Music: Carlos Di Sarli – Lyrics: Enrique Carrera Sotelo

Flower girl| Tango song by De Angelis spacer_small

A milonguero is a tango dancer, however, the word “milonguero” is much more than this. It is imbued with so many different associations – the spirit and tradition of the dance, the particular social setting, an identifiable period in the history of tango. Milonguero refers to someone who, beyonds dancing tango, lives and breathes for tango.

 

The story

This song, written around 1927-28, was actually dedicated to Osvaldo Fresedo, which Di Sarli greatly admired.

Y en los tangos del Pibe de La Paternal
sos el alma criolla que llora de amor.
And in the tangos of the the ‘Pibe de la Paternal’
You are the native soul that weeps for love.

 

The ‘Pibe de la Paternal’ was Osvaldo Fresedo’s nickname, la Paternal being a Buenos Aires neighbourhood.

There is a lot of ‘vibrating’ imagery in this song, from the voice that quivers in the first stanza, the bellows of the bandoneon in the second, the shuddering voice and the heart that vibrates and trembles. It is as if the stirring of sounds become emotion personified.

 

Viejo milonguero has been translated by Tanguito, Argentine Tango Academy in London, with the help of a fantastic milonguera friend. If you 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

 

The music

 

The lyrics

Viejo milonguero

El barrio duerme y sueña
al arrullo de un triste tango llorón;
en el silencio tiembla
la voz milonguera de un mozo cantor.
La última esperanza flota en su canción,
en su canción maleva
y en el canto dulce eleva
toda la dulzura de su humilde amor.

Old milonguero

The neighbourhood slumbers and dreams
to the crooning of a tear-filled tango;
The milonguero voice of a young singer
quivers in the silence.
A last-ditch hope drifts through his song,
his wayward song
and in his honeyed refrain he pours
All the sweetness of his humble love.

 
Linda pebeta de mis sueños,
en este tango llorón
mi amor mistongo va cantando
su milonga de dolor,
y entre el rezongo de los fuelles
y el canyengue de mi voz,
ilusionado y tembloroso
vibra humilde el corazón.
Lovely lass of my dreams,
in this tear-filled tango,
my wretched love sings
its aching milonga
and in-between the soughing of the bellows ,
and the shuddering of my voice,
enchanted and trembling,
my heart humbly pitter-patters.
 
Sos la paica más linda del pobre arrabal,
sos la musa maleva de mi inspiración;
y en los tangos del Pibe de La Paternal
sos el alma criolla que llora de amor.
Sin berretines mi musa mistonguera
chamuya en verso su dolor;
tu almita loca, sencilla y milonguera
ha enloquecido mi pobre corazón.
You’re the loveliest doll of these tin-pan alleys,
You are my wayward muse;
And in the tangos of the ‘Pibe de la Paternal’
You are the native soul that weeps for love.
My desolate, disenchanted muse
Warbles her pain into rhyme;
Your silly soul, artless and dancing
Drives this poor heart of mine to madness.
 
El barrio duerme y sueña
al arrullo del triste tango llorón;
en el silencio tiembla
la voz milonguera del mozo cantor;
la última esperanza flota en su canción,
en su canción maleva
y el viento que pasa lleva
toda la dulzura de su corazón.
The neighbourhood slumbers and dreams
to the crooning of a tear-filled tango;
The milonguero voice of the young singer
quivers in the silence.
A last-ditch hope drifts through his song,
his wayward song
and the wind that blows
Blows away all the sweetness of his heart.