Benjamín Tagle Lara

Real name: Tagle Lara, Benjamín Alfonso
Lyricist and composer
(23 June 1892 - 9 November 1932)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
José Gobello
| Ricardo García Blaya

ather than a poet, Benjamín —and the same can be said of his brother Alfonso—, was a professional lyricist. However, in “Puente Alsina” —a heartfelt elegy to the old city that progress was condemning to oblivion—, he achieved a genuine lyrical note.

His first composition was the zamba “Por el camino (El boyero)”, with music by Carlos Vicente Geroni Flores. It dates back to 1923.

The year before his younger brother Alfonso had succeeded in persuading the singer Roberto Díaz to premiere his tango “Crítica 5ª” with music by Antonio Scatasso.

This zamba, “El boyero”, later renamed as “Por el camino” was premiered in Montevideo by the Ítalo-Feria duo (Ítalo Goyeche and Néstor Feria) at the Contest for Regional Songs in 1924. Thereafter it was widely known in Spain, —performed by the Irusta-Fugazot-Demare Trio—, where was praised by Joaquín Turina (an outstanding musician of Sevilla) and was also quite popular in Latin America.

Encouraged by that initial success, Benjamín continued writing and composing. So the zamba “Co co ro có” was released. It was composed by Enrique Delfino and recorded by Carlos Gardel in 1922. In 1926, he wrote the tango “Trapo viejo” with music by Agustín Magaldi and Pedro Noda which the singer premiered in the Pascual Contursi’s one-act farce ¡Maldito Cabaret!.

In 1927, the great Rosita Quiroga premiered his “Puente Alsina”, whose lyric and music belong to him and it represents, undoubtedly, his most lasting hit.

Later came the tangos: “Una tarde”, in 1928, premiered by the sextet led by Agesilao Ferrazzano and Julio Pollero, composers of the piece; “Zaraza”, also with his own music, was awarded the second prize of the Gran Concurso Uruguayo de Tangos del Disco Nacional carried out at the Cine Teatro Cervantes of Montevideo the following year and it was played by the Francisco Canaro Orchestra. The latter tango was sung in France by Sofía Bozán who premiered it in Paris in 1930.

Among the remaining numbers of his oeuvre we highlight “La tropilla”, a song with music by Geroni Flores and which was committed to record by Ignacio Corsini in 1927 and the tango “El trovero”, with music by Fava Pollero, recorded by Alberto Vila in 1928.

As composer, besides “Puente Alsina”, he wrote “Congoja” with words by Alfonso which was recorded in 1929 by Edgardo Donato with Luis Díaz on vocals and the chacayalera “Cuando”, also with his brother as lyricist, which was recorded twice by Magaldi-Noda (an acoustic version and an electric version), also by Corsini and by the Irusta-Fugazot-Demare Trio.