Eduardo Escaris Méndez

Real name: Escaris Méndez, Eduardo
Nicknames: Eduardo Méndez
Poet and lyricist
(24 July 1888 - 13 April 1957)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
José Gobello

e was a man with some knowledge and was exceptionally gifted for rhyme. However he led an irregular life that if, on one side, it allowed him to get the necessary experience to write “La cornetita” and “Barajando”, on the other, it prevented him from trying compositions with a higher flight.

Méndez used to say he was a disciple of Andrés Cepeda’s —the famous poet-thief—. For many years he lived running gambling locals. By the end of his life he sold books at the famous bouquineries of the Cabildo (that were moved later to Plaza Lavalle) and ended his days —like Pascual Contursi, like Dante A. Linyera— in a lunatic asylum: the Hospicio de las Mercedes.

His oeuvre includes numbers like “Tus aros criollos”, estilo with music by Alfredo E. Casella; “Así canto yo” and “La cornetita”, tangos with music by Graciano De Leone; “Media noche”, tango with music by Alberto Tavarozzi; “La rodada”, folk song with music by Eduardo Bonessi; “Barajando”, “En la vía”, “Funyi claro”, “El tacuarazo” and “Taquerita chispeadora”, tangos with music by the pianist Nicolás Vaccaro. We have to add to this list the tango “Campaneando la vejez” with music by Rosita Quiroga.

En la vía” was premiered by Rosita Quiroga in 1926. About “La cornetita” Daniel J. Cárdenas says: «The first and only publication of this tango was printed on August 6, 1927 and 3.000 copies were released. Very few were sold because its words were not suitable to be sung in public» (Communication to the Academia Porteña del Lunfardo Nº 596).

As for “Barajando”, with a copyright of 1923, the composer of the music, Mr. Vaccaro, told us that it was premiered in 1928 by the orchestra led by Roque Biafore at the Metropol movie theater. Vaccaro himself circumstantially played in it and also had a short tenure with the aggregation.

The poet and researcher, Horacio Ferrer portrays him in his Libro del Tango: «He was a writer of lunfardesque style akin to Felipe H. Fernández —Yacaré— and to Bartolomé Aprile, and all the bards of the outskirts that were inspired by the prison jargon to create a stream of humorous kind in poems, vignettes and tango lyrics». He also mentions another tango: “Cinta azul” with music by Graciano De Leone.