Tango Lyrics in Spanish and English


Hey bandoneon (1950)

  1. Jorge Casal with Anibal Troilo
  2. Roberto Goyeneche with Raul Garello
  3. Horacio Deval with Osvaldo Requena
  4. Susana Rinaldi with Julian Plaza
  5. Roberto Goyeneche with Ernesto Baffa
  6. Reinaldo Anselmi (courtesy Jean-Pierre Jacquet)
Music by: Anibal Troilo
Lyrics by: Homero Manzi
Translated by: Alberto Paz
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Last update on: 3/1/06

This is one of three poems written by Homero Manzi in his final days. There are quite a few recordings of this masterful tango. Alberto Podesta with Francini-Pontier (1950); Jorge Casal with Anibal Troilo (1951); Ricardo Blanco with Miguel Calo (1950); Alberto Arenas with Francisco Canaro (1950); Nelly Omar (1969); Susana Rinaldi with Julian Plaza (1969); Roberto Goyeneche with Anibal Troilo, perhaps the greatest of them all... A purist in the use of the language, Manzi incorporates a rare phonetic deformation of the English term Off-side (Orsai) which in football means out of play, illegal position, out of place.

Version en castellanoEnglish translation
El duende de tu son, che, bandoneón
se apiada del dolor de los demás,
y al estrujar tu fuelle dormilón,
se arrima al corazón que sufre más.

Esthercita y Mimí, como Ninón,
dejando sus destinos de percal,
vistieron al final mortaja de rayón
al eco funeral de tu canción.

hoy es noche de fandango
y puedo confesarte la verdad,
copa a copa, pena a pena, tango a tango,
embalado en la locura
del alcohol y la amargura.

¿para qué nombrarla tanto?
¿No ves que está de olvido el corazón
y ella vuelve, noche a noche, como un canto
en las gotas de tu llanto,
che, bandoneón?

Tu canto es el amor que no se dio,
y el cielo que soñamos una vez,
y el fraternal amigo que se hundió
cinchando en la tormenta de un querer.

Y esas ganas tremendas de llorar
que a veces nos inundan sin razón,
y el trago de licor que obliga a recordar
si el alma está en orsai,
che, bandoneón.
The goblin of your sound, hey, bandoneon
takes pity of the pain of others,
and when squeezing your sleepy bellows
it comes closer to the heart that undergoes more suffering.

Esthercita and Mimí, like Ninón,
abandoning their destinies of percale,
in the end they wore a rayon shroud
to the funeral echo of your song.

today is a night to live it up
and I can confess the truth to you,
drink after drink, sadness after sadness, tango after tango,
wrapped up in the madness
of the alcohol and the bitterness.

why naming her as much?
Don't you see that the heart's forgetting
but she returns, night after night, like a song
in the teardrops of your weeping,
Hey, bandoneón?

Your song is the love that did not occur,
and the sky that we dreamed once,
and the brotherly friend who sank
working hard in the storm of a love affair.

And those tremendous desires to cry
that sometimes they flood us without reason,
and the drink of liquor that forces us to remember
if the soul is off-side,
hey, bandoneón.

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