poesía de gotán:

Sur (1948)

lyrics by Homero Manzi
music by Aníbal Troilo

Old San Juan and Boedo, and the whole sky, [1]
Pompeya and beyond that the flood,
your bridal tresses flowing through my memory
and your name floating in that farewell.
The blacksmith’s corner, mud and pampa,
your house, your sidewalk, and the big ditch,
and the perfume of weeds and alfalfa
that fills my heart all over again.

the big wall and then…
a light in a corner store…
Never again shall you see me as you once did,
leaning against the shop window,
waiting for you.
Never again will I light up with the stars
on our strifeless strolls
through nights in Pompeya…
the streets and the suburban moons,
my love at your window,
everything has died, I know that now.

Old San Juan and Boedo, lost skies,
Pompeya, and coming up to the embankment
you at twenty years old, trembling with affection
after that kiss I stole from you.
Nostalgia for things that have passed,
sands that life has swept away,
grief for a neighborhood that has changed,
and bitterness for a dream that died.

Orquesta Aníbal Troilo, singer Edmundo Rivero

Orquesta Aníbal Troilo, singer Roberto “El polaco” Goyeneche

Orquesta Francisco Rotundo, singer Floreal Ruiz*

[1] An intersection on, of course, the South side of Buenos Aires. Today a café called Esquina Homero Manzi (Homero Manzi’s Corner) stands at this intersection in Buenos Aires, offering tourists tango dinner shows and lessons.
*Gracias Paula y Lidia for identifying this version for me!

(Spanish original after the jump)


San Juan y Boedo antiguo, y todo el cielo
Pompeya y más allá la inundación,
tu melena de novia en el recuerdo
y tu nombre flotando en el adiós.
La esquina del herrero, barro y pampa,
tu casa, tu vereda y el zanjón
y un perfume de yuyos y de alfalfas
que me llena de nuevo el corazón.

paredón y después…
una luz de almacén…
Ya nunca me verás como me vieras,
recostado en la vidriera
Ya nunca alumbraré con las estrellas
nuestra marcha sin querellas
por las noches de Pompeya…
las calles y las lunas suburbanas,
y mi amor en tu ventana
todo ha muerto, ya lo sé.

San Juan y Boedo antiguo, cielo perdido,
Pompeya y al llegar al terraplén,
tus veinte años temblando de cariño
bajo el beso que entonces te robé.
Nostalgias de las cosas que han pasado,
arena que la vida se llevó,
pesadumbre del barrio que ha cambiado
y amargura de un sueño que murió.

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.


4 thoughts on “Sur (1948)

  1. I think the unidentified version is sung by Floreal Ruiz.

    Posted by Paula | 11.02.2011, 3:28 AM
  2. Orquesta De Francisco Rotundo – I think!

    Posted by Paula | 11.02.2011, 3:47 AM
  3. Hola Derrick. La version que no tenías identificada es la orquesta de Francisco Rotundo con la voz de Floreal Ruiz, uno de mis cantantes favoritos. Esta versión es magnífica. Y el tango Sur es maravilloso. Pero esta versión es tradicional, pero se anima con ciertas variaciones muy contemporáneas. Gracias. Lidia

    Posted by Lidia Ferrari | 11.02.2011, 4:06 AM


  1. Pingback: Boedo y San Juan (1943) | Poesía de gotán: The Poetry of the Tango - 02.24.2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Donate to Poesía de Gotán

Your donations can help pay for this website and domain!

Visit PayPal.me/derrickdelpilar to donate.


By title in Spanish


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.
%d bloggers like this: