Lyrics by Homero Manzi (Homero Nicolás Manzione Prestera).
Music by Lucio Demare.

You're listening to La Orquestra de Lucio Demare with Juan Carlos Miranda on vocals.

Malena tells the story of a man listening to a woman sing the tango. He is touched by the intense feeling he hears in her voice, and he imagines that she must have suffered deeply to have such a voice. He recognizes the beauty in her pain. As he describes how the broken woman sings her sorrow he creates an image destined to become one of the most famous romantic tango icons: Malena - the beautiful, destroyed woman singing the pain of the tango.

The character Manzi created when he wrote Malena has taken on a life of it's own. Malena's name is often mentioned in the lyrics of tangos that followed, testament that her mythic figure is inseparable from the story of tango itself. There is a movement in Argentina to have March 6th declared as the Dia de Malenas, and tango historians still debate over who Malena really was.


Malena canta el tango como ninguna
y en cada verso pone su corazón.
A yuyo de suberbio su voz perfuma.
Malena tiene pena de bandoneón.
Tal vez allá, en la infancia, su voz de alondra
tomó ese tono obscuro de callejón;
o acaso aquel romance que sólo nombra
cuando se pone triste con el alcohol . . .
Malena canta el tango con voz de sombra;
Malena tiene pena de bandoneón.

Tu canción
tiene el frío del último encuentro.
Tu canción
se hace amarga en la sal del recuerdo.
Yo no sé
si tu voz es la flor de una pena;
sólo sé
que al rumor de tus tangos, Malena,
te siento más buena,
más buena que yo.

Tus ojos son obscuros como el olvido;
tus labios, apretados como el rencor;
tus manos, dos palomos que sienten frío;
tus venas tienen sangre de bandoneón . . .
Tus tango son criaturas abandonadas
que cruzan sobre el barro del callejón
cuando todas las puertas están cerradas
y ladran los fantasmas de la cancion.
Malena canta el tango con voz quebrada;
Malena tiene pena de bandoneón.

Malena sings the tango like no one else
and into each verse she pours her heart.
Her voice is perfumed with the weeds of the slum.
Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.
Perhaps there, in her childhood, her lark's voice
filled with that dark tone of the back alley;
or maybe that romance is only mentioned
when she becomes sad with alcohol . . .
Malena sings the tango with a shadowed voice;
Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.

Your song
has the coldness of a last encounter.
Your song
is bitter with a salty memory.
I don't know
if your voice is the bloom of sorrow;
I only know
that in the murmur of your tangos, Malena,
I feel you are better,
much better than I.

Your eyes are dark like forgetfulness;
your lips, pressed tight with rancor;
your hands, two doves that suffer the cold:
your veins have the blood of the bandoneón . . .
Your tangos are abandoned creatures
that cross over the mud of a back alley
when all the doors are closed
and the ghosts of the song howl.
Malena sings the tango with a broken voice;
Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.

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