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Mi taza de café (1943)

My Cup of Coffee
lyrics by Homero Manzi
music by Alfredo Malerba

Through the café window, the afternoon fades
and as I sip my cup of coffee, I reflect.
Memories march by, triumphs and sorrows,
the lights and shadows of times gone by,
the street is as empty as my future feels.
Friends and lovers, the hand yesterday dealt,
all of life’s ghosts, all the lies along the way,
I think of them as I sip my cup of coffee.

Once upon a happy time, I met you, my city,
my head filled with poems and dreams of fame.
I saw you from the heights of my boardinghouse room
and one of life’s deliriums filled my heart.
My hometown was far away, lost somewhere out there,
your night was close at hand, and so your night won out.
Your streets swept me up, your glamour seduced me,
no one was to blame—no one more than me.

The afternoon breezes ruffle the curtains,
memory’s hand squeezes my heart.
The autumn sorrows make the fog thicker now,
it filters through the crack in my loneliness:
useless pessimism, longing to be sad,
obsessed with thinking of yesterday.
Ghosts of the past that return insistently
every time I drink my afternoon cup of coffee.

Orquesta Típica Victor, singer Alberto Carol (1943)

Orquesta Ricardo Malerba, singer Orlando Medina (1943)

Libertad Lamarque with Orquesta Mario Maurano (1943)

(Spanish original after the jump)

Mi taza de café

La tarde está muriendo detrás de la vidriera
y pienso mientras tomo mi taza de café.
Desfilan los recuerdos, los triunfos y las penas
las luces y las sombras del tiempo que se fue.
La calle está vacía igual que mi destino.
Amigos y cariños, barajas del ayer,
Fantasmas de la vida, mentiras del camino
que evoco mientras tomo mi taza de café.

Un día alegremente te conocí, ciudad,
Llegué trayendo versos y sueños de triunfar.
Te vi desde la altura de un cuarto de pensión
y un vértigo de vida sintió mi corazón.
Mi pueblo estaba lejos, perdido más allá,
Tu noche estaba cerca, tu noche pudo más.
Tus calles me llevaron, tu brillo me engañó,
ninguno fue culpable, ninguno más que yo.

El viento de la tarde revuelve la cortina.
La mano del recuerdo me aprieta el corazón.
La pena del otoño agranda la neblina:
se cuela por la hendija de mi desolación
Inútil pesimismo, deseo de estar triste,
manía de andar siempre pensando en el ayer.
Fantasmas del pasado que vuelven y que insisten
cuando en las tardes tomo mi taza de café.

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

2 thoughts on “Mi taza de café (1943)

  1. Very nice. Thank you.

    Posted by Donald Cooper | 09.17.2016, 10:21 AM
  2. Hi, There, very rare tango, only sang by 3 singers!!. El gran Homero le puso letra poetica, como en todo sus tangos, pero este es muy especial. Gracias Derrick por encontrar siempre (nuevos temas), me agrada muchoy se lo recomendare a mi amigo aca en Melbourne, Australia a mi amigo Martin, que tiene una milonga!!, adieu, chau, cheers!

    Posted by Miguel | 09.18.2016, 2:52 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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