Tango songs make abundant references to Buenos Aires, whether it be to the city as a whole, some of its key landmarks, or las arrabales, the poor neighbouroods of Buenos Aires where tango started. Las arrabales describe an actual area, a certain lifestyle (that of milongueros), a social class (that of the poor) and are almost always referred to with affection.

Tinta Roja from C. Castillo is a fascinating example:

Dondé estará mi arrabal?
Quién se robó mi ninez?…
En qué rincón, luna mía,
volcás, como entonces,
tu clara alegría?
Veredas que yo pise,
malevos que ya no son.
Bajo tu cielo de raso
trasnocha un pedazo
de mi corazon…
Where might my arrabal be?
Who stole my childhood?
In which corner, little moon,
you pour, like then,
your clear happiness?
Pavements that I did step on,
bullies who are no more.
Under your overcast sky,
a bit of my heart
stays up all night.

If you want to read the rest of the song or listen to it, have a look at Todo Tango.

You can also have a look at some of our translations: Fuimos, Así se baila el tango or Siempre es Carnaval.

See you soon on the dance floor!



Picture of La Boca