its old, former glory-ridden corners with many similar histories of intense love and sad farewells. Sound a little gloomy, right? Don’t worry: our next song will be a bit more cheerful. There is more to life than broken hearts and autumn rain.

Dos ojos tristes (Two sad eyes)
Lyrics: Luis Rubistein
Composition: Oscar de la Fuente

Te vi en la vieja esquina, junto al buzón
como dejando una queja,
y tras la lluvia fina, corazón
llorar tu pena vieja.

You were standing on the old corner, next to the postbox,
as if you were trying to leave a lament in there,
and in the drizzle, my heart,
you cried over your old sorrow.

Hay una angustia
y un recuerdo de tiempo atrás,
dos trenzas negras
y unos ojos que no están más.
Dos ojos que eran tristes
como un adiós,
y que no vuelven jamás.

There is enduring regret
and a memory from a distant past,
two black braids
and two eyes, no longer there,
two eyes that were sad,
sad as in a farewell
and that would never return.

Nunca pensó que tras de sus besos
llegara el olvido y matara su embeleso.
Llegó el otoño con su carga de hastío
y el desamor llenó mi alma de frío,
frío sin fin de mi dolor…
Penas, de haber dejado en un beso
su inútil regreso… y el otoño la llevó.

Who would have thought that after her sweet kisses
callousness could come and sour her affection…
Autumn arrived with its burden of weariness
and her indifference filled my soul with cold,
the endless cold of my suffering…
Sorrow, of having left in a kiss the vain hope of
of her return… but autumn took her away.

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