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Whirlwinds are, at least in English, an enduring if not timeworn metaphor. There are whirlwind romances. Evildoers sow the wind and reap them. Strong personalities enter the room like them. They can be dust devils or waterspouts or carry Dorothy to Oz. In Spanish, the same word, remolino, applies to a maelstrom as well as to the atmospheric variety (the reference to “este viento” puts that meaning aside in these lyrics). John recited, deejay Meg Farrell began the next tanda with the Orquesta Francini-Pontier version, and Los Chulos (Carlita Domingue and Chulo Suffino) followed later in the evening with the dance show.

Remolino (1946)

Letra de José Rótulo

Música de Alfredo De Angelis


Whirlwind (1946)

Lyrics by José Rótulo, trans. J. Osburn

Music by Alfredo De Angelis


Vivo sin saber cómo puedo resistir
Esta fiebre que se aferra a tu querer.
Son remolinos con tu nombre y mi locura,
Con tu risa y mi amargura, que torturan mi vivir.
Quiero no querer lo que sufro por vencer
Este viento de tristeza y soledad.
Y, nuevamente, me aprisiona el remolino
Con tu sombra, con mi sino, sin salvación.


I live without my knowing how I can resist

This unabating fever that seizes me with your love.

They are whirlwinds swirling, with your name and my craziness,

With your smile and my bitterness, in whose winds I contort and twist.

I want no love that I suffer only to vanquish

That wind of unhappiness and loneliness.

And, once again, the whirlwind seizes me, and imprisons me

With your shadow, and my fate, without deliverance.


Tu voz...
Vuelvo a escuchar tu voz.
Vuelves en el adiós,
Y ¿para qué te quiero así?
Y ¿para qué?
Si tu querer,
Solo dejó mi corazón,
Sin su latir,
Sin ilusión.
Tu voz...
Vuelvo a escuchar tu voz.
Vuelves en el adiós
Y el remolino
Con tu risa y mi rencor
Y tu reír y mi dolor,
Y yo que di todo mi amor.


Your voice…

Once again I can hear your voice.

Once again the adiós.

And why is it I love you that way?

And what's it for?

And if your love,

Had at least left me with my heart,

Without its beat,

Dreams fallen apart.

Your voice…

Once again I can hear your voice.

Once again an adiós

And this feverish whirlwind

With your laughter and my rancor,

And your wry smiles and my torture,

And I who loved you from the core.


Di mi corazón sin medir por qué lo di
Y el amor me regaló su desamor.
Es el castigo que me da tanta bonanza
Y me roba la esperanza de seguir mirándote.
Justo y pecador todo di y no pedí
Nada más que la alegría de un adiós.
Y voy sufriendo como sufre el que ha pecado
Porque quise y he soñado tu redención.*


*Final verse not sung in the most familiar versions.

I gave my heart without figuring why I gave it

And all love gave me in return was its heartbreak.

It is a punishment inflicted by all I hoped for

Yet robs me of the hope that I will continue seeing you.

I, a just and total sinner, gave and did not ask

Any more than the happiness of an adiós.

And I go on suffering as one who has sinned suffers,

Because I loved and have dreamed that by you I’d be redeemed.



As often happens in tango, there is a contrast between the tumult of the lyrics and the delicacy of the music, as though melody and dance exist to tame the meteorology of the passions:

And the version played at Falucho:


The chorus of this unusual letra stands at the center of a poetic whirlwind, a place of poetic predictability between the densely packed stanzas, a core of verse between two blocks of type. Whirlwinds are caused by the violent interplay of opposing forces, a change in air pressure to begin, then higher and lower altitude winds coming into conflict. In Remolino, the forces are passionate and emotional rather than atmospheric: the loved one’s name, smile, and shadow against the singer’s craziness, bitterness, and fate; the contrast of hope and suffering in the second stanza; in the chorus—or estribillo—is found the familiarity of an ordered rhyme.

--John Osburn