"Idilio Trunco"
"End of the Affair"

This is one of the greatest of the great Castillo valses. I remember some milongueros singing along with it at a party a few years ago, and Miguel Balbi, who sings tango in clubs, kept repeating the last line: "No hay NADA entre nosotros... ANDATE por favor!"

They were trying to match the sharpness and emotion of Castillo's voice, and they kept shaking their heads and laughing at how difficult it was. The words are about a man who has absolutely reached his limit with a woman. He doesn't pull any punches, and his message is clear:  "I'm finished with you... understand? I'm sick of your games. You've hurt me for the last time, so... get out of here!!"

Ernesto Delgado and Miguelito kept marveling at the difficulty of staying with Castillo, and also chuckling at the half funny, half tragic lyrics. I mean, it is tragic—but then, most of us have been there—and we lived through it. So from the distance of a few years, it's possible to see a touch of humor in the way Castillo hammers out that last line:


IDILIO TRUNCO, Balcarce con Castillo


Go away...
don’t come here begging;
bringing back memories
of our tragic affair.

The only thing you'll find here
are the ruins of a love
that was the happiest thing
I ever had.

Don't come back.
Your begging and your tears
aren't going to erase
the betrayal you left in my soul.

I can forgive the meanness
and the treachery inside you—
but don't ever forget, woman,
that I died for you.

Why have you come?
Can't you see that I'm sick
from all the suffering
caused by your love?

Can't you see my pain?
Everything is finished.
There's nothing between us...
so please... just get out of here!

no vengas con tus súplicas
a recordar las horas
de aquel idilio trágico.

Que sólo has de encontrar aquí
las ruinas de un amor
que fue la dicha más feliz
que yo por vos acaricié.

No vuelvas.
Tus ruegos y tus lágrimas
no han de borrar de mi alma
tu acción que ha sido pérfida.

Te puedo perdonar el mal
que halle de tu traición en vos,
pero no olvidarás, mujer,
que he muerto para vos.

¿A qué has venido?
¿No ves que estoy enfermo
de tanto haber sufrido
por culpa de tu amor?

¿No ves se va mi pena?
Ya todo ha terminado.
No hay nada entre nosotros...
¡Andate, por favor!


"Andate" is a strong word in castellano. In Argentina, you would normally say, "Deberías irte"  ("You should go"). Andate is like saying, "Beat it!" or "Hit the road!"  It's something you might yell at a dog trespassing in your yard.

Like all the great tango singers, Castillo is also an actor. He begins relatively calmly, but as he tells his story, he begins to get worked up. The "Andate" at the beginning is noticeably different from the one at the end, as he moves from indignation, into something approaching rage. I really love the energy and passion in this vals. Castillo is a fantastic singer. We know a good milonguero (Gerardo Quiroz) who will only dance to valses if they're sung by Castillo.

After watching Miguel and Ernesto, I've tried to sing along with Castillo and Echagüe to some of the fast tangos. I'm neither a singer, nor a native speaker, so it's just for fun—but it's still an interesting exercise. If you try it, you'll get some idea of how difficult it is to sing tango. I'm not able to make may mouth move fast enough to keep up with the music, and Castillo's cadences are very complicated. I still can't figure out how he manages to squeeze in all the words at the end of this vals and still finish with the orchestra.

For me, great valses like this one are at the very pinnacle of tango dancing. Listen to the totality of the music, and the way Castillo's voice soars and plays around the cadence. This one has about 80 strong beats per minute, with two weak beats squeezed in between. It's super fast, but it’s not staccato (it doesn’t have a lot of sharp, distinct notes). Like most of the best valses, the cadence is fast and clear, but everything still flows forward smoothly... so there’s really only one way to express it: Your body needs to keep moving and turning, while your feet express the compás by hitting some of the very fast weak beats.

We'll discuss this a lot more and give examples in Chapters 5 & 6, but for now, the thing to remember is that the “park and perform” tango they sell in workshops has nothing to do with this music. This vals is a round hole—and stunts like volcadas and sacadas are square pegs. They won't fit.