Ricardo García Blaya

The garden of tango

hrough our continuous research of sheet music copies and recordings we have found an interesting number of pieces with titles connected with flowers. There are tangos, waltzes, some milongas and other genres of the tango universe.

As usual, we’ve tried to deeply read the sheet music copies to find traces of the perfumed inspiring cause.

The paths of investigation we follow are the dedication, the illustration and, when possible, the lyrics.

In general, we turned out losers, in most cases it is impossible to know the reason of the titles.

However, we recognize some characters who are paid homage by the authors and we enjoy the illustrations. Some of them display a touching beauty.

As for the recordings, plainly reading the disc labels is a vain effort and from them we get scarce clues. We then only have in our hands the titles of the songs and the lyrics we can hear. But the latter not always are complete and in many cases they do not exist.

This failure does not prevent us from discovering the different meanings given to the word “flower”. In most cases there is a reference to the different varieties of flowers (“La violeta” (a violet), “Flor de cardo” (thistle flower), “Flor de noche” (night flower)), in others, to the material they are made of (“Flor de trapo” (cloth flower), “Flor de oro” (gold flower)) and, lastly, as a way of stressing the quality or the beauty of something or someone (“Flor de amigo” (quite a friend), “Flor de milonga” (extraordinary milonga), “Flor de rea”(what a bitch!).

Being flowers some of the gifts men usually offer to women, to our surprise we do not find dedications to girls, except for two cases.

Below there is a detail of the sheet music titles, their dedications and some of their renditions.

Flor criolla”, tango by Emilio Sassenus. «Dedicated to Lieutenant General Don Rufino Ortega».

Flor de cardo (A ella le gusta)”, tango by Samuel Castriota, «Dedicated to the honorable Mr. Vicente H. Madero». Acoustic disc by Gardel in 1925.

Flor de cardo”, tango by Miguel Correa and lyrics by Eugenio Cárdenas.

Flor de damasco”, tango by Arnaldo Barsanti, «To my dear friends Ortelli Bros». No recordings.

Flor de durazno”, waltz by Francisco Martino. No recordings.

“Flor de Durazno”, tango by Ángel Revide and lyrics by Lucía Mario. «Lovingly dedicated to Mr. G. Martínez Zuviría». No recordings.

Flor de fango”, tango by Augusto Gentile, «To our friends Mrs. C. Gardel and J. Razzano». Recorded by Gardel in 1919 and later by many other interpreters.

“Flor de fango [c]”, tango with same name as the above one, by Ángel Greatti and Alejandro J. M. Lauros. «Dedicated to my dear friend Juan Benvenuto».

“Flor de flor”, tango, by Julio De Caro, «I dedicate this sincere memory to General don Juan D. Perón and his wife doña María Eva Duarte de Perón, lovingly». No recordings.

Flor de lino”, waltz by Héctor Stamponi and Homero Expósito. Possibly, one of the waltzes most recorded lately. Floreal Ruiz’s rendition with Aníbal Troilo in 1947 is unsurpassable.

Flor de lis”, waltz by Pascual De Gullo, «To my friend Pío J. Fernández». Recorded by Enrique Rodríguez with Armando Moreno in 1944.

"Flor de lodo", tango by Emilio González and words by Fernando González; «To the nice and young lady Elisa Ceperis, with love».

Flor de milonga”, tango by Abel Bedrune and Emilio Magaldi, «Dedicated to Dr. J. A. Martínez Cilveti, a gentleman and great friend». No recordings.

“Flor de noche”, tango by Emilio De Caro and Pedro Laurenz. A rendering by the Julio De Caro Orchestra in 1926.

Flor de oliva”, waltz by Ricardo Malerba and Esteban Milanese. «Respectfully to our friend Alejandro J. Beltrami». No recordings.

“Flor de oro”, tango by Pedro P. Gauna. No recordings.

"Flor de oropel", tango by Dimas Lurbes with lyrics by Enrique Carrera Sotelo: «To distinguished Ms. Angélica Vanoli». Recorded by Juan Maglio "Pacho" in 1927.

Flor de trapo”, tango by Carlos Geroni Flores and Luis Roldán. «To the honorable friend Mr. César A. Roca and wife». No recordings.

“Flor de rea”, tango by Salvador Merico, recorded by Juan Maglio and the singer Carlos Viván in 1928.

Flor de un día”, waltz by Pedro Datta, «To my good friend José Felipetti». No recordings.

Flor de una noche”, waltz by the same author, «To the honorable Mrs. Luciano Pírez, Nicolás Molina and Genaro Belvisi». Recorded by Roberto Firpo in 1916.

Flor de yuyo”, tango by Manuel Jovés. «To the honorable Mr. Arturo A. Costa». No recordings.

Flor del aire”, tango by Eduardo Bolter Bulterini Jr., «To my friend Pedro Ciarlotti». Recorded in New York, a piano solo by Bill Matthiesen in 1998.

Floreando”, tango by Román Juri and Roberto Pansera. No recordings.

“Flor marchita”, tango by Raúl Sarraceno and Spartaco Regis, «Dedicated to my dear brother Roque». No recordings. There are other two tangos with the same name; one by Ignacio Corsini and the other by Juan Feliú. The former recorded by its author accompanied by Firpo, the latter by the Sexteto Di Sarli.

Flores”, waltz by Juan Maglio, «To my beloved friend Dr. Juan S. Dumas». No recordings.

Flores que nacen”, waltz by Augusto Berto, «To Dr. José María Vergara and the national deputy Dr. Valentín Vergara». No recordings.

Flor silvestre”, waltz by Augusto Gentile, «To my beloved friend and renowned colleague Mr. Francisco Canaro». No recordings.

“Cardal en flor”, tango by Mario L. Croppi. «To the honorable Dr. Bernardino Caldora». No recordings.

Claveles blancos”, tango by Armando Pontier and José María Contursi. Recorded by the Francini-Pontier Orchestra with Roberto Rufino on vocals in 1949.

Clavel del aire”, tango by Juan de Dios Filiberto and Fernán Silva Valdés. «To my great friend Dr. Arturo Ameguino, with love». A great number of recordings. The one by Carlos Di Sarli with Jorge Durán on vocals in 1946 is a standout.

El pensamiento”, tango by José Martínez. «To my beloved friend Samuel Castriota». Recorded, among others, by Juan D'Arienzo in 1945.

El rosal”, song by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez and Manuel Romero, recorded by Gardel in 1932.

“El rosal de las ruinas”, tango by Graciano De Leone, «Dedicated to Dr. Belisario Roldán».

El rosal de los cerros”, song by Eduardo Bonessi and José De Cicco. Two dedications: «To Dr. Juan Luis Basso and wife (Eduardo Bonessi)»; «To Ignacio Corsini in return for his many kind actions (José De Cicco)». Recorded by Ignacio Corsini in 1933.

Eras como la flor”, tango by Roberto Rufino and Mario Arrieta, recorded by Alberto Marino in 1954.

“Floreal”, waltz by José J. Junnissi. «Dedicated to my friends: José Leone and Rolando Tompson».

La flor de los gauchos”, waltz by Jaime Vila and José Fernández. «Dedicated with admiration to the young ladies Angela, María Luisa, Esther, Dora and Haydée Pieruccioni. The authors». No recordings.

La Rosa [b]”, tango by Francisco Brancatti and Emilio Castaing. «Dedicated to Mrs. PONTI & Cia., manufacturers of the perfumed wax "LA ROSA"».

La violetera”, tango by Anselmo Aieta and Francisco García Jiménez. «To the honorable Dr. Julio A. Bertres, Mr. Ivain Moreno and the jockey José Canal, with affection».

Madreselva”, tango by Francisco Canaro and Luis César Amadori. «Premiered by the acclaimed demale singer Tania at the Teatro Maipú». This number has a large number of recordings.

Malvón”, tango by Oscar Arona and Francisco García Jiménez. «To our neighborhood…». Recorded by Ricardo Tanturi with the vocalist Enrique Campos in 1943.

Naranjo en flor”, tango by Virgilio Expósito and Homero Expósito. With hundreds of recordings. «To Major Oscar Ardito Machiavello, sincerely. H.E.». The renditions by Troilo with Floreal Ruiz in 1944 and Roberto Goyeneche’s in 1974 stand out.

Pobres flores”, tango by Francisco Pracánico and Verminio Servetto. «To the honorable Mr. Tomás D. Bernard, with affection». Recorded by Gardel in 1923.

Rosas de abril”, waltz by Rafael Rossi and Eugenio Cárdenas, recorded by Gardel in 1927.

“Rosa de otoño”, waltz by Guillermo Barbieri and José Rial, recorded by Gardel in 1923 and in 1930. «Dedicated to my good friend Juan B. Zicari».

Violetas”, waltz by Juan Maglio and Francisco Brancatti. «Dedicated to Miss Blanca María Benevedia, with affection». Recorded by Corsini in 1930.

As for the recordings we researched:

Flor amarga”, tango by José Puglia, Edgardo Pedroza and Federico Silva, recorded by the Puglia-Pedroza Orchestra with Oscar Nelson on vocals in 1952.

“Flor de abrojo”, tango by Ciriaco Ortiz and Nolo López, recorded by the Trío Ciriaco Ortiz in 1937.

Flor de amigo”, tango by Rodolfo Sciammarella. Recorded by Carlos Di Sarli with Mario Pomar in 1955.

“Flor de arrabal”, milonga by Luis Riccardi, recorded by Francisco Canaro with the vocalists Alberto Arenas and Mario Alonso in 1952.

“Flor de campo”, tango by Francisco Lomuto, recorded by Gardel in 1925 and by its composer with Charlo in 1928.

“Flor de suburbio”, milonga by Roberto Firpo. There is a rendition by the Cuarteto Roberto Firpo in 1939.

Flor del valle”, tango by Guillermo Barbieri and Luis Garros Pe, recorded by Gardel in 1931, among many other renditions.

Flor y flor”, tango by Fausto Frontera. There is a recording by the sextet led by Gabriel Clausi.

Florcita”, tango by Agustín Bardi, recorded by the Lucio Demare Orchestra in 1945.

“Flores artificiales”, tango by Francisco Federico and Enrique Gaudino, recorded by Domingo Federico and the singer Armando Moreno in 1952.

Flores del alma”, waltz by Juan Larenza, Lito Bayardo and Alfredo Lucero Palacios, recorded, among others, by Pedro Laurenz with Martín Podestá in 1942.

Flores muertas”, tango by Luis Hugue and Adolfo Musí, recorded by Osvaldo Fresedo with Antonio Buglione in 1928.

Flores negras”, tango by Julio De Caro and Mario César Gomila. Its composer recorded it three times, in 1927, 1942 and 1952. There are many, many renditions.

“Flores rojas”, tango by Remo Bernasconi. Recorded by Francisco Lomuto with Charlo in 1928.

“Flores secas”, tango by Juan Carlos Patrón, recorded by Canaro with Charlo in 1929.

Ser mina flor de cardo”, tango by Javier González and Adriana Turchetti, recorded by Patricia Barone in 2004.

Other flowers:

Alelí”, tango by Alfredo De Angelis and José Rótulo. Recorded by its composer with Carlos Dante in 1947.

“Como agoniza la flor”, song by Osmán Pérez Freyre, recorded by the Gardel-Razzano duo in 1923.

“Como las margaritas”, estilo by Rafael Rossi, recorded by Gardel in 1926.

Como los nardos en flor”, tango by Teófilo Lespés and Mario Lespés, lyrics by Eduardo Viera, recorded by Gardel in 1923.

De flor en flor”, tango by Eduardo Bonessi and Domingo Gallicchio, recorded by Gardel in 1924 and 1930. Later, with another lyric, it was named “Desvelo”.

De mi flor”, tango by Roberto Firpo, recorded twice by D'Arienzo, in 1938 and 1966.

Destino de flor”, tango by Roberto Rufino and Alejandro Romay, recorded by its author with the Enrique Francini’s orchestra in 1957.

El cardo azul”, estilo by Gardel and José Razzano, recorded by Gardel in 1919, 1929 and 1930.

El clavel”, tango by Enrique Delfino and Manuel Romero. No recordings.

El clavelito”, tango by Ángel Cabral and Reinaldo Yiso. Recorded by Miguel Montero, among others.

Flor campera”, tango by José María Aguilar and lyrics by Juan Pedro López, recorded twice by Carlos Gardel in 1929.

Flor de ceibo”, tango by Eduardo Ponzio and Armando Tagini. No recordings.

“Flor de ceibo [b]”, tango with the same title as the above one, written by Vicente Romeo.

Flor de cobre”, tango by Alberto Muñoz, recorded by Claudia Tomás in 2004.

“Flor de mal”, waltz by Juan Carlos Graviz. Recorded by D'Arienzo with Héctor Mauré in 1940.

Pobre flor (Primera ilusión)”, waltz by Luis Mottolese and Víctor Spindola, recorded, among others, by De Angelis with the Dante-Martel duo in 1946.

Finally, we came to the conclusion that in the wide garden of tango there are many more flowers. But by now, that’s all.