Desde el alma   5 comments

From the soul (1911)
LYRICS by: Homero Manzi and Piuma Velez (1948) MUSIC by: Rosita Melo
TRANSLATION by: Walter Kane
Last updated on: 8/1/11
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Listen to a classic instrumental version by OSVALDO PUGLIESE

The making of Desde El Alma
by Alberto Paz
Rosita Melo was born in Uruguay in 1897 but she lived in Argentina since age 2. She wrote the music for Desde El Alma, a Boston-style vals, at age 14 in 1911. In 1922 she married poet Victor Piuma Velez who wrote the first set of lyrics for Desde El Alma. It was a theme dedicated to the love of a mother. In 1948, Homero Manzi called to tell them that he was interested in including the song in his movie Pobre mi madre querida, but with different lyrics as demanded by the movie script. This would not affect the copyright ownership of the song. Piuma Velez and Rosita Melo opposed the idea, and requested that if Manzi wrote new lyrics, Piuma Velez’s name should be included as co-author. Manzi agreed, the lyrics became famous and the vals, already a classic became universally famous.
The Boston-vals is a style originated in the city of that name in the United States. It is associated with the piano and its characteristic is that the player does not mark the rhythm with the left hand as it is customary with that instrument. The rhythm is marked witht he right hand along with the melody. The left hand only marks the first note of the beat, the bass.

Edited by Valorie Hart
Alma, si tanto te han herido
¿Por qué te niegas al olvido?
¿Por qué prefieres
llorar lo que has perdido
buscar lo que has querido
llamar lo que murió?

Vives inútilmente triste
y sé que nunca mereciste
pagar con penas
la culpa de ser buena,
tan buena como fuiste, por amor.

Fue lo que empezó una vez
lo que después dejó de ser.
Lo que al final, por culpa de un error
fue noche amarga del corazón.

¡Deja esas cartas!
Vuelve a tu antigua ilusión.
Junto al dolor
que abre una herida
llega la vida, trayendo amor.

Vives inútilmente triste
y sé que nunca mereciste
pagar con penas
la culpa de ser buena
tan buena como fuiste, por amor.

Soul, if they have hurt you so much
Why do you refuse to forget?
Why do you prefer
to cry for what you’ve lost
to look for what you’ve wanted
to call for what has died?

You live needlessly sad
and I know that you never deserved
to redeem with sorrow
the blame of being good,
as good as you were, for love.

It was what once began
what later ceased to be.
What at the end, for the fault of a mistake
was a bitter night for the heart.

Forget those letters!
Come back to your old dream.
Together with the pain
that opens a wound
life arrives, bringing love.

You live needlessly sad
and I know that you never deserved
to redeem with sorrow
the blame of being good,
as good as you were, for love

Copyright (c) Planet Tango 1998-2011 All Rights Reserved

5 responses to “Desde el alma

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  1. This is my favouite tango vals. Interesting it’s a Boston style vals. I had never heard of a Boston vals before. I wonder how vals was danced in Boston – presumably not tango style… or had the tango style already been exported perhaps because both BA and Boston are important ports. Another strange connection between the North American world of music and the South American. Remarkable that I am dancing to a tune that was written by a 14 year old girl 101 years ago. To write a melody at that age that is still danced and love by many hundreds of people arond the world… what a genius she was.

    • Thank you very much for your sincere commentary.
      We’re still puzzled as to why Europeans use the expression tango vals to describe a Vals criollo. Even more puzzling is the fact that Vals Criollo is a direct descendant of the Viennese waltz, and we never heard anybody calling the waltz Polka waltz, Minuet waltz, etc., etc.
      Will you please be kind, considering your sensitivity to appreciate this composition, to respect Rosita Melo’s memory and her intention to leave the legacy of a Boston Vals as the legacy of her genius?
      Thank you.

  2. I also appreciate the above piece of history of one of my favourite vals criollo.
    Thank you.

  3. I’m currently researching Boston waltz, its evolution and influence on modern English style waltz. I understand that it was characterised by hesitations with the dancers picking out the rhythm of 1,2 rather than 1,2,3. Always interesting to find these historical traces alive and well in the present. Thanks for such an informative site.

  4. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day! | Fausta's Blog

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