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Yuyo verde (1944)

Green Weeds
lyrics by Homero Expósito

music by Domingo Federico

Alleyway…alleyway…
so distant…so distant…
lost, we wandered hand in hand
beneath a summer sky
dreaming in vain…
A streetlamp…a gate…
—just like in a tango
the two of us lost, hand in hand
beneath a summer sky
that has gone…

Let me weep uncontrollably,
with the agèd tears of a farewell…
down where the alleyway disappears
sprouted those green weeds
of forgiveness…
Let me weep as I remember you
—braids that bind me to the gate—

You are in the land of no return,
not even the green weeds of forgiveness
can bring you back…

Where are you…where are you?
Where could you have gone?
Where are my nest’s feathers,
the feeling of having truly lived
and that affection?
A streetlamp…a gate…
—just like in a tango—

and the tears as I weep into my hands
and that summer sky
that has gone…

Orquesta Domingo Federico, singer Carlos Vidal (1944)

Orquesta Osvaldo Pugliese, singer Alberto Morán (1945)

Orquesta Aníbal Troilo, singer Floreal Ruiz (1945)

Orquesta Rodolfo Biagi, singer Jorge Ortiz (1945)

(Spanish original after the jump)

Yuyo verde

Callejón… callejón…
lejano… lejano…
íbamos perdidos de la mano
bajo un cielo de verano
soñando en vano…
Un farol… un portón…
—igual que en un tango—
y los dos perdidos de la mano
bajo el cielo de verano
que partió…

Déjame que llore crudamente
con el llanto viejo del adiós…
adonde el callejón se pierde
brotó ese yuyo verde
del perdón…
Déjame que llore y te recuerde
—trenzas que me anudan al portón—
De tu país ya no se vuelve
ni con el yuyo verde
del perdón…

¿Dónde estás?… ¿Dónde estás?…
¿Adónde te has ido?…
¿Dónde están las plumas de mi nido,
la emoción de haber vivido
y aquel cariño?…
Un farol… un portón…
-igual que un tango-
y este llanto mío entre mis manos
y ese cielo de verano
que partió…

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

8 thoughts on “Yuyo verde (1944)

  1. QUE LINDO AMIGO!!!!!!TENGO UN GRUPO DONDE PUBLICO LAS LETRAS DE LOS TANGOS Y DESPUES AGREGO LOS VIDEOS
    AQUI TE PASO LA LETRA BIEN EN IDIOMA ARGENTINO-PORTEÑO

    Yuyo verde
    Tango 1944
    Música: Domingo Federico
    Letra: Homero Expósito
    Callejón… callejón…
    lejano… lejano…
    íbamos perdidos de la mano
    bajo un cielo de verano
    soñando en vano…
    Un farol… un portón…
    -igual que en un tango-
    y los dos perdidos de la mano
    bajo el cielo de verano
    que partió…

    Déjame que llore crudamente
    con el llanto viejo adiós…
    adonde el callejón se pierde
    brotó ese yuyo verde
    del perdón…
    Déjame que llore y te recuerde
    -trenzas que me anudan al portón-
    De tu país ya no se vuelve
    ni con el yuyo verde
    del perdón…

    ¿Dónde estás?… ¿Dónde estás?…
    ¿Adónde te has ido?…
    ¿Dónde están las plumas de mi nido,
    la emoción de haber vivido
    y aquel cariño?…
    Un farol… un portón…
    -igual que un tango-
    y este llanto mío entre mis manos
    y ese cielo de verano
    que partió…

    Posted by Inés Alicia Wibratt Androsi | 05.05.2016, 9:33 AM
    • ¡Gracias Inés! Otra vez quiero señalar que ya incluí el original en castellano (como suelo hacer) debajo de las grabaciones. Todavía no averigüe como diseñar la página para que se ven juntos, línea por línea. Un abrazo!

      Posted by Derrick Del Pilar | 05.05.2016, 10:02 AM
  2. Hi, Derrick; One query; mi friend (who is a tango singer) and me, try to make sense on this. Broto ese yuyo verde del perdon. Ni con el yuyo verde del perdon.( Maybe only Homero could have answered?). Thanks.

    Posted by Miguel | 05.05.2016, 6:18 PM
    • Hi Miguel,
      Not sure what you’re asking–what is the yuyo verde del perdón? Or why it can’t bring the girl back from the dead?

      Posted by Derrick Del Pilar | 05.06.2016, 4:53 PM
      • Hi, Derrick, what is not clear for us, is what you think that means, YUYO VERDE DEL PERDON, see if you can make sense of that phrase.

        Posted by Miguel | 05.08.2016, 6:01 PM
        • Ah, well, I think you’re right that it’s a metaphorical usage that perhaps only Homero could fully explain. There’s a good discussion in this forum here: http://tangueros.mforos.com/1031976/7419362-yuyo-verde/
          One of the posters thinks that the “callejón,” the dirt alleyway, is both a real place in the speaker’s childhood neighborhood, but also a metaphor for time. So the line on the horizon “donde el callejón se pierde” represents a distant future that he can barely conceive of, and the “yuyo verde” is like a magic herb that will allow him to brew a potion of forgiveness, forgiveness that he can’t really give in the moment while singing. One possible interpretation!

          Posted by Derrick Del Pilar | 05.17.2016, 3:20 PM
        • Hi, Derrick, What you implied make a good sense… but don’t definitely explain the matter, sometimes the answer maybe the easier one. Let’s see. If I’m in love to a woman and we have a troublesome time together, afterwards she dies and I missed so much, I forgive her, but even in that way I can’t get her back. Yuyo Verde could be a metaphor for Hope, which is represented by the Green colour, en fin, no se que mas se me ocurre!!, English or Spanish, we are in the mist of something, but at least we tried to understand the Poetry of Tango!!. Salu, Cheers.

          Posted by Miguel. | 05.19.2016, 5:59 AM
  3. Hi, Derrick, What you implied make a good sense… but don’t explained definitely the question. Sometimes
    the simplest of answers may be a good one. So here could be that the couple were in love and dreaming of a distant future, some where could have be a dispute between the two and later on she dies. Him missed her so much and forgive her for everything that could had happened, but even that forgiveness can brig her back. Yuyo Verde, could be a metaphor, like you said, but also, the colour Green represent in our culture Hope!!, so I think even with all the forgiveness and all the Hope, He can’t get it back. No se quizas sea una illusion, pero asi lo pienso yo. Solo se que ni en Spanish ni en English hay una respuesta concreta, Bueno al menos tratamos de develar The Poetry of Tango!!. Cheers, salu!.

    Posted by Miguel. | 05.19.2016, 6:18 AM

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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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