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!”


  1. Finally!
    I completely agree with connecting to the tango 'story'. I find that listening to the music and the lyrics adds substance and feeling into the dance and can take it the whole experience into a new level. This is partly why I don't like dancing to the 'nuevo' songs (refer to for more details on how I feel about nuevo), no feeling. Good to have you finally posting, Ingeniero....... now if you could get Dr Agsol Le Rac posting as well......

  2. Wow, even I needed to read Jaimito's translation IN ENGLISH to figure out what this means.

    Heaven and hell would need to help your follower... specially if she is one in a million ;)