Tango Lyrics with english translation (Planet Tango, USA)
More than 1000 (!) Tango Lyrics on the Gardel Server.
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Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 10:09:50 -0800 From: TangoMan Subject: The making of Malena A recent posting by Tom Stermitz brought up the subject of Tango Malena, a classic piece of poetry by Homero Manzi and one of the few tangos which seems to have been written with a woman's perspective in mind. Azucena Maizani was the first to sing it and record it in 1942. Many thought that she had been Manzi's inspiring muse but the story goes something like this: Elena Tortolero, the daughter of natives from Andalucia in Spain, was born in Argentina but grew up in Brazil because her father was named to head the Spanish diplomatic office in Porto Alegre. She acquired a highly polished bilingual education in Spanish and Portuguese and she also developed a natural inclination for singing internationally popular songs. She became a professional singer, known as Helena de Toledo. Porto Alegre, being the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, shares many regional melodies that are close to the Argentine tunes heard on the other side of the border. So it wasn't strange that Helena introduced the Tango to her repertoire. Homero Manzi (1907-1951), a fine Argentine poet who seldom left the boundaries of the Argentine soil, had visited several Latin American countries to attend conferences and give lectures on one of his favorite subjects: nationalism and the rights of authors and composers to protect their intellectual work. Making a stop in Brazil, Manzi happened to be one night in the audience of a night club where he heard Helena sing. Far from Buenos Aires, Manzi was inspired by the emotional discovery of the music of Buenos Aires in a foreign environment. The unusual physical and spiritual authenticity of Helena's delivery touched him. On the trip back to Buenos Aires he jotted down the verses describing Helena, whom he had renamed Malena. Once Homero Manzi completed the literary structure of the song, he delivered it to Lucio Demare, who tagged a catchy tune to it and turned over to Anibal Troilo. Pichuco premiered it during the 1942 carnaval season, with the voice of Fiorentino. Helena de Toledo moved from Brazil to Cuba. There she met singer Genaro Salinas They fell in love and they got married. Sharing a love for life and art, they traveled together. It is in Mexico where Helena first hears "her Tango" and finds out about the circumstances that provoked its creation. The legend says that, feeling overwhelmed by the image cast from the verses, Helena decided to give up singing. So "Malena" became Elena Tortolero de Salinas. Eventually she and her husband returned to Buenos Aires where they set up residence. Genaro continued touring Latin America, while she began to establish herself as an artistic agent. In 1957 while on tour, Genaro tragically died in Caracas, Venezuela. Two years later on a business trip to the Republic Oriental of Uruguay, Elena passed away. Close friends affirm that she never laid claims to being the Malena of the Tango. She was a woman that Buenos Aires got to know as a common human being, with a name and surname alien to the simple name that poet Homero Manzi gave her to transform her, in a moment of inspiration, into a melodic princess on peoples' lips. People never knew nor will ever know how she sang. Tangazos, TangoMan ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Visit Planet Tango at: http://www.hooked.net/~tangoman Check out the new Tango Lyrics page at http://www.hooked.net/~tangoman/letras.htm ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++top of page
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Garrit Fleischmann Feb.97