Music: Aníbal Troilo – Lyrics: Homero Manzi

Argentine tango London | Sur spacer_small

Troilo’s collaboration with Manzi yielded several hits during the 1940s, including Barrio de Tango and the waltz Romance de Barrio, but none achieved the universal recognition of Sur (South), perhaps the tango most loved by Argentines, and one of the most conspicuously recorded.
Argentine author Ernesto Sabato said that he’d give away all he’s written for the privilege of being the author of Sur.

A journey into the past…

The South of Argentina is a physical and imaginative frontier that defined the nation. This spatial and temporal frontier, which evolved over time, illustrates divisions not only between the urban and rural worlds but also between modernity and past.

Sur is an elegy for a lost love, framed in the landmarks of Boedo and Pompeya, in the South of Buenos Aires. Sur describes a physical trip South of Buenos Aires and at the same time, an imaginary trip into the past, and laments both the end of a love story and changes in the barrio.

The thick wall described in the song not only marks the division between the end of the city and the beginning of the countryside, it also represents a before and an after, and is coloured by the bitterness of lost love.

Sur has been translated by Tanguito, Argentine Tango Academy in London. We hope you enjoy this translation. If you have any comments, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Nathalie, Tanguito

The music

The lyrics

San Juan y Boedo antigua y todo el cielo,

Pompeya y, mas allá, la inundación,

tu melena de novia en el recuerdo,

y tu nombre flotando en el adiós…
La esquina del herrero barro y pampa,
tu casa, tu vereda y el zanjón
y un perfume de yuyos y de alfalfa
que me llena de nuevo el corazón.

Old San Juan Street and Boedo district and the entire sky,
Pompeya neighbourhood and beyond, the swampland,
In my memory, the long hair you had when we were together,
and your name floating in our goodbye…
The blacksmith corner, mud and pampa,
your house, your pavement, and the ditch
and a smell of weeds and alfalfa
that fills my heart all over again.
Sur… paredón y después…
Sur… una luz de almacén…
Ya nunca me veras como me vieras,

recostado en la vidriera
y esperándote,
ya nunca alumbrare con las estrellas

nuestra marcha sin querellas
por las noches de Pompeya.
Las calles y las lunas suburbanas
y mi amor en tu ventana
todo ha muerto, ya lo se.

South… a thick wall and then….
South… the light of a grocery store…
You will never see me again like you used to,
leaning against the shop window,
and waiting for you,
and never again I’ll illuminate with the stars
our peaceful walk
under the nights of Pompeya.
The streets and moons in the suburbs,
and my love in your window,
everything has died, that, I already know.
San Juan y Boedo antigua, cielo perdido,
Pompeya y, al llegar al terraplén,
tus veinte años temblando de cariño
bajo el beso que entonces te robe.
Nostalgia de las cosas que han pasado,
arena que la vida se llevó,
pesadumbre del barrio que ha cambiado
y amargura del sueño que murió.
Ancient San Juan and Boedo, the lost sky,
Pompeya and towards the embankment,
your twenties, trembling with affection,
from the kiss I then stole from you.
Nostalgia of things that have passed,
sand swept away by life,
sorrow for the suburb that has changed,
and bitterness of the dream that has died.

– The end of the world as they knew it, writing experiences of the Argentine South, by Eva-Lynn Alicia Jagoe
– Photo: