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Tango Poetry Sunday, 12 February 2017 print

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Did you know the lyrics of some tangos are as emotionally charged as the music itself?

Often speaking of helpless love, lost youth and times past, tango lyrics are heavy with nostalgia, melancholy and even poetry.

Following a Beginners class last week, an Argentine student asked me to translate a tango for a classmate. She happened to share a name with the title of the song: Marion. One of my all time favourite tangos in fact.

As I focused on giving the best on-the-spot translation I could, I was struck by the loveliness of the lyrics. And when I looked up I wasn’t very surprised to see that her eyes had welled up with tears. “Let’s stop now” I suggested, “before we all start crying!”

So I felt inspired to share the lyrics with you, to give you just a little taste of the mood of the tangos you are listening to. The beauty of the poetry is inevitably lost in translation but the sentiment holds true.

Evoking the memory

My heart starts to dream again

And the dream was you, Marion

Love of my youth

That is not forgotten

The shadows of yesterday

With the sadness of a song

Will always say to me: Marion

Marion

I know that at your side I was happy

When I gave you my heart

In old Paris

I remember

The grief of goodbye

And the sky

Marion

Distant love that I left

I want you to know, my heart

That I never forgot you.

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