What are your favorite tango lyrics?

newbie

Well-Known Member
#3
En un viejo almacén del Paseo Colón
donde van los que tienen perdida la fe,
todo sucio, harapiento, una tarde encontré
a un borracho sentado en oscuro rincón.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#4
El Ultimo Café
Your memory arrives in a turmoil.
It gets dark again in Autumn...
I watch the drizzle, and while I watch
the coffee spoon turns...
Of the last coffee
that your cold lips
requested on that occasion
with the voice of a sigh...
I recall your disdain,
I evoke you for no reason,
I hear you without you being here:
"We are through",
you said in a good bye
of sugar and bitterness...
Just like the coffee,
like the love, like the forgetfulness,
like the final vertigo
of a resentment for no reason...
And there, merciless,
I saw myself die standing up,
I weighed up your vanity
and then I understood my solitude
without what for...
It was raining and I offered you the last coffee
My favorite versions are:
Orquesta d´Arienzo featuring Jorge Valdéz
Orquesta Baffa-Berlingieri featuring Roberto Goyeneche
 
#5
Wow, there are not many responses to this thread. It makes me think that most dancers are not listening to the lyrics. In Buenos Aires I will often hear my partner quietly singing while we dance. Are the lyrics important?
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#6
..In Buenos Aires I will often hear my partner quietly singing while we dance..
I doubt that when someone sings along, also the frontal and temporal cortex or the Broca´s region will also be deeply involved. Think it´s more likely an unreflective recitation. I often ask: how can you dance such a cruel, or scorning, or negativ tango. Especially porteños always will answer: upps, never listened to the lyrics in particular.
Concerning me, with three items (words, music, motion) I feel mentally absolutely overstrained. To take the lyrics in, I have to sit down. Too items (words & motion, or music & motion) works. But at least I´m just an average gifted :(
Chicho and Juana "Se llama Tango" (Moscow 2010)
 
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newbie

Well-Known Member
#7
I will often hear my partner quietly singing while we dance.
The only lyrics I ever sing while dancing are this part of Carnaval de mi barrio, and that's only because my partner hates the Tango Silent Movie with this song.

Carnaval de mi barrio
donde todo es amor,
cascabeles de risas
matizando el dolor...,
Carnaval de mi barrio,
pedacito de sol,
con nostalgias de luna
y canción de farol.


 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#8
Wow, there are not many responses to this thread. It makes me think that most dancers are not listening to the lyrics. In Buenos Aires I will often hear my partner quietly singing while we dance. Are the lyrics important?
some lyrics I understand, some don't. Would I sing them while dancing, I don't think so.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#9
Wow, there are not many responses to this thread. It makes me think that most dancers are not listening to the lyrics. In Buenos Aires I will often hear my partner quietly singing while we dance. Are the lyrics important?
In my view if dancers are listening to lyrics they listen to the wrong thing.
The beat/pulse provides both an audible impulsion to dance and an audible
connection to dance in time with each other. It's fundamental to the principle
of social dancers being able to dance with different partners yet together.
Listening to the lyrics and therefore being influenced by, perhaps attempting
to dance, the melody, is for choreographed performance for the entertainment
of (usually) non-dancing audiences.

Tango originally had no lyrics which many milongueros apparently preferred,
then orchestras added singers only part way through, by omitting verses,
and blending with the musicians. As dancing became less important
compared to selling records and performing in auditoriums the singer
became the star up front audibly and visibly. Usually this isn't dance music
even though many DJs abroad play the later music. You'll hear it in France
and Belgium (from experience) but not often in the milongas of BA.

Portenos and portenas are different to those abroad especially the fact
that for most of us Castellano is not our language. For many, tango
was pervasive in Buenos Aires, even if realistically it is not any more.
To older dancers, the music is as ingrained as their dance so to sing
requires no conscious effort. I have portenas who do it but not many
and it doesn't interfere with their rhythmic sense but then, in BsAs,
we aren't dancing to performance tango tracks.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#10
...Tango originally had no lyrics..
:mad: You still claim what you cannot prove. The oldest layer of tango, the music of the Guardia Vieja appeared precisely as a sung genre. Of course there are older instrumental styles as criollo and candombe, but just the fusion with lyrics marks the birth of tango as "the tango“ we know. By the way also the bolero (sung habanera) was a sung ballad first. It´s your naturalistic fallacy that keeps you from acknowledging the facts.

..this isn't dance music even though many DJs abroad play..
:mad: You can claim this as often you like, but for me and most other dancers not an Is-Ought statement determens the desire for dancing, but simply how motivating a certain piece is, may it be sung, instrumental, or just spoken. And as a DJay I get applaus when playing expecially those pieces you want to ban.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#11
:mad: You can claim this as often you like, but for me and most other dancers not an Is-Ought statement determens the desire for dancing, but simply how motivating a certain piece is, may it be sung, instrumental, or just spoken. And as a DJay I get applaus when playing expecially those pieces you want to ban.
That's rather inflammatory - I never mentioned banning anything
although if I did I would be banning myself from going to such milongas,
presumably including the ones at which you DJ
We all have the ability to choose.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#14
:mad: You still claim what you cannot prove. The oldest layer of tango, the music of the Guardia Vieja appeared precisely as a sung genre. Of course there are older instrumental styles as criollo and candombe, but just the fusion with lyrics marks the birth of tango as "the tango“ we know. By the way also the bolero (sung habanera) was a sung ballad first. It´s your naturalistic fallacy that keeps you from acknowledging the facts.
Lack of time prevented me dealing with this earlier.
There's a certain irony in you insisting I prove my point
when you have history of stating the outrageous as fact
and when questioned it turns out to be your opinion.

However . . . . .
My reference is to tango music for dancing and there is plenty
of evidence to support my view without writing a treatise.

Here's a more balanced view:

http://www.totaltango.com/acatalog/tango_brief_intro_91.html

But context is everything and nothing is certain
except for the fact that no-one alive now was there
at the birth of tango and we don't actually know
what sort of music was originally called tango.

Let's take one obvious example where at least there is some
actual recorded history right up to Francisco Canaro's mediation
and resultant establishment of royalty payments (80%) to the
original composer (Rodriguez) and 20% to Contursi, the lyricist
who actually added the words some years after La Cumparsita
was first composed as a march then rearranged and augmented
by Firpo who doesn't seem to have received a share for his efforts!

Gardel may later have helped to popularise Cumparsita, but
Gardel did not sing for dancers. Even today when Cumparsita
is played at the end of a milonga, usually it is an instrumental
version - for dancing.
 

ArbeeNYC

Active Member
#15
Tango originally had no lyrics which many milongueros apparently preferred,
then orchestras added singers only part way through, by omitting verses,
and blending with the musicians. As dancing became less important
compared to selling records and performing in auditoriums the singer
became the star up front audibly and visibly. Usually this isn't dance music
even though many DJs abroad play the later music. You'll hear it in France
and Belgium (from experience) but not often in the milongas of BA.
Yes and no, depends on the period. In terms of the evolution of tango you refer to -- from instrumental, to some lyrics (generally toward the end of the song), to vocal tango with the singer as the star -- this seems to reflect the historical development of tango in BA. The earliest tangos, even before the guardia vieja, were simpler instrumentally (guitar; guitar and flute), and primarily sung. But that was before tango had developed a rich musical tradition.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of tangos that emphasize the vocals for dancing.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#16
. royalty payments (80%) to the original composer (Rodriguez) and 20% to Contursi, the lyricist..
Though Canaro cofounded the SADAIC he had to grand equal royalties later to every member of the cartel. And watch how many lyricists and poets sit at this banquet of the SADAIC in 1944... 1527763494072.png
 

Gssh

Well-Known Member
#17
For me:

A la luz del candil (i have a soft spot for murder ballads - i also love hugo race, nick cave and pj harvey)
Se dice de mi (i like sassy women ;)
Tengo mil novias (a little bit of self awareness of the ridiculousness of the default tango persona is quite refreshing)
Muchachos comienze la ronda (i think this should be the hymn of tango)
 

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