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Charlemos (1940)

Let’s Chat
lyrics by Luis Rubinstein

Retiro 60-11?*
May I please speak to Renée?
She doesn’t live there? Wait, don’t hang up—
could I just talk with you, miss?

Don’t hang up…this afternoon is so dreary,
and I feel so sentimental.
I already know that there is no René…
Let’s chat…you’ll do as well…

Chatting makes me happy…
life is so short…
Let’s dream together
on this gray, rainy afternoon.

Let’s talk of love…
we can be just Man and Woman
and your voice
can lessen my cruel anguish
just a bit.

Let’s chat, nothing more,
I am captive
to a dream so fleeting
that I can scarcely live it.

Let’s chat, nothing more,
and deep in my heart,
listening to you, I feel the beat
of another emotion…

What’s that you say? Let’s get together?
Let’s just keep up this charade…
Let’s talk, without meeting,
heart to heart.
No, I can’t see you, miss…
it’s hurtful, yes I know…
How I would love to love you!
But please forgive me…I am blind…

*In the early days of telephone service, you had to identify the local exchange when placing a call. Exchanges were often named for neighborhoods, streets, or significant landmarks (see also Glenn Miller’s famous song from the same era, “PEnnsylvania 6-5000“). Interestingly, the original sheet music for “Charlemos” says that the exchange is “Belgrano 60-11″ rather than Retiro. Both are relatively affluent neighborhoods on the north side of Buenos Aires.

Orquesta Carlos Di Sarli, singer Roberto Rufino


Orquesta Francisco Canaro, singer Ernesto Famá


(Spanish original after the jump)

Charlemos

¿Retiro (Belgrano) sesenta once?
Quisiera hablar con Renée…
¿No vive allí?… No, no corte…
¿Podría hablar con usted?

No cuelgue… La tarde es triste.
Me siento sentimental.
Renée ya sé que no existe…
Charlemos… Usted es igual…

Charlando soy feliz,
la vida es breve.
Soñemos en la gris
tarde que llueve.

Hablemos de un amor,
seremos Ella y Él,
y con su voz
mi angustia cruel
será más leve…

Charlemos, nada más,
soy el cautivo
de un sueño tan fugaz
que ni lo vivo.

Charlemos, nada más,
que aquí, en mi corazón,
oyéndola siento latir
otra emoción…

¿Qué dice? ¿Tratar de vernos?
Sigamos con la ilusión…
hablemos sin conocernos
corazón a corazón…
no puedo… no puedo verla…
es doloroso, lo sé…
¡Cómo quisiera quererla!
Soy ciego…perdóneme. . .

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 “Charlemos (1940)

  1. Thanks! JC

    Posted by Joe Caldwell | 05.22.2013, 10:57 AM
  2. One of my favourite bittersweet Di Sarli/Rufino tangos. Thanks so much.
    Patricia

    Posted by Patricia | 05.22.2013, 12:27 PM
  3. As I never understood the lyrics before, this was great. Thank you

    Posted by Jerry | 05.22.2013, 5:43 PM
  4. Thanks to the explanation of the words for the telephone exchange designation. Now I have to figure out how it worked in the old days in the old country if I ever hope to get it translated🙂

    Posted by Dmitry Pruss (aka MOCKBA) | 05.23.2013, 9:14 PM

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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, 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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