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Telón (1938)

Curtain
lyrics by Homero Manzi
music by Lucio Demare

Your solitude was a fiction
that burst into my hidden corner
and your tempests swept me away.

The role you played so well
was the sentimental embodiment
of an epic novel by Luis de Val.[1]

You appeared, feverish and hysterical,
and we came together in a miserable dream.

My blue song was a beacon
that put out its light to weep
when the curtain fell on this melodrama. [2]

Curtain, curtain on the comedy
that began with a song
and ended with your lack of love.

Terrible ending: seeing solitude
in the corner of the little hovel
as your melodramas created more insanity.

Pain of seeing a hope die,
the dreams of a pining fool, [3]
who woke up to find himself a clown.

Brutal curtain that put an end to the illusion
the day that your love left
with the current of the tempest.

Orquesta Lucio Demare, singer Juan Carlos Miranda

[1] Luis de Val was a late 19th-early 20th century Spanish author known for writing romances in the folletín genre (see below).
[2] The Spanish original word here is “
folletín,” (in English, roughly, a serialized novel) which refers to a late 19th-early 20th century genre of popular writings, originating in French Romanticism, published on low grade paper in weekly or daily installments. Dumas’s The Three Musketeers was published in this format. Folletines were very popular in early 20th century Buenos Aires. The themes usually deal with love and intrigue—hence I have chosen to use the English term “melodrama” in the translated text.
[3] Manzi’s original text here refers to Pierrot, a stock character in European pantomimes.

(Spanish original after the jump)

Telón

Era una ficción tu soledad
al penetrar en mi rincón,
y me arrastró tu vendaval.

Era tu papel dentro del rol
la encarnación sentimental
de un novelón de Luis de Val.

Apareciste con la fiebre de tu histeria
y nos unimos con un sueño de miseria.

Era mi canción azul rondín
que se apagó para llorar
sobre el telón de un folletín.

Telón, telón de la comedia
que empezó con un cantar
y que le dio final tu desamor.

Final atroz de ver la soledad
en el rincón del cuchitril
que un día enloqueció tu folletín.

Dolor de ver morir una esperanza,
sueño de Pierrot,
que al despertar se vio bufón.

Telón brutal que a la ilusión le dio un final
el día en que tu amor
se fue con el vaivén del vendaval.

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.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Telón (1938)

  1. Hi, Derrick; By now I think I know you for a long time, our passion… Tango! since I taken you know and understand properly the Castellano language and I NOT SO MUCH THE ENGLISH ONE!, let me tell you about this like many others tango lyrics and meanings, for me… Tango nutre… Tango llama… [ y algo dentro nuestro escucha]. I’m sure you understand. bye, salud, cheers.. chan.. chan…

    Posted by Miguel | 03.06.2010, 10:31 PM
    • “Tango nutre… Tango llama… [ y algo dentro nuestro escucha]”
      Así es! Tus palabras sencillas encierran una verdad🙂.

      “Tango nourishes… tango calls…and something inside us listens.”

      Posted by poesiadegotan | 03.11.2010, 9:39 PM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Demare #1: The Poetry of Homero Manzi « DDP's Favorite Tandas - 10.25.2011

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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/.

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