Néstor Pinsón

ike in the cases of Manuel Romero, Luis César Amadori and many other great lyricists in tango, he started with journalism and went on with theater, and through the latter artistic activity he comes to song writing.

Since the beginning Blomberg was essentially a poet, and as such he was recognized, although much time later and with certain reticence, by those who made poetry a part of their life.

His paternal grandfather was a Norwegian sailor and his mother (Cecilia López), according to Eduardo Moreno’s narration, was an excellent writer and translator, of Paraguayan nationality and niece of marshal Francisco Solano López. This woman who lived until the age of ninety-seven meant, possibly, the principal stimulus for his poetic vocation.

He began to study at the law college, but this did not catch his interest and soon he gave up. Traveling, instead, was a permanent attraction in his life.

One day in the year 1911 when he was walking along the waterfront he saw a ship ready to sail to Norway. He immediately went to his place, got the necessary things ready and sailed. He returned two years later, with the images of many countries visited and an enormous number of poems that time later were published in the popular magazines of the period, such as Caras y Caretas and Fray Mocho. After them came his first book of poems La canción lejana (1912). Other titles followed, which were ignored for years: A la deriva (1920), Gaviotas perdidas (1921) and some more. In 1929 a compilation of his articles for journals was published under the title Las puertas de Babel.

But the poet turned into popular writer, a situation that was comfortable and inspiring for him. Poetry was no longer his main expression, it is possible that he had regarded it as a necessity of his early youth, but also that he had been tempted by the easy applause and the quick money that poetry would never bring to him.

His friendship with Carlos Schaeffer Gallo took him to a different world, theater and radio. He wrote stories for Radio Splendid in 1929. They dealt with a material different from the one in his poems, they were no more images with sailors and exotic lands. The episodes he was creating belonged to solid earth and depicted the events that had happened several decades before his own birth, even on the same streets where he grew up.

With an interesting blend of reality and fiction, trying to avoid resentments that could bring political difficulties, he made up his characters especially for his plays. So his stories about Unitarios and Federales appeared, telling us of the operations of the ferocious Mazorca led by Brigadier Juan Manuel de Rosas and about forbidden loves because of irreconcilable ideas.

The balance consisted in that neither the bad guys were so bad, nor the good guys were so good. The writer had found the subject-matter that he would never forsake, that would finally mark all his work. And the public answered with enthusiasm to those grandiloquent deeds carried out on settings where well-cast and defined characters of our recent history were placed. The fight between evil and good, the ferocious condition in the former ones and the nobleness and goodness in the latter, and love, ever-present, long-suffering and prudent, typical of the period.

Together with Schaeffer Gallo, Carlos Max Viale Paz and the well-known actor Elías Alippi he arrived at the theater milieu, the género chico, as the sainete (one-act farce) was called, a cultural proposal for massive audiences, a dramatic and romantic vehicle with touches of humor and with the special attraction of its songs. The latter was made popular by Alberto Vaccarezza, director of a theater company, with his play Barcos Amarrados, written in collaboration with Pablo Suero, in which the lead actor was singer as well and, especially in this case, no one else but Ignacio Corsini.

Corsini and Blomberg became close friends and the singer suggested to him that his guitarist Enrique Maciel would collaborate to musicalize his lyrics. Out of this association his first and most popular work: “La pulpera de Santa Lucía” sprang out, it started with a frustration to later reach glory.

El Caballero Cantor premiered it on Radio Prieto in 1929, later at theaters and at the recording studios. In a few months over two hundred copies were sold. It was, no doubt, Corsini's hallmark song.

He wrote all his work with Enrique Maciel, except the waltz “Novia del mar” that he wrote in collaboration with Otto Wiengreen and “Bajo la santa Federación” with Salvador Merico. They were all committed to disc by Ignacio Corsini with the guitars of Rosendo Pesoa, Enrique Maciel and Armando Pagés.

The numbers recorded by Corsini were: “El adiós de Gabino Ezeiza” (milonga), “La pulpera de Santa Lucía” (waltz), “La mazorquera de Monserrat” (tango), “Violines gitanos” (tango), “Tirana unitaria” (tango), “La viajera perdida” (tango), “La que murió en París” (tango), “Siete lágrimas” (canción), “La guitarrera de San Nicolás” (waltz), “No quiero ni verte” (waltz), “Los jazmines de San Ignacio” (song), “La canción de Amalia” (waltz), “La china de la Mazorca” (song) and “Me lo dijo el corazón” (tango).

Blomberg's poetic work slept for a long time in the libraries and in 1950 was recovered by the poet Raúl González Tuñón, among others, who recognized the existence of a lyrical debt with Blomberg.

Someone described him as a tall thin silent fellow, similar to the Scandinavian seamen that sailed in his imagination. A gentleman and a good friend whose personality is summarized in the following story: his book A la deriva was awarded with the first municipal prize of poetry in 1920. The second place was awarded to Alfonsina Storni. When Blomberg knew this, minutes before the official announcement, he said to the Board members: «Ladies, first». The board agreed to his suggestion and the order of the awards was changed. Alfonsina turned out the winner.

Eduardo Moreno told us another story about this good friend: «When he was correspondent of the newspaper La Razón in Paris, a girl accompanied him as his secretary. She was a learned girl, graduated in philosophy, who previously had worked for the journal Última Hora, where she was collaborating with Samuel Linnig (the author of “Milonguita (Esthercita)”). In Paris the girl was responsible for spreading the notes that Blomberg wrote about tango through all media. Fate made that during her stay she became ill and died very soon. This unhappy event inspired him to write “La que murió en París”. Her name was Alicia Elsa French and she was descendant of the hero of the May Revolution, Domingo French».

Neither Charlo, nor Gardel recorded pieces written by Blomberg. Only Magaldi did it, once, with the song “La parda Balcarce”, recorded on September 28, 1932. Héctor Blomberg was, undoubtedly, Ignacio Corsini's exclusive lyricist.