poesía de gotán:

Paciencia (1937)

Patience [1]
lyrics by Francisco Gorrindo
music by Juan D’Arienzo

Last night, my eyes fell on you again;
last night, I had you at my side again.
Why should I have seen you if, after everything,
we were two strangers looking into the past!
You’re not the same, nor am I the same…
Years! Life! Who knows what else…
Once and for all, better to be frank:
you and I cannot go back to yesterday.

life is like this:
out of pure ego, we tried to get together
and now those same egos reveal how different we are–
why should we pretend otherwise?
life is like this:
Neither of us is to blame, if there’s any blame to go around.
That’s why the hand that you clasped in silence
did not tremble when I left.

Let’s pretend that it was all a dream
that it was a lie that we searched for each other;
that way, happily, we’ve still got the consolation
of believing that we haven’t changed.
I have a picture of you at twenty
when you were the center of my little world
I want to see you always as lovely as then:
what happened last night was only a dream.

[1] This word is somewhat a false cognate. In modern English, “patience” most always means, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” It does have this exact meaning Spanish, but also has the connotation of “resignation to or acceptance of an unpleasant situation.” In these lyrics, though the latter meaning fits the greater context, I’ve chosen to still use the word “patience” because most tangueros recognize the word by ear in the chorus of this iconic tango.

[2] In the original Spanish, literally, “in my neighborhood, you were the familiar sun.”

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Enrique Carbel (1937)

Orquesta Francisco Canaro, singer Roberto Maida (1938)

Orquesta Rafael Canaro, singer Luis Scalón (1938)

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Alberto Echagüe (1951)

Orquesta Hector Varela, singer Rodolfo Lesica (1951)

Orquesta Juan D’Arienzo, singer Alberto Echagüe (1970)

(Spanish original after the jump)


Anoche, de nuevo te vieron mis ojos;
anoche, de nuevo te tuve a mi lao.
¡Pa qué te habré visto si, después de todo,
fuimos dos extraños mirando el pasao!
Ni vos sos la misma, ni yo soy el mismo…
¡Los años! … ¡La vida!… ¡Quién sabe lo qué!…
De una vez por todas mejor la franqueza:
yo y vos no podemos volver al ayer.

La vida es así.
Quisimos juntarnos por puro egoísmo

y el mismo egoísmo nos muestra distintos.

¿Para qué fingir?
La vida es así.
Ninguno es culpable, si es que hay una culpa.
Por eso, la mano que te di en silencio
no tembló al partir.

Haremos de cuenta que todo fue un sueño,
que fue una mentira habernos buscao;
así, buenamente, nos queda el consuelo
de seguir creyendo que no hemos cambiao.
Yo tengo un retrato de aquellos veinte años
cuando eras del barrio el sol familiar.
Quiero verte siempre linda como entonces:
lo que pasó anoche fue un sueño no más.

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.


One thought on “Paciencia (1937)

  1. Hi, Derrick, I think you refer to the tango, como dos extranos in the 40’s. Also I can see the word silencio, which is another very sad one sang by the great C. Gardel, but it’s from 1932. I’d like to say that the best rendition by a long way is Echague in the 70’s. Also congratulations on the translation, ( el sol familiar), which is not easy to pass on to different language. I think people with your translations will appreciate and love more the meaning of tango and also the poetry. Cheers. Miguel.

    Posted by Miguel Pietragallo | 06.07.2018, 8:42 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, in meticulously digitized versions from http://www.tangotunes.com/ and others can be found on the iTunes music store or Amazon (transfer quality varies widely). Though he no longer has inventory available, Michael Lavocah's superb http://milonga.co.uk/ can help you determine which CDs might be best to buy used.
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