Friday, March 12, 2010

The Tango 'Story'

First an obligatory introduction since this is my first post on MilongaParaTres: I started tango in the summer of 2008, mainly because I wanted something new to take mind off of various work and relationship-related stresses. Little did I know that I was going to be sucked in with such force. I am now truly obsessed with tango, not just the dance, but the entire tango experience, however you want to define that. I am not exaggerating; I will sometimes listen to the one same song on loop for several hours on end. I just find the music intoxicating.

Now, sadly, Spanish is not my first language. As such, I almost always miss out on the ‘story’ of many songs. I probably should start taking some conversational Spanish classes and hope that that would help me. Although, in all fairness, my fellow contributor Jaimito, who does actually speak Spanish as a first language, will often times be stumped at what some song is actually talking about. You see, Jaimito, speaks Español in some South American dialect, not the Lunfardo-peppered Castellano of Buenos Aires. His first attempt at transcribing the lyrics of ‘Chau Pinela’ by Sexteto Di Sarli, did not go very well. Only when he consulted an Argentine friend of his did he get the ‘story’ right!

But anyway, all of this was a complete digression, because what I really wanted to say is that knowing what the song is really about will affect the way I dance to it. I don’t know how, I just know it will. Understanding what Famà means when he says ‘Si es cierto que espiantás, qué papa, corazón!’ will certainly mean I will be taking some pretty powerful steps at the moment of that declaration. I'm actually looking forward to my next dance to Chau Pinela. Heavens help my follower whomever she may be!

The summary of all of this: I am certainly psyched that I now understand one of my favorite tangos, and even more pleased that it speaks to me in more ways than it originally did when I fell in love with because of its musical structure. It wasn’t even that long ago that I found myself in a situation similar to the song’s protagonist, and it would have been fantastic to have been able to then say “Cachame tu bagayo! Nunca, nunca vuelvas más!”

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'Tango booty'

Last Sunday, my friend made an interesting (though maybe obvious to some of you perverts) observation at a milonga... Tango girls tend to have nice butts (Milonga para tres blog is by three guys, after all). Is this a coincidence or is there a correlation? Does having a voluminous, firm, round butt help at being a good tanguera (if this is the case, I'm moving to Brazil... now) or does tango help shape up the booty? I am thinking it may have to do with the followers' technique rather than just dancing, because in the time I've been in tango, I haven't noticed any change in my ass, but then again, as narcissistic as I may be, I don't really check out my own ass (though now that I say it, that's a good idea... In fact, I'm going to go do that now as soon as I'm finished with this post). And also, us guys don't have to dance in 4+ inch heels, but I think that works the calves, not the glutes... In any case, I am not an anatomy/exercise physiology expert... so I can just admire when I sit out a tanda... (the dancing, of course) In the meanwhile, if there are any anatomists/physiologists or even biomedical engineers among our readers or contributors, it'd be great if you could share your thoughts.
I was really tempted to, but I decided not to post any pictures to illustrate my point, because I don't want to be seen as stealing anybody's images. If you want to confirm my friend's observation, just look up any of the following names on google images or youtube and enjoy the view: Mariana Montes, Geraldine Rojas, Jennifer Bratt, Noelia Hurtado, Dana Frigoli, Juana Sepulveda... there are many examples, both famous names or just in your local community.
Thank goodness for blogging anonymity...

Chau Pinela! Sexteto Carlos Di Sarli, canta Ernesto Famá

At the request of El Ingeniero, I did my best to write down the lyrics to this song, hoping that this motivates him to take a break from his engineer duties and write something here. Like the last post, the lyrics are most likely not accurate due to the old, scratchy recording, and maybe outdated lunfardo slang.

¿Por qué no has de decir si pensás espiantar?
Hacé tu gusto, vieja, que para mí es igual
Mujeres como vos se encuentran un millón
si es cierto que piantás qué papa, corazón...
decide sino mal, ¿pa' qué tanto pensar?
cachame tu bagayo, nunca, nunca vuelvas más
si no resuelves vos piantarte de mi lado
cacho yo mi bagayo y chau, Pinela, chau

I made some corrections on the lyrics after consulting with my Argentine friend who has some knowledge of lunfardo slang. Thank you for your help, Lu. Most of this song would make little sense without your explanations of the words espiantar, piantar, and bagayo.

So the approximate translation of the lyrics, along with some notes, would be as follows:

Why wouldn't you tell me if you plan to run off? [espiantar = run away]
Do as you please, girl, it's the same to me. [vieja literally means old woman, but it's widely used in Spanish speaking countries colloquially to refer to a woman, regardless of age]
I can find women like you by the millions.
If it's true that you will leave, tough luck, love. [I'm assuming 'qué papa, corazón' means something like 'too bad' or something along those lines]
Make up your mind already, why think so hard?
Grab your sack of things* and never come back. [bagayo means two things: an ugly person or a big sack where poor people put their clothes and their belongings. So there is probably a pun intended here as well as in the last line]
If it's not you that resolves to leave me behind
I will grab my sack of things, and goodbye, Pinela, goodbye.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sinsabor - Edgardo Donato/Lita Morales y Horacio Lagos

I was looking for the lyrics of this song, but I didn't find any, so I figured I'd listen to the song and write it down. May not be completely accurate due to the poor quality of the file I have.

Llevando mi pesar como una maldición
Sin rumbo fuí buscando de olvidar
el fuego de ese amor que te imploré
Y allá en la soledad del desamparo cruel
tratando de olvidar te recordé
con la ansiedad febril del día que te dí todo mi ser
y al ver la realidad de toda tu crueldad
yo maldecí la luz de tu mirar
en que me encandilé llevando mi ansiedad de amar

Besos impregnados de amargura
tuve de tu boca en su frialdad
tu alma no sintió mi fiel ternura
y me brindó con su rigor maldad
quiero disipar toda mi pena
busco de calmar mi sinsabor
siento inaguantable esa cadena que me ceñía al implorar tu amor

Edit: 6 months later, I realized I had forgotten to translate it
Carrying my sorrow like a curse
I wandered aimlessly seeking to forget
the fire of that love that I implored
And in the loneliness of cruel neglect
while trying to forget I remembered you
with the feverish anxiety of the day I gave you all my being
and when I saw the truth of all your cruelty
I cursed the light of your gaze
in which I was dazzled, carrying my anxiety to love.

Kisses impregnated with bitterness
I had of your mouth in its coldness
your soul did not feel my faithful tenderness
and brought me harsh evil
I want to dissipate all of my sorrows
I seek to calm my displeasures
I cannot bear this chain that clung to me as I implored for your love