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Paciencia (1937)

Patience [1]
lyrics by Francisco Gorrindo
music by Juan D’Arienzo

Last night, my eyes fell on you again;
last night, I had you at my side again.
Why should I have seen you if, after everything,
we were two strangers looking into the past!
You’re not the same, nor am I the same…
Years! Life! Who knows what else…
Once and for all, better to be frank:
you and I cannot go back to yesterday.

Patience,
life is like this:
out of pure ego, we tried to get together
and now those same egos reveal how different we are–
why should we pretend otherwise?
Patience,
life is like this:
Neither of us is to blame, if there’s any blame to go around.
That’s why the hand that you clasped in silence
did not tremble when I left.

Let’s pretend that it was all a dream
that it was a lie that we searched for each other;
that way, happily, we’ve still got the consolation
of believing that we haven’t changed.
I have a picture of you at twenty
when you were the center of my little world
[2]
I want to see you always as lovely as then:
what happened last night was only a dream.

[1] This word is somewhat a false cognate. In modern English, “patience” most always means, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” It does have this exact meaning Spanish, but also has the connotation of “resignation to or acceptance of an unpleasant situation.” In these lyrics, though the latter meaning fits the greater context, I’ve chosen to still use the word “patience” because most tangueros recognize the word by ear in the chorus of this iconic tango.

[2] In the original Spanish, literally, “in my neighborhood, you were the familiar sun.”

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Enrique Carbel (1937)

Orquesta Francisco Canaro, singer Roberto Maida (1938)

Orquesta Rafael Canaro, singer Luis Scalón (1938)

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Alberto Echagüe (1951)

Orquesta Hector Varela, singer Rodolfo Lesica (1951)

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Alberto Echagüe (1970)

(Spanish original after the jump)
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The sound files on this site are included for illustrative purposes only. Those wishing to obtain high quality versions for their personal collections should purchase commercially available copies. If you can't get to a record store in Buenos Aires, a great many tangos are available, song by song, from http://www.tangotunes.com/ and others can be found on iTunes (transfer quality varies widely). Many CDs are available through online retailers such as Michael Lavocah's superb http://milonga.co.uk/.