José Pedro Aresi

his prolific author of tango lyrics was born in the porteño neighborhood of Liniers, an area that grew because of the installation of the workshops that belonged to the old Ferrocarril Oeste (West Railroad). He was born on 429 Pola Street and his early steps were on the sidewalks crowded with plane trees that scarcely allowed you to see the sky. He attended grammar school at School Nº 8 of the School District Nº 20. He later went to high school.

Since early age, he wrote drafts with compositions inspired in his observation of reality, of the life in the streets and in his juvenile dreams. Her sister Albina says that Reinaldo, since he was a kid, had a bohemian soul «Alma de bohemio».

His father was a railroad worker, his name was Ernesto and was of Uruguayan nationality. His mother, doña Concepción Ridaura, instead, was a Spaniard born in Malaga. She was in charge of the household. The couple had six children, three girls and three boys. Reinaldo was the youngest.

Yiso never forsook his neighborhood and the friends of his youth. With them he frequented the corner of his birthplace home and the Coronel Martín Irigoyen Square, most widely known as Founrouge Square. It was precisely at these places where Oeste Argentino was born. The latter was a soccer team of the neighborhood in which Reinaldo and his friends, passionate for that sport, had fun playing. He also joined different divisions of the Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield. He even joined the team of the second division of that club, but when he broke one of his legs his expectations for playing in the first division were cut off. He had reasons for pretending it because according to information we got he was an excellent soccer player.

Reinaldo Yiso was loyal to his neighborhood and never left Liniers. He daily commuted downtown to tend his interests as author, while at the same time he had other labor engagements. Even though he began working at the Frigorífico Lisandro de la Torre as plant worker, he later was transferred to the administration offices where he reached an important position. Time later he worked as director of Magenta Discos.

In 1941 Ricardo Tanturi premiered his first title, “Por eso canto yo”; but it is in 1943 when Reinaldo Yiso found wide acclaim with the tango “El sueño del pibe”, recorded that year by Osvaldo Pugliese with his friend and neighbor Roberto Chanel on vocals. The subject of soccer approached in this tango produced a widespread popular lyric. In “El sueño del pibe” the author reminisces his own times of happiness and illusion that he spent in his youth.

By that time Yiso, besides writing and working, was the announcer when the Osvaldo Pugliese Orchestra appeared at dancehalls. For this job he was paid five pesos a night. During those years one afternoon when he was crossing a street with Chanel and Morán, he was run down by a car. He was seriously hurt and had to be in bed for more than a month.

He wrote a great number of tango lyrics with descriptive character, using simple lines. He never made use of the metaphor to embellish his pieces. Most of his lyrics expressed his own feelings or somebody else’s, and as well others depicted passions and popular controversies. Such is the case of “Bolero”, a tango that shows the confrontation that existed at that time between two musical genres, tango and bolero. “Bailemos”, instead, describes the anguish felt by a couple before the irreversible fact of breaking-up. All Yiso’s lyrics represent truly portraits of life.

Besides the above mentioned numbers, his tangos most widely spread were “Un infierno”, “Soñemos”, “Cuatro líneas para el cielo”, “Un regalo de reyes “, “El hipo”, “Cómo le digo a la vieja”, “Una carta para Italia”, “Un tango para mi vieja”, “La número cinco”, “El tango es una historia”, “Estas cosas de la vida”, “La mascota del barrio”, “Un tormento”, “El clavelito”, “Susanita” and “Vals para mamá”. Yiso wrote this piece on an evening he was taking care of his mother who then was undergoing a passing illness. On one of its lines the author evidences which was his emotional state at that time when he says that that waltz «appeared one of those nights when I was thinking of her deeply».

Ricardo Tanturi, Francisco Rotundo, Miguel Caló, Anselmo Aieta, the above mentioned Enrique Alessio, Pascual Mamone, Santos Lipesker, Arturo Gallucci, Abel Aznar, Edgardo Donato, Roberto Chanel, Alberto Morán, Roberto Rufino and Alberto Podestá, Juan Puey, Roberto Caló, Orestes Cúfaro, Ángel Cabral, Juan Pomati, Juan Manuel Mañueco and Erma Suárez, among others, wrote the music for his lyrics.

On May 22, 1943 he married Sara Rainer. They had two children: Marta and Ricardo, whom Yiso mentions in his tango "Un regalo de reyes". According to what his wife says, the name with which his son was filed with the Registry is due to the couple's wish to pay homage to maestro Ricardo Tanturi.

Several of Yiso's compositions were filed under his wife's name. Such is the case of "Bien bohemio", a number that with music by Tití Rossi and Juan Pomati was recorded by the Francisco Rotundo Orchestra with Julio Sosa on vocals. Who does not remember that line that says?: «Estoy en Pampa y la vía como viola en el empeño»? (I'm down and out like a guitar at the pawnshop). As well with the name of Sara Rainer he filed other tangos, among them: "Ruiseñor de Puente Alsina" and "Pifia", and with the pseudonym Rianco he signed the lyric of "No me esperes esta noche", a piece made popular by the female singer María Graña.

He also composed different Peruvian waltzes, among others, "He visto llorar a Dios", "Errante vagabundo" and "Desagradecida".

His contribution to tango is evidenced in the great number of pieces he wrote, always keeping a peculiar style of humble poet. His lyrics summarize emotions and passions akin to the feeling of the Buenos Aires inhabitant.

To end this portrayal of Reinaldo Yiso there is nothing better than bringing a line of his tango "Un infierno", precisely the one which says: «en tu pelo soy abrojo que pretende ser clavel» (on your hair I'm a star thistle that pretends to be a carnation). This phrase became a milestone in Floreal Ruiz's voice.

According to evidence filed in SADAIC, Yiso filed 532 titles, out of which 143 are unpublished, 114 were published, 109 were recorded and 166 were published and recorded.