Cosas de Tango

The milonga is where I go to dance and to listen to tango. I finally understand why milongueros went where the best recordings were played for dancing. They could listen while waiting for the recordings of their favorite orchestras that inspired them to dance. They wanted to hear different recordings every night of the week.

About a month ago I heard Cosas de Tango for the first time. On my way back to my table, I asked the deejay for the title. I made a note of it, and later I went online to find the lyrics at TodoTango. Cosas de Tango was recorded January 31, 1946, with Carlos Di Sarli and Jorge Duran. The author is Rodolfo Manuel Taboada; the composer is Tito Ribero. Here is the original poem with my English translation.

La cosa fue como un tango
que nos hace entristecer,
como un tango a la deriva
que se silba sin querer.

La cosa fue como un tango,
como un tango nada mas,
el amor le dio unos versos
y el desamor el compas.

Una calle de barrio, en cualquier barrio,
una noche, una luna, un corazon.
Un tango desvelado que rezonga
su nocturno dolor de milonga.

Un maduro perfume de malvones,
dos centavos de luna en un rincon.
Un beso que se muerde, un juramento
y a los lejos el gemir de un bandoneon.

Mi pena no es mas que un tango
que ya cantan los demas,
el amor le dio unos versos
y el desamor el compas.

The thing was like a tango
that makes us sad
like a tango adrift
that whistles without desire.

The thing was like a tango,
like a tango nothing more,
the love gave it some verses
and the coldness the beat.

A street in a neighborhood, in any neighborhood
a night, a moon, a heart.
A tango kept awake which grumbles
its nightly milonga pain.

A mature perfume of geraniums,
two cents of moon in a corner.
A kiss that bites itself an oath
and far from the wail of a bandoneon.

My pain isn’t more than a tango
that the others already sing,
the love gave it some verses
and the coldness the beat.

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