Tango Lyrics in Spanish and English


The arabesque
Music by: Mariano Mores
Lyrics by: Rodolfo M. Taboada
Translated by: Alberto Paz
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Last update on: 5/22/06

The tango milonga El firulete was an instrumental composition written by Mariano Mores as a homage to Alfredo Bevilacqua (the Guardia Vieja author of Emancipacion). It was first recorded by Francisco Canaro's Quinteto Pirincho in 1958. Enter Julio Sosa, anointed El Varon del Tango by a PR executive of the recording label Columbia in 1961 on the occasion of the release of Sosa's first LP titled precisely El Varon del Tango. The major obstacle at the time was La Nueva Ola, or the New wave, the latest show business fad that was separating the youth of the time from their traditional cultural roots in lieu of foreign propositions with a local flavor. In spite of the heavy competition, Sosa's LP sold at the same clip than any "nueva olero" singer. The competition of the tango current that Sosa represented and the claims of the Nueva Ola was perfectly depicted in a scene of the film Buenas noches, Buenos Aires (1964), where Julio Sosa sung and danced with Beba Bidart El firulete in front of a group of youngsters who were doing the twist, but gradually were changing their dancing to that of the cortes and quebradas shown by Sosa and Bidart. So, in turns out that the lyrics of El firulete were written by Rofolfo Taboada in 1964 for Hugo del Carril, who preferred directing the scene, letting Julio Sosa do the honors of the singing and dancing. Julio Sosa managed to recover the souls and hearts of a new generation of disoriented argentinos who quickly forgot the silliness of the new wave lyrics, and begun listening to the poetry of the Uruguayan singer. Many still do to this day... Sosa's passion for the tango was only matched by his passion for automobiles, which ended up being the reason for his tragic death when he drove his DKW Fissore into a lamp post on the night of November 25. He died the next morning, November 26, 1964. He was only 38 years old.

Version en castellano English translation
Quien fué el raro bicho
que te ha dicho, che pebete
que pasó el tiempo del firulete?
Por más que ronquen
los merengues y las congas
siempre fue tiempo para milonga.

Vos dejá nomás que algún chabón
chamuye al cuete y sacudile tu firulete
que desde el cerebro al alma
la milonga lo bordó.
Es el compás criollo y se acabó.

Pero escuchá, fijate bien,
prestale mucha atención
y ahora batí si hay algo igual
a este compás compadrón.

Bati, por Dios, si este compás
repicadito y dulzón
te burbujea en la piel
y te hace más querendón.

Pero escuchá...ja, ja... fijate bien,
prestale mucha atención.
Y ahora batí si este compás
no es un clavel reventón;
es el clavel, es el balcón,
es el percal, el arrabal,
el callejón, y es el loco firulete
de algun viejo metejón.
Who was the rare insect
that told you, hey kid
that the time of the arabesque is gone?
No matter how much they play
merengues and congas
it has always been time for a milonga.

You just let some moron
to speak non sense and shake him your arabesque
that was embroidered by the milonga
from the brain to the soul.
It is the Creole compass and that's it.

But listen, watch out carefully,
pay much attention
and now confess if there is anything
like this swaggering beat.

Confess, by God, if this
peppery and sweet beat
doesn't bubble under your skin
and makes you more loving.

But listen... ha, ha... watch out,
pay real attention
And now confess if this beat
isn't like a blooming carnation;
it's the carnation, it's the balcony,
it's the percal, the suburb,
the back alley, and it's the mad gyration
of some old violent love.

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