Sing along with ANGEL VARGAS with ANGEL D’AGOSTINO
On November 3, 1905, the upper class clientele of the exclusive Restaurante Americano gathered as ususal listen to pianist Jose Luis Roncallo and his classical orchestra play. A few days earlier, Angel Villoldo had shown to Roncallo the melody of a Tango he had just composed. It was by far the best Villoldo had written but Roncallo fretted at the idea of playing a Tango for the “creme-de-la creme” of Buenos Aires society dining at the Restaurante Americano. Yet, the sound of the unnamed tune was so compelling that Roncallo decided to sneak it by disguised as a “danza criolla”, a Creole dance. And so, he did on that balmy evening of November 3, 1905. The name had been decided by Villoldo, who named it El choclo, the ear of corn, because “I loved it from the very first note, and for me the ear of corn is the tastiest ingredient of the ‘puchero’, a meat and vegetables stew …” The “puchero” reference reflected Villoldo’s hope that the success of the Tango would bring food to his table. To earn a living was commonly referred to as earning the “puchero.” An appropriate name for an undercover Tango being premiere at a restaurant.Juan Carlos Marambio Catan wrote the 1930 lyrics at the request of Villoldo’s sister and heir Irene Villoldo de Corona.Enrique Santos Disceopolo wrote a new set of lyrics in 1946 at the request of Libertad Lamarque who wished to sing the tango in the movie Gran Casino directed by Luis Buñuel. In order to do so, Discepolo had to reach a laborious agreement with Marambio Catan.In his version, Discepolo makes excellent use of lunfardo lexicon.Bailongo: lunfardo for a place where people dance, i.e. a milonga Bacan: lunfardo for a wealthy man or one who pretends to be wealthy. A man who keeps a woman. A pimp who owns a woman. A concubine of a prostitute. Cana: lunfardo for the police, a policeman or the jail. Canyengue: lunfardo word with several meanings. It refers to somebody or something from the slums, i.e. low class. It also describes a gathering where people from the slums dance. Finally, it is a rhytmic effect created by Leopoldo Thompson by hitting the string of the contrabass with the hand or the arch of the bow. Carancanfunfa: in the lingo of the compadritos, the dance of tango with interruptions (cortes) and also those who dance it that way in a very skillful manner. Gavion: lunfardo for a libertine man who seduces women. A Don Juan that charms the women. A seducer, a mocker. Grelas: lunfardo for woman. Mishiadura: lunfardo for poverty. Mina: lunfardo for woman. Paicas: a lunfardo word for girl. Pebeta: lunfardo for young woman or girl. Reo: lunfardo for hobo, unemployed, given to partying and reticent to work. Typical of people of lower class status. Also, it is used as humble, poor. Shusheta: lunfardo for a person who takes excessive care of his posture and attire. Also it is used to describe a police informant, a person who accuses in secret, a snitch. A fop, a dandy.
VERSION DE DISCEPOLO DE 1946
1946 DISCEPOLO’S VERSION
Con este tango que es burlon y compadrito
se ato dos alas la ambicion de mi suburbio;
con este tango nacio el tango y como un grito
salio del sordido barrial buscando el cielo;
conjuro extraño de un amor hecho cadencia
que abrio caminos sin mas luz que la esperanza,
mezcla de rabia de dolor, de fe, de ausencia
llorando en la inocencia de un ritmo jugueton.
Por tu milagro de notas agoreras,
nacieron sin pensarlo, las paicas y las grelas,
luna en los charcos, canyengue en las caderas,
y un ansia fiera en la manera de querer…
Al evocarte, tango querido,
siento que tiemblan las baldosas de un bailongo
y oigo el rezongo de mi pasado…
Hoy que no tengo mas a mi madre,
siento que llega en punta’e pie para besarme
cuando tu canto nace al son de un bandoneon…
Carancanfunfa se hizo al mar con tu bandera
y en un ‘perno” mezclo a Paris con Puente Alsina.
Fuiste compadre del gavion y de la mina
y hasta comadre del bacan y la pebeta.
Por vos shusheta, cana, reo y mishiadura
se hicieron voces al nacer con tu destino…
Misa de faldas, querosen, tajo y cuchillo,
que ardio en los conventillos y ardio en mi corazon!
With this tango, mocking and show off,
tied two wings the ambition of my slum;
with this tango tango was born and like a shout
left the sordid bog looking for heaven;
strange spell of a love turned cadence
that opened paths with no more light than hope,
mixture of rage, pain, faith, absence
crying in the inocence of playful rhythm.
From the miracle of your ominous notes,
were born without a thought, the paicas and the grelas,
moon on the puddles, canyengue on the hips,
and a fiery desire in the way to love…
Evoking you, tango beloved…..
I feel the shaking of the tiles of a bailongo
and I hear the grumbling of my past…
Now that I don’t have my mother anymore,
I feel her coming in tiptoes to kiss me
when your chant is born to the sound of a bandoneon.
Carancanfunfa crossed the sea with your flag
and in a Pernod mixed Paris and Puente Alsina.
You were buddy of the gavion and the mina
and even crony of the bacan and the pebeta.
Because of you, shusheta, cana, reo and mishiadura
became voices that were born with your destiny…
Mass of skirts, kerosen, slash and knife,
that burned in the tenements and it burned in my heart!
VERSION DE MARAMBIO CATAN DE 1930
1930 MARAMBIO CATAN’S VERSION
Vieja milonga que en mi horas de tristeza,
traes a mi mente tu recuerdo cariñoso
y, encadenandome a tus notas dulcemente,
siento que el alma se me encoje poco a poco;
recuerdo triste de un pasado que en mi vida
dejo una pagina de sangre escrita a mano
y que se he llevado como cruz de mi martirio
aunque mi carga infame me llene de dolor.
Hoy que los años han blanqueado ya mis sienes,
que en mi pecho solo anida la tristeza
como una luz que ilumina en el sendero
llegan tus notas de melodica belleza.
Tango querido, viejo tango que me embargas
con la cadencia de tu musica sentida
quiero morir bajo el arrullo de tus quejas,
cantando mi querellas, llorando mi dolor
recuerdo aquella epoca, tan linda que se fue.
Old milonga that on my hours of sadness
brings to my mind an affectionate reminiscence
and chaining me to your notes sweetly,
I feel my soul shrinking little by little.
sad memory of a past that in my life
I leave a page of handwritten blood
and that I have carried my cross of martyrdom as
but my burden infamous fill me with pain.
Now that the years have whitened and my temples,
that nest in my chest just sadness
as a light that illuminates the path
your notes arrive melodic beauty.
Tango dear, old tango that overwhelms me
with the rhythm of your music felt
I want to die under the cooing of your moaning,
singing my complaints, crying my pain
I remember that time, so nice that has gone.
Copyright (c) Planet Tango 1998-2012 All Rights Reserved
The name of this tango is in Italian and it means “etching”, an engraving technique perfected by Spaniard Francisco Goya and Lucientes at the beginning of the 19th century . Etching has since been closely associated with the representation of tipical custom scenes. Marambio Catan wrote the lyrics in 1931. The tango was inspired by the cabaret Excelsior in Milan. Benito Mussolini was the ruler in Italy at the time. Catan and Pettorossi were aprehensive about presenting their tango because of the anarchist ideas implied in scenes describing suffering mothers, homeless children and a dirty old man squandering money on champagne after having denied a raise to an employee who wanted another slice of bread. To their relief, tenor Gino Franci introduced to the public with great success.
Es medianoche. El cabaret despierta.
Muchas mujeres, flores y champán.
Va a comenzar la eterna y triste fiesta
De los que viven al ritmo de un gotán.
Cuarenta años de vida me encadenan,
Blanca la testa, viejo el corazón:
Hoy puedo ya mirar con mucha pena
Lo que otros tiempos miré con ilusión.
Las pobres milongas,
Dopadas de besos,
Me miran extrañas,
Ya no me conocen:
Estoy solo y viejo,
No hay luz en mis ojos…
La vida se va…
Un viejo verde que gasta su dinero
Emborrachando a Lulú con su champán
Hoy le negó el aumento a un pobre obrero
Que le pidió un pedazo más de pan.
Aquella pobre mujer que vende flores
Y fue en mi tiempo la reina de Montmartre
Me ofrece, con sonrisa, unas violetas
Para que alegren, tal vez, mi soledad.
Y pienso en la vida:
Las madres que sufren,
Los hijos que vagan
Sin techo ni pan,
Vendiendo “La Prensa”,
Ganando dos guitas…
Que triste es todo esto!
It’s midnight. The cabaret’s wakin’ up.
A lot of women, flowers, and champagne
The eternal sad party of those who live
to the beat of a tango is about to begin.
I’m chained by forty years of life,
with a grey-haired head and an old heart:
Today I can watch with a lot of sorrow
what at other times I saw through rose-colored glasses.
The poor taxi dancers,
Stupified by kisses,
Stare at me, as if strangers,
They don’t recognize me anymore.
I’m lonely and old.
There’s no light in my eyes …
Life is getting shorter.
An old rake that spends his money
Getting Lulu’ drunk with his champagne
Today he denied a raise to a poor worker
Who asked him for one more piece of bread.
That poor woman who sells flowers
who was the queen of Montmartre in my time,
Offers me, with a smile, some violets,
Maybe to make my loneliness less blue.
And I think about life:
mothers that suffer,
children that roam
with neither bread nor a roof,
for two cents …
How sad it all is!
I feel like cryin’!
Copyright (c) Planet Tango 1998-2010 All Rights Reserved