Malena Sheet Music

Malena was composed by Lucio Demare, on a poem by Homero Manzi, in 1941. It’s been frequently recorded, and re-issued. has a list, here.

Demare made two somewhat different vocal versions, the first in 1942 with Juan Carlos Miranda, and the second in 1951 with Hector Alvarado. In 1957 Demare, a pianist, recorded a solo piano album, and Malena is one of the several tangos he plays. Aníbal Troilo made two recordings also. One in 1942 with Francisco Fiorentino and the other in 1952 with Raul Beron. In both cases I think to 1940’s versions are the better ones. Osvaldo Pugliese recorded an instrumental version in 1974.

I synchronized the music and audio of Demare’s 1942 recording, here.

The piano sheet music as found at Todo Tango. (Translation follows below):

Translation by Derrick Del Pilar on his site Poesía de gotán

lyrics by Homero Manzi

Malena canta el tango como ninguna Malena sings the tango like no other
y en cada verso pone su corazón. and she puts her heart in every verse.
A yuyo del suburbio su voz perfuma, Her voice perfumes like suburban weeds,
Malena tiene pena de bandoneón. Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.
Tal vez allá en la infancia su voz de alondra Perhaps in her distant youth her lark’s voice
tomó ese tono oscuro de callejón, took on that dark back-alley tone,
o acaso aquel romance que sólo nombra or perhaps it was that romance that she speaks of
cuando se pone triste con el alcohol. only when she saddens herself with alcohol.
Malena canta el tango con voz de sombra, Malena sings the tango with a shadowy voice,
Malena tiene pena de bandoneón. Malena feels the pain of bandoneón.
Tu canción Your song
tiene el frío del último encuentro. has the chill of a last meeting…
Tu canción your song
se hace amarga en la sal del recuerdo. becomes bitter in the salt of memories…
Yo no sé I don’t know
si tu voz es la flor de una pena, if your voice is the bloom of a wound,
sólo sé que al rumor de tus tangos, I just know that the sound of your tangos,
Malena, Malena,
te siento más buena, makes me feel that you are better,
más buena que yo. better than me.
Tus ojos son oscuros como el olvido, Your eyes are dark as forgetfulness,
tus labios apretados como el rencor, your lips are pressed together like rage,
tus manos dos palomas que sienten frío, your hand are two doves that feel a chill,
tus venas tienen sangre de bandoneón. your veins pump the blood of the bandoneón.
Tus tangos son criaturas abandonadas Your tangos are abandoned creatures
que cruzan sobre el barro del callejón, that pass through the back-alley mud.
cuando todas las puertas están cerradas When all the doors are closed
y ladran los fantasmas de la canción. and the ghosts of song weep,
Malena canta el tango con voz quebrada, Malena sings the tango with a broken voice,
Malena tiene pena de bandoneón. Malena feels the pain of the bandoneón.

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