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La vida es corta (1941)

Life is Short
lyrics by Francisco Gorrindo

Let’s see, boys—I want to be joyful,
I want to be dazed, so I don’t have to think.
Life is short and you must live it,
and just set reality aside.
You must forget about sacrifice—
what it costs to live, and to win your bread—
and on these nights of partying and laughter
dress your soul in a new disguise.

Life is short and you must live it,
you must not trust that tomorrow will come.
If today lies are called dreams,
perhaps tomorrow they will become the truth.
Life short and you must live it
happily, with a woman at your side…
and though she might lie, in her gaze
there are reasons aplenty to love.

Orquesta Ricardo Tanturi, singer Alberto Castillo

(Spanish original after the jump)

La vida es corta

A ver muchachos—quiero alegría,
quiero aturdirme, para no pensar.
La vida es corta y hay que vivirla,
dejando a un lado la realidad.
Hay que olvidarse del sacrificio—
que tanto cuesta ser, tener el pan—
y en estas noches de farra y risa,
ponerle al alma nuevo disfraz.

La vida es corta y hay que vivirla,
en el mañana no hay que confiar.
Si hoy la mentira se llama sueño,
tal vez mañana sea la verdad.
La vida es corta y hay que vivirla
feliz al lado de una mujer,
que aunque nos mienta, frente a sus ojos,
razón de sobra hay para querer.

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

6 thoughts on “La vida es corta (1941)

  1. Today I received the sad news of the death of tango dancer Andrea Misse yesterday in an auto accident. The lyrics are a reminder to all of us.

    Posted by jantango | 01.03.2012, 10:55 AM
  2. Appropriate for today. Why do so many songs have joyful sound, and such dark words?

    Posted by Elizabeth | 01.03.2012, 11:56 AM
  3. GREAT TRANSLATION AND GREAT SONG CONGRATS

    Posted by JIM | 01.05.2012, 8:50 AM
  4. Thanks for the translation. Since my spanish is not so good, I have o look over many words for lyrics. This somehow happy song reflects in a few lines the essence of life. I only started dancing tango in October 2013, since then I went very far, dancing every evening and going deep into the music, visiting Buenos Aires the fourth time and slowly discovering the great art of tango and people sharing it. Too sad, that already all the great Tango-Composers, as e.g. Garello, Federico, Baffa etc. are dying. However in Buenos Aires and wolrdwide you can find a much deeper interest and love for tango, than “only dancing” and worst of all “only trying to look well”.
    Tango talks about life. Possibly in melancholic way as Blues and Rhythm’n’Blues does. But there alway lies a grain of hope. This song is fantastic. The happy soul of Albert Castillo singing it, suits perfectly.

    I found right now – very late – this site. And I remember, that just in the end of January 2012 my very old friend from my childhood (after 40 years) suddently died because of an Embolia, with 47. The later months and years I started changing all my behavings and now I am travelling all over the world in tango, saving my money for the “real” emotions.And I get to know wonderful people from everywhere, something no money can buy.

    Indeed, “la vida es corta”, life is short, but it is worth trying it, however you succeed or not.

    Abrazo to all people loving tango and bringing hope in this world. Greetings from Switzerland.
    Bobby

    Posted by Bobby | 12.10.2017, 8:38 AM

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Disclaimer

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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