I’ve always loved tangos that in one way or another transport me back to the nostalgic streets of Buenos Aires, and they sure do come in various different forms. They are not only literally about old streets and corners of Buenos Aires, but also its different types of inhabitants, typical scenes and traditions, varying from lost lovers, tango dancers, immigrants, street fighters, prostitutes and mothers to street poverty, a room where someone was living in the past, the dancing halls, old cafés and carnival. This nostalgia is almost the trademark of the D’Agostino-Vargas orchestra, but it can be seen in many other orchestras as well, as the whole genre is essentially a mixture of melancholy and nostalgia. There are also a lot of songs without that typical nostalgic vibe, for example the many lost love songs that do not necessarily refer to life in Buenos Aires in one way or another, but this time I’ve chosen a Tanturi-Campos song which more or less does: the narrator regrets having (probably) cheated on a sweetheart long ago (the French name is not a coincidence, these have to do with immigration, foreign allure as well as with prostitution and are everywhere in tango lyrics), and he keeps wandering the streets of the city looking for her, in vain. Together with the dreamy, violin-rich music and the empathetic singing, this in turn makes ME long for the unique nostalgic ambience everything in Buenos Aires irradiates as well as its immortal heritage of tango music.

Lyrics: Horacio Sanguinetti
Composition: Luis Visca

En el silencio tembló tu voz,
tu voz herida diciendo adiós.
Después tus ojos, bajo el negro
sombrerito de castor,
lloraron nuestra separación.
Y es esta pena, mi linda Ivón,
que araña siempre mi corazón.
Mis juveniles primaveras
no podían comprender ni razonar,
mi gran error.

In the silence, your voice trembled,
your anguished voice saying goodbye.
And your eyes,
from under your little black fur hat,
wept over our parting.
And that is the sorrow, my sweet Ivón,
that afflicts my heart to this day.
In my youthful springtime,
I couldn’t even begin to understand
my great mistake.

¡Dónde andarás, Ivón!
De calle en calle mi amor te nombra.
¡Dónde andarás, Ivón!
De barrio en barrio te busco, alondra.
Y me parece que estás huyendo de mi,
sintiendo terror de mi sombra.
¡Y con razón, Ivón!
Y yo sangrando, sin tu perdón.

What has become of you, Ivón?
Street by street, my heart calls your name.
Where are you now, Ivón?
All over the city, I look for you, my skylark.
It’s like you are running from me,
terrified of my shadow.
And with good reason, Ivón,
while I bleed regret,
without your forgiveness.

(Mi pecho, hoy late con emoción,
así latía, tu corazón.
Recuerdo ahora que su ritmo
parecía de reloj…
Aquella noche de nuestro adiós
y aquella noche para los dos
significaba la perdición,
alucinando de inconsciencia
tu presencia la busqué
recién después y tarde fue.)

(Like today my chest beats with emotion,
so your heart used to pound,
and I now remember how its rhythm
seemed like a clock…
That night of our goodbye
was the night that for both of us
led to our undoing,
and with restless desire,
I sought your presence,
but it was all too late.)