Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bakery Tango

On Tuesday, Tango appeared unexpectedly. The sky had drizzled all day, I needed to be in a better mood, and so I headed for Gideon's, the neighborhood bakery where pastries are half price after 4:30.  From the 1950's sign, to the round formica tables, and the types of pastries (cherry danishes, chocolate rugelach, rainbow sprinkle sugar cookies), Gideon's is old-fashioned. Which suits the elderly neighborhood socialites. That day, there were two long-time girlfriends flirting with a tall white-haired man smartly dressed in a wool jacket and navy trousers. You keep getting better looking all the time, one of the women said. The man looked embarrassed, but pleased.  He smiled, absorbing the compliment. In a corner opposite them sat Tango, looking nonchalant and dipping a French cruller in his afternoon pick-me-up coffee. I stopped dead and blurted, Tango, what are you doing here?! Nice to see you, too, Tango replied. It's been awhile, I said dumbly, trying to disguise the truth: Tango was a sight for sore eyes. From the low tech sound system (the boom box behind the counter) played a fancied-up Julio Iglesias version of an old Carlos Gardel tango: El Dia Que Me Quieras (The Day When You Will Love Me). Tango and I looked at each other with unspoken understanding, that song weaving our thoughts together. Are we back on? Tango asked.  I nodded.

I carried that song with me for more than a day.  I found the lyrics on the Argentine Ministry of Education website. Written in the future tense, the lyrics are tinged with sadness and longing, but ultimately full of hope: the day when you will love me, the roses will dress up in celebration (will that day ever arrive?), the day when you will love me, there will only be harmony (yes, I'm sure that day will come), the day when you will love me there will be no more pain (I have hope, that day will arrive sometime soon...) However others might complicate matters by saying that tango is life, love, relationship, art, Argentine national identity, whatever, I read those lyrics and thought it was something easier. Some say that tango is also (and simply) a language, a dialogue, a conversation of connection between two people.  Though I am still a tango novice, I tend to agree with this view, and venture to add that tango is also poetry (dear to my heart). Below is a link to the song and the lyrics in Spanish (without accents, as I can't figure out how to insert them in this dag-blasted blogger program), with my own English translation (hopefully not too terribly flawed):

El Dia Que Me Quieras-- Tango by Carlos Gardel

El Dia Que Me Quieras (1935)             The Day When You Will Love Me

Musica Carlos Gardel                           Music Carlos Gardel

Letra Alfredo Le Pera                           Lyrics Alfredo Le Pera

Acaricia me ensueno                             The soft murmur of your breath

el suave murmullo                                  Caresses my dreams.

de tu suspirar.                                        How life is full of laughter

Como rie la vida                                    When your black eyes
                                                                       desire to look on me.
si tus ojos negros                                   When it is mine
                                                                       the shelter of your laughter
me quieren mirar.                                   lifts me up like a song.

Y si es mio el amparo                            It heals my wounds,
    de tu risa leve
que es como un cantar,                            Everything, everything
                                                                    is forgotten.
ella aquieta mi herida,

todo, todo se olvida.

El dia que me quieras                                The day when you
                                                                        will love me
la rosa que engalana                                  The rose that beautifies all

se vestira de fiesta                                     will dress in its finest
                                                                        for the celebration.
con su mejor color.                                   And the church bells will ring

Y al viento las campanas                           Saying that you
                                                                     are already mine
diran que ya eres mia                                And the fountains will
                                                                     sing madly about our love.
y locas las fontanas                             

se contaran su amor.

La noche que me quieras                      The night when you
                                                                   will love me
desde el azul del cielo,                          The jealous stars

las estrellas celosas                                From the blue sky above

nos miraran pasar.                                  Will watch us pass by.

Y un rayo mysterioso                              And a mysterious moonbeam

hara nido en tu pelo,                               Will nest in your hair,

luciernaga curiosa que veras                    Like a curious glow-worm
                                                                      who will see
que eres mi consuelo                              That you console me.

El dia que me quieras                              The day when you
                                                                     will love me
no habra mas                                          There will be
    que armonia                                             nothing but harmony               
sera clara la aurora                                   The dawn will be clear

y alegre el manantial.                                And the spring will
                                                                       bubble happily.
Traera quieta la brisa                               The quiet breeze will

rumor de melodia.                                     murmur with melody.

Y nos daran las fuentes                             And the fountains
                                                                      will sing for us
su canto de crystal                                    in their crystalline voices.

El dia que me quieras                                The day when you
                                                                        will love me
endulzaran sus cuerdas                              The singing birds

el pajaro cantor.                                        Will sweeten their chords.

Florecera la vida,                                      Life will bloom,

no existira el dolor.                                    Pain will not exist.

La noche que me quieras                          The night when you
                                                                          will love me
desde el azul del cielo,                               The jealous stars

las estrellas celosas                                    From the blue sky above

nos miraran pasar.                                     Will watch us pass by.

Y un rayo mysterioso                                And a mysterious moonbeam

hara nido en tu pelo.                                  will nest in your hair.

Luciernaga curiosa que veras                     Like a curious glow-worm
                                                                          who will see
que eres mi consuelo.                                That you console me.

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