Music: Carlos Di Sarli – Lyrics: José María Contursi
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.
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.
|Te encontré sin pensarlo y alegré mis días,
olvidando la angustia de las horas mías.
Pero luego la vida se ensañó contigo
y en tus labios mis besos se morían de frío.
Y ahora… ¿qué rumbo tomaré?
Caminos sin aurora me pierden otra vez.
|Blithely, my days were brightened when I found you,
the torment of my hours over and done.
But all too soon life was done with you
And on your lips my kisses died a cold death.
What now?… what path shall I take?
I lose myself once more down dawnless roads.
Es el alma que presiente tu retorno.
Por un camino blanco tu espíritu vendrá
Buscando mi cansancio y aquí me encontrarás.
Faltas tú… Ya no estás…
Se apagaron tus pupilas, Verdemar.
|You shall be back, Seagreen…
My soul senses your return.
You shall come, you shall come…
Your spirit shall arrive by a blinding white lane
Searching for my weariness and there you shall find me.
You are gone… no longer present…
Your pupils were turned off, Seagreen.