Music: Ángel D’Agostino – Lyrics: Enrique Cadícamo


This song is a poignant homage to Eduardo Arolas (24/02/1892 – 29/09/1924), widely regarded as one of the early masters who helped define the future of tango music.

Arolas’ nickname was El Tigre del bandoneón (the tiger of the bandoneon). In his days, he played with such early masters as Agustín Bardi and Roberto Firpo. Arolas composed his first tango in 1909, before he could even read or write music. He was avant-garde in his composition and often utilised unconventional instruments such as the Saxophone violoncello and the banjo.

His personal life was that of a womanizer who once seduced the lover of the French Ambassador in Argentina. One day, Arolas fell madly in love with Dalia, a prostitute from Bragado, a town east of Buenos Aires. She left the brothel and they settled together in Buenos Aires. One night, as he came back from a performance, he found she had fled with his brother José.

That night, the story goes, he got drunk, stayed drunk until his last day and started travelling around the world: “You left, love sick and sad, in search of oblivion.”

From 1920, he resided mainly in Paris where he died alone and alcoholic in 1924.

His most famous works, composed under influence – as Cadícamo’s lyrics suggest “Pernod’s green poison became the friend of your bohemian life”- include Lágrimas, La cachila, El Marne and Viborita.

Arrolas now has a street named after him; it’s a very short street, only 80-meter long, one of the shortest of Buenos Aires.

Adiós Arolas has been translated by Tanguito, Argentine Tango Academy in London. If you feel have any comment or have other interpretations of the lyrics, please feel free to share your opinion, we’d love to hear what you think. 🙂

Nathalie, Tanguito

Source: Wikipedia,

The music

The version played by D’Arienzo orchestra is widely recognised as the most beautiful version of this song.

The lyrics

Con tu bandoneón querido,
Eduardo Arolas te fuiste,
enfermo de amor y triste
en busca de olvido.
No se apartó de tu lado
aquel amor del que huías
y al escapar te seguía
una sombra de mujer.

El veneno verde del Pernod
fue tu amigo de bohemia,
y tu triste inspiración
floreció en tu bandeneón
como flores de tu anemia.
Y una noche fría de París,
pobre Arolas te morías,
cuarto oscuro de pensión,
una lluvia fina y gris
y la muerte tras cartón.

Aquella noche en Montmartre
estaba en copas, de fiesta,
y vos oyendo tu orquesta
pensando sanarte.
Las notas de un tango tuyo
desde el cabaret llegaban
y el bandoneón te rezaba
un responso compadrón.

With your beloved bandoneón,
Eduardo Arolas, you left,
love sick and sad,
in search of oblivion.
That love you were running away from
didn’t leave your side,
and you escaped,
the shadow of a woman in your tracks.

Pernod’s green poison
became the friend of your bohemian life,
sadness was your inspiration,
making your bandoneon
blossom like anemic flowers.
In a cold Parisian night,
poor Arolas, you died…
The dark room of a pension,
the rain fine and grey,
and out of the blue, death.

That night in Montmartre,
you were stoned, too much partying,
you heard your orchestra play
thinking you were getting better.
The notes of a tango of yours
reached out from the cabaret,
as the bandoneon recited for you
a boastful prayer for the dead.