Margo

Photo: Homero Expósito

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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…
París
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…
Después
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.
Paris
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)

 

 

 

Lo mismo que antes

Photo: Roberto Rufino

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My favourite tango poet is José María Contursi, author of famous and dramatic tangos like Gricel, Quiero verte una vez más, En esta tarde gris and Toda mi vida. His lyrics are full of desperation, guilt, loneliness, dramatic metaphors and other examples of language bordering on the extreme, as you can see for yourself in the translation of an underrated Di Sarli song below.

Lo mismo que antes (The same as before), lyrics by José Maria Contursi

La vi esa tarde,
vestida de blanco
pasó sin mirarme,
tan cerca mío.
¿Cómo es posible?
¡La quise tanto!
Y halló en mis brazos
calor de nido.
Cerré los ojos,
¡qué ganas de hablarle!
Sentí derrumbarse
toda mi vida.
Pero la voz de la razón,
conociéndome,
augó mi corazón.

I saw her that afternoon,
dressed in white.
She passed by,
without looking my way,
so close to me.
How is that possible?
I loved her so much.
In my arms she found
the warmth of a love nest.
I closed my eyes…
so much desire to talk to her!
I felt my entire life collapse.
But the voice of reason,
knowing me so well,
stifled my heart.

Volví mis pasos, temblando
con el alma deshecha,
con los ojos sangrando.
No puedo vivir sin ella,
llorando, llorando.
¿Por qué dejé que se fuera
así sin decirle mi angustia,
sin contarle mis penas?
No he podido todavía comprender,
amor, por qué…

Trembling, I withdrew
with my broken soul,
with my bleeding eyes.
I can’t live without her,
crying and crying.
Why did I let her go
without telling her about
my anguish, my sorrows?
I have yet to understand,
my love, why…

YouTube link (Di Sarli)

 

 

Nada más que un corazón

Photo: Roberto Chanel

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Nada más que un corazón (Nothing more than a heart), lyrics by Carlos Bahr

Nada más que tu cariño
es lo que quiero,
es el milagro que a la vida
le reclamo como premio
por tanta herida.
Nada más que tu cariño
es lo que quiero,
pues nunca ansié mejor fortuna
que lograr esa ventura
de vivir para tu amor.

Nothing more than your affection
is what I desire.
That’s the miracle
I demand as a compensation from Life
to make up for so many wounds.
Nothing more than your affection
is what I desire…
I have never longed for better fortune
than to attain the joy
of living for your love.

No puedo darte en cambio
más que un corazón sentimental
y humilde como una canción.
Podrá mi fantasía brindarte el halago
de sueños que prometen fortuna mejor,
pero yo no tengo nada, nada más
que anhelos que hacia ti me llevan,
y aunque quiera darte un mundo,
solamente puedo darte un corazón
que late por un solo amor.

I cannot, however,
give you anything more
than a heart, sentimental
and humble like a song.
My fantasy could offer you
the delight of dreams
that promise better fortune,
but I have nothing, nothing more
than a deep yearning
that carries me towards you.
And although I’d like to
give you a whole world,
all I can give you
is a heart that beats
for one love only.

YouTube link (Pugliese-Chanel)

YouTube link (Troilo-Marino)

Fruta amarga

Photo: Alberto Marino

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Fruta amarga (Bitter fruit), lyrics by Homero Manzi

¡Corazón!
En aquella noche larga
maduró la fruta amarga
de esta enorme soledad.
¡Corazón!
¿En las nubes de qué cielo
la tristeza de tu vuelo
sin consuelo vagará?
Bien lo sé…
¡Aquel frío alucinante
de un instante, me cegó!
Fue en un viento de locura,
sin ternura, sin perdón.
Fue en el grito enronquecido
de un amor enloquecido
de dolor.

Heart!
During that long night back then,
the bitter fruit of this enormous
solitude became ripe.
Heart!
Through the clouds of what sky
will the sadness of your flight
wander without solace?
I know it all too well…
That hallucinating cold
blinded me in a flash.
It was a wind of insanity
without tenderness, without mercy.
It was the hoarse scream
of a love driven insane by sorrow.

Eras la luz de sol
y la canción feliz
y la llovizna gris
en mi ventana.
Eras remanso fiel
y duende soñador
y jazminero en flor
y eras mañana.
Suave murmullo…
Viento de loma…
Cálido arrullo
de la paloma.
Ya no serás jamás
aroma de rosal,
frescor de manantial
en mi destino.
Sólo serás la voz
que me haga recordar
que en un instante atroz
te hice llorar.

You were like sunlight,
you were a happy song,
the drizzle
on my window.
You were a loyal haven,
a dreamy spirit,
jasmine in bloom,
you were like the morning.
A soft murmur,
the breeze of the hills,
the warm cooing of a dove.
You will never again be
the scent of a rose bush,
the freshness of a natural spring
in my destiny.
All you will be is the voice
that keeps reminding me
that in one terrible moment
I made you cry.

(¡Ya no estás!
Y el recuerdo es un espejo
que refleja desde lejos
tu tristeza y mi maldad.
¡Ya no estas!
Y tu ausencia que se alarga
tiene gusto a fruta amarga,
a castigo y soledad.
¡Corazón!
Una nube puso un velo
sobre el cielo de los dos.
¡Y una nube solamente
de repente me perdió!
¡Una nube sin sentido,
sin clemencia, sin olvido,
sin perdón!)

(You are no longer there!
And my memories are a mirror
that reflects from afar
your sadness and my misdeed.
You are not there,
and your extending absence
has the taste of bitter fruit,
of punishment, of loneliness.
Heart!
A cloud spread out a veil
over the sky of the two of us.
And a cloud, simply,
suddenly made me lost.
A senseless cloud,
without mercy,
unable to forget,
without forgiveness.)

Youtube link (Troilo-Marino)

Acordándome de vos (vals)

fiorentino

Acordándome de vos (Remembering you), lyrics by Enrique Dizeo.

Recién pulsé la guitarra
con la intención de cantarte
el verso que te gustaba
y que hice para vos.
Y apenas pude empezarlo,
me ahogué en la primera parte
donde dice que no había
más amor que el de los dos.

I just plucked my guitar
attempting to sing
that verse you liked so much
and that I wrote for you.
I could barely even begin,
as I was stifled by the first part,
where it says there could be
no other love but ours.

Esto te prueba que el corazón
del que te extraña sabe sentir.
Tibio solcito de la mañana
ando sin ganas ya de vivir.
Solo, es inútil, no puedo estar,
mi pensamiento te aprisionó,
si no te olvido ni hoy que estás lejos,
ni hoy que estoy viejo, qué sufro yo.

This proves that the heart
of he who misses you
still feels affection.
Lukewarm morning sun,
I am left without desire to live.
I can’t be this alone, it’s all in vain,
you are locked up in my thoughts.
If I still can’t forget you now,
even when you are so far away,
even when I am so old,
how deep is my suffering!

Estoy que no me conozco
muriéndome de tristeza,
entre las cuatro paredes
del pobre cuarto que ayer
brillaba por lo limpito
y hoy ni se pone la mesa,
porque falta la patrona
que se fue con mi querer.

I do not recognize myself anymore,
like this, dying of sorrow,
between the four walls
of the miserable bedroom
which used to shine with cleanliness
and now, even the table is not set,
because of the absence of the lady
who disappeared with my love.

Youtube link (Troilo-Fiorentino)

 

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