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Tabaco (1944)

Tobacco
lyrics by José María Contursi

music by Armando Pointier

Your voice rose from the shadows
like a distant rebuke.
Your voice weeps and calls my name
while the phantoms of this night
loom stranger still.
My eyes are shut
against the terror of silence
my heart, torn apart
because I still haven’t forgiven myself
for all the pain I caused you.

So much, so very much
do my hands miss your lover’s hands…
So much, so very much
am I stunned to find you so near yet so distant…
And as I smoke, the plumes form your image
and through the aroma of tobacco your fragrance
speaks to me from afar
about you forgetting and me going mad…
You, who lead a happy life,
perhaps tonight you’ll remember me…

It seems like an anguished dream
from which I awake, trembling
and the wilted violet petals
of that anguish are strewn about
and my eyes are sobbing.
Poor things, they stay shut
against the terror of silence;
my heart, torn apart
because I still haven’t forgiven myself
for all the pain I caused you.

Orquesta Aníbal Troilo, singer Francisco Fiorentino (1944)

Orquesta Miguel Caló, singer Raúl Iriarte (1944)

(Spanish original after the jump)

Tabaco

Tu voz surgió de las sombras
como un lejano reproche;
tu voz que llora y me nombra
mientras más aún se asombran
los fantasmas de esta noche.
Están mis ojos cerrados
por el terror del silencio;
mi corazón, desgarrado
porque no me he perdonado
todo el mal que te causé.

Más, muchísimo más
extrañan mis manos tus manos amantes…
Más, muchísimo más
me aturdo al saberte tan cerca y tan distante…
Y mientras fumo forma el humo tu figura
y en el aroma del tabaco tu fragancia
me conversa de distancias,
de tu olvido y mi locura…
Tú, que vives feliz
tal vez esta noche te acuerdes de mí…

Parece un sueño de angustias
del que despierto temblando
y están tiradas y mustias
las violetas de esa angustia
y mis ojos sollozando.
Los pobres siguen cerrados
por el terror del silencio…
Mi corazón, desgarrado
porque no me he perdonado
todo el mal que te causé.

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

4 thoughts on “Tabaco (1944)

  1. Siempre se descubren (nuevos tangos). The plumes from your image, dificil traducir literlmente!

    Posted by Miguel | 01.07.2017, 6:34 PM
    • Sí, muy dificil! Me acordó de ese juego que se suele jugar de niño, buscando en las nubes las figuras de animales…esa línea para mi fue un reflejo oscuro de eso…

      Posted by Derrick Del Pilar | 01.09.2017, 8:29 AM
      • Of course, Derrick, We all play that game, was very fanny and creative, like the poets of Tango. Also, I think, since the “boemios”, use to smoke a lot, and now and then with the smoke os the cigarette, they think the see some figures on the smoke!!, well, anything and everything is posible in the realm of The Poetry of Tango.

        Posted by Miguel | 01.09.2017, 9:51 PM
  2. They see, I mean!

    Posted by Miguel | 01.09.2017, 9:52 PM

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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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