Saturday, 16 February 2008

Bless Babel

I have a real affection for colleagues who conduct all their phone conversations with spouses, lovers, smelly housemates, wedding photographers, attention-seeking mothers-in-law, and people they go to the pub with, exclusively in Gujarati, Finnish or Afrikaans.

I can just about puzzle out written Spanish in a newspaper - if schoolgirl Italian doesn't give a clue, schoolgirl French or Latin will - but even if I become fluent in Spanish, tango lyrics are so slangy and obscure that I'm unlikely to understand them unless I go and look them up.

No bad thing. The tune of Por una Cabeza makes me cry. When I looked up the title ("by a head") I decided not to pursue the lyrics further. An extended whinge about fast women and slow horses is not something I'm going to relate to sympathetically; my reaction is "you're a pillock, grow up;" much better just listen to the music.


Anonymous said...

I am on the lookout for a good place for tango lyrics (and translations where possible) .. so far I've found the following but the don't have all the classics ...

The Masked Tanguerita said...

Someone from my local milongas told me that it was about how the man always bets on the same horse even if they lose, and how he always bets on woman even if they break his heart. He compares his addiction to horse gambling to his attraction to women.