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Tango Decoder’s Song Index

troilo-parchment-songs-17-october-1943Here’s an index of all our English-language versions of tango, vals, and milonga lyrics. Just click on the title, and view the page. Many pages have face-to-face lyrics and subtitled videos.

 

 

 

A-C

Adiós, arrabal
Alma de bandoneón
A quién le puede importar
Argañaraz
Arrabal
Arrabalera
Arrabalero
At the foot of the Holy Cross
Ave de paso
Azabache
Bailarín de contraseña
Barrio de tango
Bigotito
Calor de tango
Canta, Pajarito (Demare/Berón)
Canta Pajarito (Di Sarli/Rufino)
Carillón de la Merced
Cascabelito
Cero a cero
Cero al as*
Chapaleando barro
Como abrazao a un rencor
Como el hornero
Compadrón
Condena (S.O.S.)
Cornetín
Corrientes y Esmeralda
Cotorrita de la suerte
Cualquier cosa
Cuatro palabras

D-H

Dandy
Decile que vuelva
De puro guapo (1927)
De puro guapo (1935)
Dónde Estás Corazón
Dos fracasos
El cocherito
El cuarteador
El ultimo organito
Ella es así
En lo de Laura
Estampa federal
Esta noche me emborracho
Falsedad
Firuletear de bandoneón
Hasta siempre amor
Humillación
Igual que un bandoneón
Infamia
Isabelita

 

 

 

 

 

 

I-N

Judas
Justo el 31
La Colegiala
La copa del olvido
La gayola
La piba de los jasmines
Larga las penas
Llueve otra vez
Loca
Magdalena
Marol
Maula
Mañana iré temprano
Mañana zarpa un barco
Mandria (D’Arienzo/Echagüe)
Mandria (Rosita Quiroga)
Marión
Milongón
Milonga de mis amores
Milonga Criolla
Moneda de cobre
Monotonía
Muchacha
Muñeca brava
Naipe
Negra María
Ninguna
No aflojés (D’Agostino)
No aflojés (Tita Merello)
No está
No vendrá

P-S

Pa’ qué seguir (Caló/Ortiz)
Pa’ qué seguir (Troilo/Fiorentino)
Pa’ mi es igual
Palabras falsas
Patotero sentimental
Pero yo sé
Qué bien te queda (Pugliese)
Qué bien te queda (Tanturi)
Qué falta que me hacés
Qué hacés, qué hacés?
Que lo sepa todo el mundo entero
Que me quiten lo bailao
Sacale punta
Se pasó tu cuarto de hora
Se te nota en los ojos corazón
Se va el tren
Se va la vida
Si la llegaran a ver
Si volviera Jesús
Siempre es Carnaval
Son cosas del bandoneón
Sorbos amargos
Soy muchacho de la guardia
Suerte loca
Sur

 

 

T-Z

Tabernero
Tarareando
Tiburón
Tiempos viejos
Todo terminó
Tormenta
Trenzas
Tres Amigos
Tres Esquinas
Tristeza marina
Tu Boca Mintió (No Me Mires)
Tu llamado
Una emoción
Una vez
Un dilema
Uno
Veinticuatro de agosto*
Ventarrón
Volvamos a empezar
Zorzal

OUR MILONGA COLLECTION

Sacale Punta
Milonga Criolla
Ella Es Así
Larga Las Penas
Milongón
Negra Maria
En lo de Laura
Azabache

BY ENRIQUE CADÍCAMO

A quién le puede importar
Argañaraz
Ave de paso
Compadrón
El cuarteador
Muñeca brava
Naipe
No vendrá
Pa’ mi es igual
Si la llegaran a ver
Son cosas del bandoneón
Tres amigos
Tres esquinas
Tu llamado
Un dilema

BY HOMERO MANZI

Arrabal
Barrio de tango
Cornetín
El ultimo organito
Milonga de mis amores
Mañana zarpa un barco
Milongón
Negra María
Ninguna
Sur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tango vocabulary: CORRALÓN (First in a series)

House-la-boca-buenos-aires-2Tango word: CORRALÓN
Part of speech: Noun
Appears in the tangos: Arrabalera, Tres esquinas, No te apures Carablanca, Barrio de tango, Manoblanca, and 52 others. (Links are to TangoDecoder versions of the songs.)

Though the word corralón appears in at least fifty-six tangos, it’s meaning isn’t immediately clear. None of the present day porteños I’ve asked recognize the word, or know what it means. It’s a bit old-fashioned, and not in current use. You might think it to be a variant of the word corral, an enclosure in which animals like horses, cows, or other farm animals are kept. And that is true in Uruguay; there, a small corral is sometimes called a corralón. But in the tango songs I’ve examined, the word corralón always has one of two meanings:

  1. a large multi-family house or tenement. (E.g., WordReference.com)
  2. a large yard; a timberyard. (E.g., ReversoDictionario.com)

The first usage is seen in the song Arrabalera composed by Sebastian Piana with lyrics by Catullo Castillo, and sung by Tita Merello in the film by the same name:

Mi casa fue un corralón
de arrabal bien proletario….

“My house was a real working-class tenement,” proclaims the song’s narrator, as she prepares to detail the long list of her credentials as an arrabalera, a gal from the arrabal, the outlying, working-class quarters of Buenos Aires. No, she wasn’t born in a corral, nor a barnyard, nor a pig-sty. She was born in a multi-family house or tenement, probably one of the famous conventillos (lit., “little convents”) of Buenos Aires.

The second usage, which is the more common by far in tango lyrics, is found in many familiar songs. Angel D’Agostino’s Tres esquinas (“Three corners”) is one example that many dancers will recognize by ear, since the word appears as the last word in the last line of the frequently-heard song:

Bajo el cielo de luna llena
duermen las chatas de corralón.

“Under the full-moon sky / sleep the flat-bed wagons of the timberyard.” Another key word in this passage is chata, which is a horse-drawn, flat-bed wagon that was used to haul timber and other goods. The two words often appear in the same verse. Las chatas de corralón were a common sight in the old arrabal.

A similar image is found in the second verse of No te apures Carablanca (Roberto Garza and Carlos Bahr):

Me achica el corazón
salir del corralón
porque me sé perdido.
Me tienta la ilusión
que ofrece el bodegón
en su copa de olvido.

“My heart sinks/shrinks as I leave the timber yard because I know I’m lost. The illusion of the bar tempts me with its cup of oblivion.”

One more, just for the fun of it. This one from Aníbal Troilo and Homero Manzi’s Barrio de tango:

Así evoco tus noches, barrio tango,
con las chatas entrando al corralón
y la luna chapaleando sobre el fango
y a lo lejos la voz del bandoneón.

That’s how I remember your nights, tango barrio,
with the flatbed wagons pulling into the timber yard,
the moon splashing in the mud,
and in the distance, the voice of the bandoneón.  
 

By the way, the two main industries of the arrabal were ironworks and timberyards. The sound of the smith’s hammer striking the anvil, the saws rending huge logs into lumber, and the trotting horses pulling their chatas were the principle sounds of the arrabal, according to Horacio Salas in El Tango. That, and the sound of the bandoneón.

Do you have something to add about the word corralón? Feel free to leave a comment below….

Subtitled Video #31B: PERO YO SÉ (“But… I know”) sung by Azucena Maizani

The magnificent tango Pero… yo sé (“But… I know”) sung by its author, Azucena Maizani, with subtitles in Spanish and English by Tango Decoder. Face-to-face lyrics in Spanish and English are below the video.

 

Llegando la noche
recién te levantas
y sales ufano
a buscar un beguén.*
Lucís con orgullo
tu estampa elegante
sentado muy muelle
en tu regia baqué.

Paseás por Corrientes,
paseas por Florida,
te das una vida
mejor que un pachá.

De regios programas
tenés a montones…
Con clase y dinero
de todo tendrás.

Pero yo sé que metido
vivís penando un querer,
que querés hallar olvido
cambiando tanta mujer…

Yo sé que en las madrugadas,
cuando las farras dejás,
sentís tu pecho oprimido
por un recuerdo querido
y te ponés a llorar.

Con tanta aventura,
con toda tu andanza,
llevaste tu vida
tan sólo al placer.

Con todo el dinero
que siempre has tenido
todos tus caprichos
lograste vencer.

Pensar que ese brillo
que fácil ostentas
no sabe la gente
que es puro disfraz.

Tu orgullo de necio
muy bien los engaña…
No quieres que nadie
lo sepa jamás.

Night is falling
You’ve just awakened
and happily you set out
to pick up your latest conquest.

You show off with pride
your elegant appearance
seated very comfortably
in your snazzy sports car.

You drive along Corrientes,
your drive along Florida,
you lead a life
better than any pasha.

You’ve got piles of
magnificent plans…
With money and class
you’ll have all of that.

But I know that inside
you’re still grieving for a love
that you’re trying to forget
by changing women all the time.

I know that in the wee hours,
when you leave those wild parties,
you feel your heart burdened
by a fond memory
and you start to cry.

With so many affairs,
with all your adventures,
you dedicated your life
to pleasure alone.

With all the money
you’ve always had
you’ve managed to
conquer your every desire.

To think that this brilliance
that you facilely flaunt,
people don’t know
that it’s pure disguise.

Your foolish pride
fools them completely…
You hoped that no one
would ever know.

 

 

Azucena Maizani (1928)

Subtitled Video #59: JUDAS (“Judas”) D’Arienzo/Mauré, 1942

P44_Judas kiss-1-"A good mink stole meant more to you than all my sincerity…." That about says it all.

Our subtitled video, followed by face-to-face lyrics in Spanish and English. English-language version by Michael Krugman.

Judas
Tango, 1942
Music: Carlos Marchisio
Lyrics: Carmelo Santiago

Recorded by Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo with vocal by Héctor Mauré, 29 December 1942.

Vida…
Vida mía, tanto y tanto te adoré,
Que en tu ausencia, acobardado sollocé
Vencido por la soledad.
No me avergüenzo al confesar que te perdí
Porque mi pobreza fue brutal,
En la miseria lentamente me enterré
Antes que vender mi dignidad.

Alma…
Te comprendo y no reprocho tu traición,
Pudo más un buen tapado de visón
Que toda mi sinceridad.
Cuánto sufrí por vos
En la triste despedida,
Cuánto amargor atroz
Al saber que te perdía.

Cargué mi cruz
Y sin rencor
Te di el último adiós,
Mientras que vos…
Te ibas tras la luz
Del Judas que a Jesús
Por oro lo vendió.

Mala… 
Fue que por treinta dineros de traición,
Sepultaste en mi pobre corazón
Un dardo de fatalidad.
Hoy ya cambiaste más de amor que de chofer
Vos tenés dinero y disfrutás,
Yo me conformo con saber que fui tu amor
Mientras que esos otros no lo son.

Life…
love of my life, I adored you so much,
that in your absence, frightened, I sobbed,
overcome by loneliness.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I lost you
because of my cruel poverty.
Slowly I buried myself in misery
rather than sell my honor.

Soul….
I understand you and I don’t reproach your betrayal,
a good mink stole got the better
of all my sincerity.
How I suffered because of you,
upon our sad farewell,
what awful bitterness, 
knowing I’d lost you.

I bore my cross
and without anger 
I said one last goodbye to you,
while you….
You followed the example of
Judas who sold Jesus 
for gold.

Wicked…
it was (wicked) that for thirty traitorous coins,
you plunged a fatal spear 
into my poor heart.
Today you change lovers more often than chauffeurs.
You have money and you enjoy it,
I satisfy myself with the knowledge that I was your true love
while these others are not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gobbi’s Tribute to Troilo (1945)

Gobbi-TRoilo-homenaje-1944This ad appeared in the "El Mundo" morning newspaper in the latter half of 1945. It describes a "Grand Tribute of Sympathy" in honor of Maestro Aníbal Troilo and his orchestra with his singers A. Marino and F. Ruiz. Troilo and his boys were slated to perform at the event, which was hosted by his friend, violinist and bandleader Alfredo Gobbi. Gobbi had launched his own orquesta típica a year earlier.

Guest performers included El Cuarteto de Antaño (unknown to me); the highly-regarded tango/canyengue couple Los Mendez; Volonte Jazz (unknown); Lucio Lanzoni and his típica (unknown to me); the Dakota Jazz Sextet (unknown); poet and lyricist Celedonio Flores (Corrientes y Esmeralda, Mano a mano, El bulín de la calle Ayacucho, and many more); jazz Los Dados Rojos ("The Red Dice," a frequent accompanying act to the típicas this period); and the popular singer Roberto Carlés and his guitarists.

Attending guests included Alfredo De Angelis, Carlos Dante, Julio Martel, Argentino Galván, Héctor Vargas; poet, playwright, lyricist, activist, and puppeteer Enrique S. Discépolo; songstress Tania; lyricist José María Contursi (author of Troilo's hits Esta tarde gris and Gricel, among others), popular poet Héctor "El Triste" Gagliardi, and comedic film actor Fidel Pintos.

Homenajes ("tributes") like this were a regular feature of the Buenos Aires tango scene during the Golden Decade (1940-50), and Aníbal Troilo was one of the most frequent recipients. It doesn't mention it in this ad, but an homenaje often included the awarding of a pergamino ("parchment" or "proclamation"), often signed by the attendees, and sometimes a gold medal, too. Lots of pomp, lots of circumstance. That's how they like it in BsAs.

The site of the tribute, the Confitería Congo at 717 Avenida Forest (and its earlier incarnation, La Colmena, "The Beehive"), was a frequent site of dances during the Golden Decade. The place itself was not large, but during the summer months it opened its landscaped jardín de verano ("summer garden") which boasted 5000 square meters (54,000 square feet) of open-air pista in addition to its elegant indoor ballroom. This event took place during the summer, so it may have attracted quite a large crowd. 

 

Subtitled Video #59A: NO AFLOJÉS (“Don’t give up”) D’Agostino-Vargas, 1940

Dancers-LDCNO AFLOJÉS (Don't give up)
Tango, composed 1934
Música: Pedro Maffia / Sebastián Piana
Letra: Mario Battistella

Recorded by Orquesta Típica Angel D'Agostino with vocal by Angel Vargas, 13 November 1940.

English-language version and subtitles by Michael Krugman for Tango Decoder.com.

You may also like: NO AFLOJÉS as sung by Tita Merello in the 1949 film "Morir en su ley."

 

Vos, que fuiste de todos el más púa,

batí con qué ganzúa

piantaron tus hazañas…

Por tu ausencia en las borracherías
cambió la estantería 
el gusto de las cañas…

Compadrito de aquellos tiempos,

soy el tango hecho lamento,

corro parejo con tu pintón,

¡sufro tu misma emoción!



Vos fuiste el rey del bailongo
en lo de Laura y la Vasca…

¡Habías que ver las churrascas

cómo soñaban tras tuyo!

¡Alzaba cada murmullo

tu taconear compadrón
que era como flor de yuyo

que embrujaba el corazón!

Maula el tiempo te basureó de asalto

al revocar de asfalto

las calles de tu barrio…

No es que quiera tomarlo tan a pecho

¡pero es que no hay derecho
que hoy talles tanto otario!

Mozo lindo de aquel pasado,

te saludo desconsolado,

porque en tu reino sentimental

vuelco la esquina final.

You who were the biggest troublemaker all,
I gave you such a good smack,
your great deeds ceased….
When you disappeared from the gin mills
the booze on the shelves changed its taste…
Swaggering wiseguy of those bygone times,
I am the tango turned mournful,
I’m running neck and neck with your hangdog look,
I feel the same way as you!

You were the king of the clamorous dances

at Lo de Laura y La Vasca…

It was something to see, how those pretty girls
they used to dream of you!
Each murmur exalted
your show-off footwork
that was like a flowering herb
that bewitched their hearts.

Good for nothing, time insulted you
by suddenly paving the cobblestones
of your barrio with asphalt…
It’s not that I’d want you to take it to heart,
But it’s not right
that now you're playing the fool!
Beautiful boy of times past,
I salute you, heartbroken,
because I’m turning the final corner
of your romantic reign.

 

Subtitled Video #57b: PA’ QUÉ SEGUIR (“Why go on?”) Caló/Ortiz, 1943

Calo-Ortiz-Sintonia-1943-wm

Singer Jorge Ortiz (left) and bandleader Miguel Caló, 1943.

Pa' Qué Seguir?
("Why go on?")
Music: Francisco Fiorentino
Lyrics: Pedro Lloret

Recorded by Orquesta Típica Miguel Caló with vocal by Jorge Ortiz on 19 January 1943. Odeon 8372 12494

English-language version by Michael Krugman for TangoDecoder.com. All Rights Reserved.

This time in American history has a certain epochal finality to it—the age of democracy seems to be coming to an end. My musical soundtrack for this moment is Pá qué seguir.

"Why go on?"

Con la noche enfrente, revolviéndome,
dolorosamente a mi conciencia pregunté:
Pa' qué seguir?
Cada paso por la vida es un fracaso,
es una herida más
Mientras que luchando por no ser y por vivir,
me despedazan el deber y mi sentir.

Y por pensar
cuando volvió llorando, buscando mi piedad,
pidiendo mi perdón,
mirándola en el barro más la hundí riéndome;
llorándola después, después cuando al partir,
vivía el drama de estar solo,
solo con la voz de mi sentir.

[Trágico dilema, drama sin final,
llama en que se queman tantas ansias, tanto mal,
por este amor
que me llora su agonía hora tras hora…
mas, todavía mas.
Noches y más noches sin morir, no vivo yo
mas que una angustia dolorosamente atroz.]

With the night ahead of me, tossing and turning…
I painfully question my conscience:
Why go on?
Each step in life is a disaster,
is one more wound.
While I’m wrestling with living and dying,
duty and my feelings are tearing me apart.

And to think
when she came back in tears, seeking my pity,
asking my forgiveness,
seeing her in the mud I pushed her further down, laughing at her;
later I wept for her when, on parting,
I lived the drama of being alone,
with only the voice of my feelings.

Tragic dilemma, drama without end,
flame that burns with such anguish, such pain,
for this love
that cries out in agony hour after hour…
more, still more.
Nights and more nights without dying,
I feel nothing but
a terrible anguish,
and nothing more.

Subtitled Video #57: PA’ QUÉ SEGUIR (“Why go on?”) Troilo/Fiorentino, 1942

Troilo-fiorePa' Que Seguir?
("Why go on?")
Music: Francisco Fiorentino
Lyrics: Pedro Lloret

Recorded by Orquesta Típica Aníbal Troilo with vocal by Francisco Fiorentino on 14 December 1942. RCA-Victor 39812 84188.

English-language version by Michael Krugman for TangoDecoder.com. All Rights Reserved.

Troilo's signature vocalist Francisco Fiorentino was also a gifted bandoneonista, so it's not surprising that he could write a song this good. It's said this was also the last song he sung with Troilo's orchestra.

This time in American history has a certain epochal finality to it—the age of democracy seems to be coming to an end. My musical soundtrack for this moment is Pá qué seguir.

"Why go on?"

Con la noche enfrente, revolviéndome,
dolorosamente a mi conciencia pregunté:
Pa' qué seguir?
Cada paso por la vida es un fracaso,
es una herida más
Mientras que luchando por no ser y por vivir,
me despedazan el deber y mi sentir.

Y por pensar
cuando volvió llorando, buscando mi piedad,
pidiendo mi perdón,
mirándola en el barro más la hundí riéndome;
llorándola después, después cuando al partir,
vivía el drama de estar solo,
solo con la voz de mi sentir.

[Trágico dilema, drama sin final,
llama en que se queman tantas ansias, tanto mal,
por este amor
que me llora su agonía hora tras hora…
mas, todavía mas.
Noches y más noches sin morir, no vivo yo
mas que una angustia dolorosamente atroz.]

With the night ahead of me, tossing and turning…
I painfully question my conscience:
Why go on?
Each step in life is a disaster,
is one more wound.
While I’m wrestling with living and dying,
duty and my feelings are tearing me apart.

And to think
when she came back in tears, seeking my pity,
asking my forgiveness,
seeing her in the mud I pushed her further down, laughing at her;
later I wept for her when, on parting,
I lived the drama of being alone,
with only the voice of my feelings.

Tragic dilemma, drama without end,
flame that burns with such anguish, such pain,
for this love
that cries out in agony hour after hour…
more, still more.
Nights and more nights without dying,
I feel nothing but
a terrible anguish,
and nothing more.

Raúl Iriarte’s Gentlemanly Return to Caló, 1945

Iriarte-wmFor a brief period in 1945, Miguel Caló's star vocalist Raúl Iriarte left the band, along with its pianist, Osmar Maderna, to form a new orchestra. It didn't last long, as indicated by this report in Cantando weekly that appeared in late 1945 or early 1946.

"The vocalist Raúl Iriarte, who previously responded to the baton of Miguel Caló, will again perform with said orchestra. Iriarte, who until a few days ago belonged to the orchestra directed by Osmar Maderna, now separated from that maestro, comes to share hits with Caló's new orchestra. The news spread quickly, giving rise to numerous rumors. Nevertheless we can affirm that this is the result of a series of amicable arrangements that in no way alter the gentlemanly ways of these artists." (Cantando, 1945)

Good to know!

Caló, Iriarte, and Arrieta at Ocean Dancing, 1945

Calo-Iriarte-Arrieta-Ocean-1945-2"Once again joining the group of his former director, Raúl Iriarte reappears, a performer whose manly voice and distinctive personality have marked him as one of our star singers. Here we see Caló's orchestra with his singers Iriarte and Arrieta at the cabaret Ocean Dancing, where night by night they are winning more applause."

(Iriarte, wearing a light colored suit, stands in the back row directly behind the microphone. Arrieta is to his left.)

Source: Cantando, 1945. Photo: Tango Time Machine.