Tango Tales: all about Argentine Tango – modern, Golden Age, electronico, alternative

Interview with singer Maria Volonte, a winner of Gardel Prize and Latin Grammy nominee

Maria Volonte – audio.

Maria Volonte became a tango singer in the early 80s, almost by accident. Currently she is one of the best known tango singers in Argentina: in 2007 she was inducted into Tango Hall of Fame. Her previous album Fuimos was awarded Gardel Prize and nominated for Latin Grammy in USA. Currently she divides her residence between Buenos Aires and San Francisco.

Interview was recorded via phone on October 3, 2008.

Maria Volonte on singing tango:

Few Argentine inventions have expressed and defined us to the world with such
clarity as tango. Like other music that I discovered back then, its words and
melodies have cradled me since my childhood.

Even so, it was only as I began to live and love that I began to understand
the secret wisdom and profound revelations within tango. In this curious blend
of unmistakable melodies, romantic verses and ferocious ironies, are mixed
truths both sweet and cruel, essential keys to our identity as a country: our
hybrid origins, our obvious melancholy, our generosity at the moment of
surrender, the sharp intelligence, the creative fervor.

Purchase MP3 version from Amazon.com:


Sudestada: letter from Maria & lyrics in English

I live in a house that looks to the river.

Amid fiery suns and icy moons, amid furies of waves and serene afternoons,
I learned to live with storms, those that came from outside my window and those
that seethed within me. I discovered happily and painfully the eternal ebb and
flow that governs everything. I learned to open my arms to the one who came from
the river and to open them again when it was time to let him go.

Water, wind and sky, like life itself, brought me things and took them
away. In the end they were far more generous with me than cruel. No matter how
much the storms shook my house, I always had the sanctuary of a song.

All I have seen, all I dreamed, all I lived, all I saved and all I lost,
resides in these beloved songs. Looking to the river, I offer them to you with
my soul and my voice.


1. María (4:52)

(Aníbal Troilo; Cátulo Castillo)

Tango, 1945

Your name was Maria

Perhaps you were the echo of a forgotten song

But a long, long time ago

You were deeply mine

On a sad landscape

Exhausted by love

Autumn brought you

Your poor little hat and your worn brown overcoat

Soaked in agony

You were like the street of melancholy

Raining in my heart


In the shadows of my apartment

It is you footsteps that return


It is your voice, small and sad

On the day you said

there is nothing left between us


The most deeply mine

The one beyond reach

If only you would return one morning

Along the streets of farewell

Your absent eyes were ports

That tended your horizons full of dreams

And the silence of flowers

But your good hands

Stained by love

Came back to calm my fever

Autumn brought you

Your name was Maria

And I never knew anything

Of your unhappy end

If you were like the landscape of melancholy

That rained and rained on the grey streets

2. Parte del Juego (3:29)

(composed by María Volonté)

Your love

Makes me feel more alive each day

Even if I die every time that you leave

Fear is part of the game of loving again

Dreaming again

And letting that desire fly again

Your love

Cures the wounds of my solitude

No matter if they star bleeding

When you go away

Fear is part of the game of loving again

Dreaming again

And letting that desire fly again

3. Pequeña (Little One) (3:52)

(music: Osmar Maderna; lyrics: Homero Expósito)


Where the river ends and the moon begins

Where no one has reached never will

Where the flowering verses play by my side

I have a nest of feathers and a song of love

You, whose eyes are filled with light

And whose hands are moist with anxiousness

On the wings of your fantasy

You have returned me to the days

Of my youth

Little one

I call you Little One

I say Little One

With all my voice

My dream

That I dream for you

Waits for you, Little One

With this song

The moon

What does the moon know

Of the sweet fortune

To love like I do

My dream

That I dream for you

Waits for you,

little one of my heart

I have waited for a long time

And I will wait much longer

I love you so much that you must one day come

It is not possible that I have the moon and the flower

And not your kisses filled with love

Where the river ends and the moon begins

Where no one has reached and never will

On the wings of your fantasy

You will be the happiness of my solitude

4. No sé como olvidar (3:33)

(music: Roberto ”Caracol” Paviotti; lyrics: María Volonté)

We said “Goodbye”

Then we cried

There is no consolation, no forgetting

I don’t know how to forget

Your smile in the café

Confessing your dreams

So many things to give

So much fear of love

And that way of moving

With your body wanting to be possessed

I don’t know how to forget

Your courage as you knocked

At my closed door

Your anxiousness that knew how to wait

Your kiss in the morning

And your scent on my pillow

We said “Goodbye”

Then we cried

There is no consolation, no forgetting

I don’t know how to forget

Your gift for discovering

My most secret pain

Your love without doubt

Your tenderness in silence

And the power of your hands

To calm any fire

I don’t know how to forget

That I don’t know how to breathe

Without your love and your embrace

How to begin again

If I can’t hear

Your voice or your footsteps

We said “Goodbye”

We cried

… only silence remains
5. Sauce Grande (2:42)

(music and lyrics by María Volonté)

The moon saw you leave

I am furious with her

Because she never wanted to tell me

Which way you went

I spoke to the black wind

That blows in the sand

Nor did he want to show me

How to erase the pain

Barefoot I crossed the plains

Trembling, I reached the river

I kissed your shadow in the water

And my soul was chilled to its core

My voice is so alone

I can’t lose it crying

Singing I found your love

So singing I will go on my way

I went to ask the ocean

Where to the promises go?

The froth only returned

the echo of my sadness

What is it about love

That you can’t ever forget?

First it cures your pain

Then it gives you the wound

That I suffer this way

Is my fault, I confess

You only asked for warmth

But I gave you my life in a kiss

My voice is so alone

I can’t lose it crying

Singing I found your love

So singing I will go on my way

6. La Flor de la Canela (4:00)

(Chabuca Granda)

Let me tell you, my friend from Lima

Let me tell you of the glory

Of the fantasy that the memory

of the old bridge, the river and line of trees brings to me

Let me tell you, my friend from Lima

While memory still has its perfume

While the old bridge, the river and the trees

Still thrive in my dreams

Jazmin in her hair and roses on her face

The Cinnamon Flower walked with grace

Spreading perfume and scent of seeds and bread

From her breast

From the bridge to the tree-lined avenue

Along the path that shudders

To the rhythm of her hips

She collects the laughter of the breeze

And spreads it all to the wind

From the bridge to the tree-lined avenue

Let me tell you, friend from Lima

Ah! Let me tell you my thoughts

And let’s see if you wake from your sleep,

The sleep that hides your feelings

Breathe of the scent of the Cinnamon Flower

Embellished with jazmin that celebrates her beauty

Carpet with flowers the bridge and the tree-lined avenue

And the river will accompany her passage on the path

7. Postales (3:13)

(music and lyrics by Raúl Carnota)


Flowers in a garden

Thievery without loot

And an April landscape

Wind from the South

Final night

Sad dawn

Paper dreams

Train stations

Fleeting kisses

Old postcards

Pieces of life

Without voice or color

Lit from behind

Stupid postcards

Worn out photos

Filling the attic

As in a ritual

Grey lamps

Shadow of pain

Hollow, without love



8. Los Mareados (3:30)

(J.C. Cobián; Enrique Cadícamo)


as if lit up,

I found you drinking,

pretty and ill-fated;

You were drinking,

and in the din of the champagne

you laughed crazily,

so as not to cry


I felt at finding you

because looking at you

I saw your eyes


with an electric fire,

your beautiful eyes

that I adored so much.

Tonight, my friend,

we will get drunk;

I don’t care if they laugh

and call us “drugged.”

Everyone has their sorrows

and we have ours.

Tonight we will drink

because we won’t ever

see each other again…

Today you will enter my past,

the past of my life.

My wounded soul bears three burdens:

Love, Regret, Pain.

Today you’ll enter my past,

today we’ll follow new paths.

Our love has been great

and, yet, ay!

look how little is left!

9. Naranjo en Flor (Orange Tree in Bloom) (4:52)

(Virgilio Expósito; Homero Expósito)

She was softer than water,

… than the soft water,

She was fresher than the river,

Orange tree in bloom

In that summer street,

forgotten street,

She left a piece of her life

and then she left…

First, you have to know how to suffer,

then how to love, then how to depart,

and in the end live without thinking

Perfume of orange blossoms,

Vain promises of love

that escaped in the wind…

Afterwards? What does afterwards matter?

All my life is a yesterday

that holds me in my past,

Eternal and ancient youth

that has left me broken

like a bird without light

What did my hands do?

What have they done

to leave in my chest

with so much pain?

Pain of an old grove,

song of a street corner

with a piece of life

Orange tree in bloom

10. Candombe Bailador (3:01)

(Daniel Maza; María Volonté)

I am like my song

A little bit from everywhere

And walking, I learned to not regret the past

Don’t fear living without direction,

Turning, turning in vain

Because with your hand in mine

I always know where to go

The doors of my heart

I wear them bravely flung wide open

That’s how your love found me

That’s how one day the pain went away

And even though you have your doubts

Together, we will dance

Follow me

Hold onto my hips

Don’t think, dance

At home or on the street

Follow my beat

Come dance life with me

If we are together, my love,

No one can stop us


Special Thanx

Kevin Footer of Intrepid Patrol artistic agency for arranging the interview


Maria Volonte

February 25th, 2013
Genre(s): Modern Tango
Artist: Published as: notes about tango.