Music: Francisco J. Lomuto – Lyrics: Antonio Botta

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Si soy así is not quite a smooth love song, but a rather sassy poem dedicated to all women: “young windows, married, unmarried”. Composed by Francisco Lomuto and Antonio Botta, this song is the account of a feverish womanizer from the Golden age of tango, a modern Don Juan who stopped at nothing to seduce. The lyrics are on the colourful side and very, very very macho! See for yourself: “for me, all women are pears hanging in the tree of love”…. waiting to be picked up!

In Argentina, piropos, flirtatious compliments are as common as medialunas, café cortado or dulche de leche. Some say they’re part of the national identity. More often than not, men address them to women, but the opposite can happen too. They are very common nowadays; no doubt they were frequent in the Golden Age of tango too. In Si soy así, the poet says: “I use some sweet nothings of my own as a camouflage.” Piropos indeed are a useful weapon in the seduction arsenal…

Nowadays, you can find web sites with a listing of piropos, some humorous, some poetic, others more “direct”. Here’s a selection of modern piropos found online that made me smile – and cringe at the same time 😉

• What were pirates thinking about when they left such a treasure behind?
• I definitely need to get myself a dictionary; I’m running out of words.
• Sorry, do you really exist or am I inventing you?
• Did you hurt yourself when you fell from heaven?

In Buenos Aires, about as common as piropos, is the use of foreign words in everyday language. Si soy así is a good example of the melting pot which gave birth to tango, and its use of foreign words gives more colour to this Don Juan. No doubt his sweet nothings too were peppered with French and Italian words…

Si soy así has been translated by Tanguito, Argentine Tango Academy in London. 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

Si soy así,
¿qué voy a hacer?
Nací buen mozo
y embalao para querer.
Si soy así
¿qué voy a hacer?
Con las mujeres
no me puedo contener.
Por eso tengo
la esperanza que algún día
me toqués la sinfonía
de que ha muerto tu ilusión.
Si soy así
¿qué voy a hacer?
Es el destino
que me arrastra a serte infiel.

Donde veo unas polleras
no me fijo en el color…
Las viuditas, las casadas y solteras
para mí todas son peras
en el árbol del amor.
Y si las miro coqueteando por la calle
con sus ojos tan porteños y su talle cimbreador,

le acomodo el camouflage*
de un piropo de mi flor.

Si soy así
¿qué voy a hacer?
Pa’ mí la vida
tiene forma de mujer.
Si soy así,
¿qué voy a hacer?
Es Juan Tenorio
que hoy ha vuelto a renacer.
Por eso, nena,
no sufrás por este loco
que no asienta más el coco
y olvidá tu metejón.
Si soy así,
¿qué voy a hacer?
Tengo una esponja
donde el cuore** hay que tener.

If I’m like this,
what can I do?
I was born good looking
and wrapped up for love.
If I’m like this,
what can I do?
With women,
I can’t hold back.
And so I have
this hope that one day
you play for me the symphony
of your illusion meeting its death.
If I’m like this,
What can I do?
It’s destiny
that drags me to be unfaithful to you.

Wherever I see a skirt,
I don’t look at the colour…
The young widows, the married, the unmarried,
for me, they all are pears
hanging in the tree of love.
And if I watch them flirting around
with their porteño eyes and their graceful waists,
I use some sweet nothings of my own
as a camouflage.

If I’m like this,
What can I do?
For me, life
has a woman shape.
If I’m like this,
What can I do?
It’s Don Juan
that has been reborn today.
don’t suffer for this mad man
who won’t hang up his hat
and forget this messy love.
If I’m like this,
What can I do?
I have a sponge
where there should be a heart.

* Camouflage is a French word from camoufler, to disguise, alteration (influenced by camouflet, snub, smoke blown in one’s face) of Italian camuffare

** Cuore is the Italian word for heart; corazón in Spanish.