"Betty la fea" and the milonga
"Se dice de mí".
ucas Demare, Lucio´s younger brother, became friends with Francisco Canaro when he was only fifteen years old, in Paris. Although his first devotion was music -he studied with Pedro Maffia and he worked as bandoneonist with Manuel Pizarro-, his true vocation was filmmaking.
At his time of bandoneonist in the orchestra of the trio Irusta-Fugazot-Demare he appeared on the Spanish movies "Boliche" (1932) and as singer in "La Millona" (1937).
On his comeback to Buenos Aires he met again maestro Canaro, already owner the film studio "Río de la Plata". Soon later, "Pirincho" allowed him to direct the movie "Dos amigos y un amor" (1938).
In 1951, for the same company he released the film "Guacho" and in 1955, "Mercado de Abasto". On this latter film Tita Merello sings Francisco Canaro's milonga with lyrics by Ivo Pelay "Se dice de mí", a song that would identify her forever and that she herself recorded with the Canaro orchestra a little before with wide acclaim.
The first recording of this milonga was also made by Canaro with Carlos Roldán on vocals, on a recording made on May 19, 1943 and, curiously, the original lyrics were written to be sung by a man because the protagonist was of the male sex.
Se dice de mí (Male version)
Se dice de mí...
Si miro a Renée,
Yo se que muchas que desprecian,
Si fiero soy,
Y no dirán que me engrupí
Tita's rendition was so remarkable, that even though other singers dared, none even came close to the interpretative and emotional quality of her rendition.
Almost fifty years were needed for the reissue of that popular hit, but neither in that style of interpretation nor by that female singer, but by a soup opera in the Colombian television with a big popularity in all the world, "Yo soy Betty, la fea".
As a matter of fact, the musical theme of the soup opera is this number sung by the Bogotan singer Yolanda Rayo, with milonga beat and salsa beat. The excuse is the coincidence of the apparent ugliness of the character in the song with the main character played by the actress Ana María Orozco.
The rendition of this sensual and beautiful Yolanda Rayo is pleasant and correct, with the great merit of attracting a lot of young people to our popular music.
Her rendition is similar to the one sung by Merello, with a few minor changes.
Se dice de mí (version of the soup opera)
Se dice de mí...
Si charlo con Luis,
Yo sé que hay muchos
Si fea soy
Carlos Roldán, Francisco Canaro Orchestra(05/19/43)