poesía de gotán:

La abandoné y no sabía (1943)

I Abandoned Her and I Didn’t Know…
lyrics by José Canet

Kneaded between the silver and gold
of serenades
and wild dance parties,
cradled by the sounds
of bandoneons,
this tango was born.
It was born to watch me suffer
in this horrific life
as my luck takes its dying gasps.
When I hear it sound out,
when I begin to dance to it,
I feel death come a bit closer.
And that is why tonight
I feel the rebuke
of my heart.

I abandoned her and I didn’t know
that I still loved her
and ever since she left
I feel cut off from my faith–
it is dying, dying…
I abandoned her and I didn’t know
that my heart was deceiving me
and now that I’ve come back to look for her
I can’t find her anymore…
without her love, where should I go?

Orquesta Ricardo Tanturi, singer Enrique Campos

Orquesta Miguel Caló, singer Raúl Berón

Orquesta Osvaldo Pugliese, singer Roberto Chanel

(Spanish original after the jump)

La abandoné y no sabía

Amasado entre oro y plata
de serenatas
y de fandango,
acunado entre los sones
de bandoneones
nació este tango.
Nació por verme sufrir
en este horrible vivir
donde agoniza mi suerte.
Cuando lo escucho al sonar,
cuando lo salgo a bailar
siento más cerca la muerte.
Y es por eso que esta noche
siento el reproche
del corazón.

La abandoné y no sabía
de que la estaba queriendo
y desde que ella se fue
siento truncada mi fe
que va muriendo, muriendo…
La abandoné y no sabía
que el corazón me engañaba
y hoy que la vengo a buscar
ya no la puedo encontrar…
¿adónde iré sin su amor?

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.


5 thoughts on “La abandoné y no sabía (1943)

  1. For the Anglo-Saxon speaking world, your translation of tango poetry is superb. For dose that dance the music, the lyrics now have added meaning. Well done.

    Posted by Del | 07.12.2011, 10:28 AM
  2. Just to echo Del’s comment. Three years later, and this is still so valuable.

    Posted by Iain | 06.12.2014, 11:47 PM


  1. Pingback: Tanturi#1: Vocals with Enrique Campos « DDP's Favorite Tandas - 10.25.2011

  2. Pingback: Pugliese: Vocals with Roberto Chanel « DDP's Favorite Tandas - 12.02.2011

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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, in meticulously digitized versions from http://www.tangotunes.com/ and others can be found on the iTunes music store or Amazon (transfer quality varies widely). Though he no longer has inventory available, Michael Lavocah's superb http://milonga.co.uk/ can help you determine which CDs might be best to buy used.
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