Sunday, 20 July 2008

Damn it, what was that all about?

Ask anyone in the tango scene what got them interested in dancing tango and "the music" will usually feature fairly prominently in the answer. Without doubt, the music of tango, vals and milonga often creates strong emotional responses.

But what of the lyrics? They were often by famous Argentine poets. Without them we're only getting part of the rich experience of tango. And because of Lunfardo, the dialect of the Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires), sometimes the lyrics are not even understood by Spanish speakers. Fortunately, there are some dedicated souls out there, willing to open up this dimension to us all. Alberto Paz of Planet Tango is gradually adding the English translations to his website. In many cases, you can even listen to the music while you read! Fans of Carlos Gardel will notice that swearing never to gamble again at the races in Por una cabeza is merely a metaphor for another game of chance.

A quick word of caution: for the sake of your fellow tangueros, just limit your singing aloud to the shower!

Pat.

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