Ricardo Tanturi / Castillo

Music and lyrics: Alfredo Pelaia

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The vals “Recuerdos” is the first hit recorded by Alberto Castillo and Tanturi’s legendary orchestra in 1941. It is a vals, and of course, it is a love song. Women and love have always been a theme central to tango songs. However, the way they are depicted drastically evolved over time –from ruthless individuals to angelic beings!

In the early days of tango, from 1917 to 1929, most love songs picture callous women who abandon their lover. During these years, a massive shift is happening in Argentine society; women begin to gain more power and independence and are therefore freer to choose a partner. Tango songs express the reaction of men, and lost love becomes the common expression of their helplessness.

Until 1935, women are depicted as more ‘normal’ human beings with a broad range of feelings, and they are not always to blame for ending love relationships. This marks a shift in machismo values and the acceptance of women new role in society.

Last, from 1935 to about 1940, contrary to the first period, women are pictured with exaltation as extraordinary, idealised beings, involved in love stories that are absolutely perfect… but somehow impossible and lost in the past.

‘Recuerdos’ is a typical example of this last type of tango love songs and death is what made the perfect love story end. A beautiful, sentimental love song…

“Recuerdos” 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

LISTEN TO RECUERDOS: click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPS_5yaKnXk.

The lyrics

Murió mi compañera idolatrada
la mujer que jamás olvidaré,
y que tengo en el alma reflejada,
como tiene en su seno la alborada
la estrella del callado amanecer.

En la noche callada y misteriosa
su recuerdo me inunda el corazón
y su nombre dulcísimo reboza
de mis labios temblando de pasión.
Ella fue la esperanza de mi vida,
mi consuelo, mi dicha y mi sentir;
la adorada mujer, que no se olvida
y que se lleva en el alma hasta morir.
Yo la amaba con ciega idolatría
ella fue la ventura para mí
porque puso en mí vida tan sombría
con su dulce cariño, la alegría
que consuela la angustia del vivir.

En la noche callada y misteriosa
para llevarla al suspirado cielo,
ha bajado un ángel del Señor,
ella se fue y mi vida sin consuelo.

Lloro por siempre jamás, su eterno duelo
¡Oh cruel destino en dónde está mi amor!

She died, the partner I idolised
the woman I will never forget,
whom I hold as a reflection in my soul,
as she holds within herself the dawn,
the star of the silent dawn.

In the silent, mysterious night
her memory floods my heart
and her sweet name coats
my lips trembling with passion.
She was the hope of my life,
my comfort, my joy and my feelings;
beloved woman, you won’t be forgotten
and I’ll carry you in my soul until I die.
I loved her with blind idolatry
she brought me good fortune
and with her sweet love
put in my gloomy life, the joy
that soothes the anguish of life.

In the silent, mysterious night
to take her up to the longing Heaven,
came down an angel of the Lord,
she is gone and my life is left without consolation.
I’ll cry for ever and ever, in eternal sorrow.
Oh, cruel fate, where is my love!