Archive for the ‘Agustin Magaldi’ Tag

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Etching (1931)
LYRICS by: Juan Carlos Marambio Catán
MUSIC by: Horacio Pettorossi
TRANSLATION by: Laureano Fernandez (assisted by Michael Strand)
Last updated on: 5/15/10
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Sing along with Agustin Magaldi
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,
Con curiosidad.
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!
Quisiera llorar!

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,
With curiosity.
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,
selling newspapers,
for two cents …
How sad it all is!
I feel like cryin’!

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