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Argentine Tango School

“Malena” by Anibal Troilo y su Orquesta Típica with Francisco Fiorentino in vocals, 1942 (English translation).

"Malena", Argentine Tango music sheet cover.
Music: Lucio Demare. Lyrics: Homero Manzi.

Malena sings the tango like no other
and she puts her heart in every verse.

Her voice perfumes like suburban weeds,
Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.
Perhaps in her distant youth her lark’s voice
took on that dark back-alley tone,
or perhaps it was that romance that she speaks of
only when she saddens herself with alcohol.
Malena sings the tango with a shadowy voice,
Malena feels the pain of bandoneón.

Your song
has the chill of a last meeting…
your song
becomes bitter in the salt of memories…
I don’t know
if your voice is the bloom of a wound,
I just know
that the sound of your tangos, Malena,
makes me feel that you are better,
better than me.

Your eyes are dark as forgetfulness,
your lips are pressed together like rage,
your hand are two doves that feel a chill,
your veins pump the blood of the bandoneón.
Your tangos are abandoned creatures
that pass through the back-alley mud.
When all the doors are closed
and the ghosts of song weep,
Malena sings the tango with a broken voice,
Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.

Note: this translation was found by Suzanne Metcalfe in Thank you Suzanne for sharing it.

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