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Amarras

This is a familiar tango, often played in D'Arienzo tandas at milongas. The music is spry at times and even cheerful, with flashes of darkness, yet the lyrics are entirely on the dark side. To explore this paradox, John and Renée recited the lyrics at Milonga Falucho/Chelsea as DJ Carlos Quiroga played a well-known version in the background. There was no live music for the night, instead a dance performance by Alejandra Hobert and Adrian Veredice.

Amarras 1944 Letra de Carmelo Santiango Música de Carlos Marchisio

Moorings 1944 Lyrics by Carmelo Santiango, trans. J. Osburn Music by Carlos Marchisio
Vago como sombra atormentada bajo el gris de la recova, me contemplo y no soy nada... Soy como mi lancha carbonera que ha quedado recalada, bien atada a la ribera. Yo también atado a mi pasado soy un barco que está anclado y siento en mi carne sus amarras como garfios, como garras. Lloro aquellos días que jamás han de volver; sueño aquellos besos que ya nunca he de tener, soy como mi lancha carbonera que ha …
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Se dice de mí

Although written for the Uruguayan singer Carlos Roldán in 1943, Tita Merello made Se dice de mí  her own in 1954, and it has been sung by women ever since. At Milonga Falucho at Café Argentino in Brooklyn, Renée mimed the lyrics as John recited his English translation of the version made famous by Merello. It was the first milonga in this series. Live music for the evening was provided by Emiliano Messiez (piano) and Adolfo Trepiana (bandoneón).

Se dice de mí Milonga 1943
Letra de Ivo Pelay Música de Francisco Canaro

They Say This of Me Milonga 1943
Lyrics by Ivo Pelay, trans. J. Osburn Music by Francisco Canaro
Se dice de mí... se dice de mí... se dice de mí... Se dice que soy fiera, que camino a lo malevo, que soy chueca y que me muevo con un aire compadrón, que parezco Leguisamo, mi nariz es puntiaguda, la figura no me ayuda y mi boca es un buzón.
They say this of me… They say this of me… They say this of me… They say that I’m a beast, that I swagger like a tough, that I strut like I’m hot stuff with air…