Naranjo en flor (1944)
Letra de Homero Expósito
Musica de Virgilio Expósito
Orange Tree in Bloom (1944)
Lyrics by Homero Expósito, trans. J. Osburn
Music by Virgilio Expósito
Era más blanda que el agua
She was softer than the water,
Than the purest water,
More refreshing than the river,
An orange tree in bloom,
And on that lovely street of summer,
Street gone forever,
She left a piece of what life is
And went her way.
Primero hay que saber sufrir,
At first you must know how to suffer,
And then to love, then release her,
In the end to move on without thinking.
The scent of an orange tree in bloom,
The vows and promises of a love,
Hopeless and vain, escaped on the wind.
Después, ¿qué importa del después?
Toda mi vida es el ayer
And then—does it matter what comes then?
All of my life is a yesterday,
An unageing past that detains me,
A youth that is old and eternal,
That has left me outcast and cowardly,
Scared as a bird deprived of light.
Que le habrán hecho mis manos?
What is it I’ve made with my own hands?
What is it I have done,
Leaving a hurt that can’t be undone,
So great a pain?
The pain of an old tree-lined street is
Now this song of the corner,
With a piece of what life is,
An orange tree in bloom.
Anibal Troilo's version with the singer Floreal Ruiz premiered in November of 1944:
Naranjo en flor is better known as a canción than a track for dancing, as Roberto Goyeneche's success with the song illustrated in later decades. But even the Goyeneche is danceable, as Osvaldo Zotto and Lorena Ermocida proved at Salón Canning in 2005:
Homero Expósito is known as one of the great lyricists, charting the course with Naranjo en flor for a renovation of tango poetry. Translating these delicate but powerful lyrics brought home how remarkable they are. The lyricist's craft is invisible and the union with his brother's music equally so; there is no tension between the two. Yet the words are speakable. Goyeneche's version is as much Sprechgesang or the diseur as full-throated song. The underlying musical traits—rhythm and pitch, tension and release, and above all, melody—merge with the poetic. They are there for singer or monologist, as the case may be, so long as they are not forgotten.