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Amarras (1944)

Moorings
lyrics by Carmelo Santiago

I wander like a suffering shadow
beneath this gray veranda
I reflect on myself and I am nothing…
I am like my little coal skiff
that stays shored up—
it lives tied fast to the shore.

And so I too, tied fast to my past
am an anchored ship
and I feel the moorings
that bite and claw my flesh.
I weep for those days
that shall never return again;
I search for those kisses
that I shall never feel again,
I am like my little coal skiff
that has stayed ashore,
never to leave again!

Those kisses that I lost
when I foresaw that she didn’t love me,
were torments of sorrow
filled with horror—
today I am nothing!
I only know that I felt pain,
that I fell and that I came close
to the edge of ruin…
I only know that your goodbye
makes a mockery of my sorrow
and stays with me step by step.

Now that I know you won’t come back,
I wander endlessly beneath the veranda.
I seek the courage to leave,
to go far away from here…
and to kill my obsession
so that, far from you,
I can finally die.

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Hector Mauré

(Spanish original after the jump)
You can also read Rick McGarrey’s translation, with comments and annotations.


Amarras

Vago como sombra atormentada
bajo el gris de la recova,
me contemplo y no soy nada…
Soy como mi lancha carbonera
que ha quedado recalada—
vive atada a la ribera.

Yo también atado a mi pasado
soy un barco que está anclado
y siento en mi carne sus amarras
que me muerden, que me agarran.
Lloro aquellos días
que jamás han de volver;
busco aquellos besos
que jamás he de tener,
soy como mi lancha carbonera
que ha quedado en la ribera,
¡sin partir más!

Aquellos besos que perdí
al presentir que no me amaba,
fueron tormentas de dolor
llenas de horror—
¡Hoy no soy nada!
Yo sólo sé que pené,
que caí y que rodé
al abismo del fracaso…
yo sólo sé que tu adiós,
en la burla del dolor,
me acompaña paso a paso.

Ahora que sé que no vendrás,
vago sin fin por la recova,
busco valor para partir;
para alejarme…
y así matando mi obsesión,
lejos de ti, poder morir.

About Derrick Del Pilar

Born and raised in Chicago, I came to the tango while studying at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires in 2006. In 2008 I earned my B.A. with majors in Creative Writing and Spanish & Portuguese from the University of Arizona, and in 2009 I earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. My specialty is the history & literature of early 20th century Argentina.

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