lyrics by José María Contursi
music by Carlos Di Sarli
your eyes filled with silence.
I lost you, Seagreen.
Your yellowed hands, your colorless lips
and the cold of the night upon your heart.
You are missing, you aren’t here anymore,
your pupils have gone out, Seagreen.
I found you without a thought and I brightened my days,
forgetting the anguish of my hours.
But then life became enraged with you,
and upon your lips my kisses died of cold.
And now…what road shall I take?
Dawnless paths lose me once again.
Orquesta Carlos Di Sarli, singer Roberto Rufino
Orquesta Carlos Di Sarli, singer Oscar Serpa
Orquesta Miguel Caló, singer Raúl Iriarte
(Spanish original after the jump)
se llenaron de silencio tus pupilas.
Te perdí, Verdemar.
Tus manos amarillas, tus labios sin color
y el frío de la noche sobre tu corazón.
Faltas tú, ya no estás,
se apagaron tus pupilas, Verdemar.
Te encontré sin pensarlo y alegré mis días,
olvidando la angustia de las horas mías.
Pero luego la vida se ensañó contigo
y en tus labios mis besos se morían de frío.
Y ahora… ¿qué rumbo tomaré?
Caminos sin aurora me pierden otra vez.
I thought seagreen is a webdesign-speak (e.g. #20B2AA) (my spellchecker hates seagreen … I think aquamarine or maybe even turquoise (which is frequently used to describe water). In Russian there is indeed a “sea wave color” which is pretty much anything cyan. I think La Paz doesn’t even translate Verdemar on his site BTW.
But apart from Verdemar being a color … what is she, in this tango? A person? A name? A place? A metaphor?
From the lyrics, it seems to me that Verdemar is definitely a real woman, but since the nickname sounds as unusual in Spanish as in English (there a lot of hotels and resorts called Verde Mar, sometimes as two words, sometimes as one), I ultimately chose to translate the name rather than leaving it. I would guess that her eyes are that lovely aqua color…and writing it Greensea just didn’t seem right…
Interesting note: from the sheet music http://www.todotango.com/spanish/las_obras/partitura.aspx?id=802, it seems that Di Sarli dedicated this tango to his ophthamologist friend…I wonder if that’s the guy who prescribed him those dark sunglasses?
Thanks! I kind of hoped beyond hope that there would be some obvious meaning of Verdemar which would just make it “anything but” a lament over a dead body. Especially since the word cyan makes me (a reserve chemical defense officer in my other life) think of skin color rather than of a color of the eyes, that bluish tint of oxygen deprivation and/or venous dilation, often mentioned in the victims of Nazi death chambers.
Speaking of morbid skin colors … the lifeless limbs would be poetically called waxen in Russian, almost never plain yellow. Is there such a distinction in English poetry too?
In English, “waxen” is a common word…and in Spanish, “pálido” or pale is often used. The yellow color implies jaundice, I think…
Thank you so much. I always wanted to read a translation of this beautiful, moving song. Greetings from Gainesville, Florida USA ~ Steve
Hello back from my current residence in the chilly Pacific Northwest! I am glad you enjoyed my translation of this tango. Di Sarli’s is the usual version…what do you think of Caló’s?
I love Caló’s version! That is the one I play at my milonga when I DJ in Gainesville. (It is the saddest song of the night – whew!)
Another sad one I’d like to see translated is Mañana iré temprano.
Цвет волны … Вердемар …
Твои очи переполнены молчаньем
Ты не здесь, Вердемар!
Как восковые руки, без цвета на губах,
Ночной мороз разлуки на сердце у тебя
Нет тебя, не найти,
Наша встреча случайно
Дни мои озарила
И забылось отчаянье
Слишком скоро судьба нам
Злую долю сулила
Поцелуй на губах мой
Смертной стужей убило
Нынче … Куда я направлюсь
Дорогой беспросветной, потерянный опять?
О, вернись, Вердемар …
Возвращенье я предчувствую душою
Твоя душа дорогой из белого огня
Пойдет искать в тревоге, в отчаяньи меня
Только нет, не найти,
Thanks for the guidance, Derrick! As you might see at chose to translate the name Verdemar but just once. Yeah, and – the ophthalmologist – that would healing the eye itself, rather than prescribing outside props such as spectacles?
Tried to follow the beat… in English, it’s harder