Music: Ángel D’Agostino / Alfredo Attadía – Lyrics: Enrique Cadícamo
In this song, tango is given a voice and talks evocatively about its origin in Tres Esquinas, a sub district of Barracas, one of Buenos Aires most humble neighbourhoods. Of course, Barracas is where D’Agostino was born too!
Tres Esquinas was actually the name of the station of a train line which no longer exists. The station itself was closed in the middle of the 20th century. The iron viaduct has been covered, as it was cheaper than to dismantle it. Located at the intersection of Montes de Oca and Osvaldo Cruz, Tres Esquinas is close to the Riachuelo, a river which empties into the Rio de la Plata at La Boca and which, years ago, inspired more than one tango.
You probably know by now that love (or mostly the lack of), Buenos Aires and… tango form the most predominant tango themes and Tres Esquinas actually explores all three, making it a vivid evocation of tango’s origins which has the power to make us travel in space and in time…
Read on and you’ll get a feel for where tango came from, a modest neighbourhood (“I am from that borough of humbre rank”), full of life “my gossipy suburb, with the chatter of the blabbermouths and the sweet nothings of the local Don Juan” and quiet at times “I am from that borough that takes its mate in the shade of vine covered arbours”.
Tres esquinas 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.
Picture source: http://www.diasdehistoria.com.ar/content/cuando-barracas-era-parte-del-campo
Yo soy del barrio de Tres Esquinas,
viejo baluarte de un arrabal
donde florecen como glicinas
las lindas pibas de delantal.
Donde en la noche tibia y serena
su antiguo aroma vuelca el malvón
y bajo el cielo de luna llena
duermen las chatas del corralón.
Soy de ese barrio de humilde rango,
En sus ochavas compadrié de mozo,
Nada hay más lindo ni más compadre
I am from the barrio of the Three corners,
an old bastion of the slums
where pretty chicks in their aprons
blossom like wisteria flowers.
Where on a warm quiet night,
the geranium flower oozes its ancient fragrance
and under a full moon sky,
horse carts doze off in the yards.
I am from that borough of humble rank,
There is nothing more beautiful and welcoming