Music: Edgardo Donato – Lyrics: Celedonio Flores – (1926)
Tango originated in Buenos Aires poor neighbourhoods – la Boca, the harbour and the suburbs, las ‘arrabales’. It came about as a way for immigrants to express their longing for everything and everyone they had left behind. Tango is also synonymous with immigrants’ widespread disarray when they realised that the harsh reality of Argentina couldn’t be any further from their dreams of ‘making it big’ in the Americas.
Tango, the music, the lyrics, the dancing is the expression of their personal and collective suffering. No doubt they saw it as their most treasured ‘posession’.
In the early 1900’s, the ‘rich boys’ from Buenos Aires high society, after despising tango, adopted it like there was no tomorrow. It is quite easy to picture the resentment towards this new generation of tango dancers. As they started to flock to the dancefloor, with their money and good manners, no doubt their every action was scrutinised and criticised.
There are quite a few songs on the theme of the rich boy who ‘buys’ his way into tango, but understands nothing of its essence and its feelings. Muchacho is one of these. Another song, famous for its lyrics and its flamboyant interpretation by Castillo is Así se baila el tango.
Muchacho 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.
Muchacho que porque la suerte quiso
vivís en un primer piso
de un palacete central,
que pa’ vicios y placeres,
para farras y mujeres
disponés de un capital.
en una timba y armarse
Que decís que un tango rante
Boy, you are so lucky
to live on the desired 1st floor
of a little palace in town,
you, who for vice and pleasures,
for parties and women
have lots of cash to splash.
Can you say that a shameless tango