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Romance de barrio (1947)

Neighborhood Romance*
lyrics by Homero Manzi
music by Aníbal Troilo

First, a far-off April date—
your dark balcony, your old-fashioned garden.
Later on the feverish pulse of your letters—
lying with “no,” vowing that “yes…”

A neighborhood romance, your love and my love,
first came desire, then came sorrow—
for faults that were never ours,
for faults that we both had to suffer.

Today you might live
despising me, perhaps not even thinking
that I lament not being able to have you,
the sorrow of not knowing how to forget.

Today you might be
further than ever from my side,
far from so much weeping.

This was because, yes:
spite blinded you just like me,
without seeing that in the malice of that farewell
you cruelly punished your own heart.

This was because, yes:
suddenly we didn’t know how to believe
that it is easier to renounce and to part
than to live without forgetting…

Your voice and my voice return, defeated
bringing with them in horrified tones,
those faults that were never ours,
those faults for which we both had to pay.

Orquesta Aníbal Troilo, singer Floreal Ruiz

*Although Romance de barrio denotes a “neighborhood romance,” de barrio also has the connotation of “homegrown” or “local.”

(Spanish original after jump)

Romance de barrio

Primero, la cita lejana de abril—
tu oscuro balcón, tu antiguo jardín.
Más tarde las cartas de pulso febril—
mintiendo que no, jurando que sí.

Romance de barrio tu amor y mi amor,
primero un querer, después un dolor—
por culpas que nunca tuvimos,
por culpas que debimos sufrir los dos.

Hoy vivirás
despreciándome, tal vez sin pensar
que lamento al no poderte tener
el dolor de no saber olvidar.

Hoy estarás
como nunca lejos mío,
lejos de tanto llorar.

Fue porque sí,
que el despecho te cegó como a mí,
sin mirar que en el rencor del adiós
castigabas con crueldad tu corazón.

Fue porque sí
que de pronto no supimos pensar
que es más fácil renegar y partir
que vivir sin olvidar…

Retornan vencidas tu voz y mi voz
trayendo al volver con tonos de horror,
las culpas que nunca tuvimos
las culpas que debimos pagar los dos.

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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