León Benarós

Aprovechá la bolada - “¡Aprovechá la bolada!” (Take your chance!), an advertising tan

he notable popularity reached by tango since the beginning of the twentieth century made that it was advantageously used as an advertising element on many occasions.

The advertising was limited, almost always, to distributing a composition for piano, without lyrics, with the name of the product or the enterprise involved. Exceptionally a lyrics connected with the object of the message was added.

A curious case was the advertisement for the Los Caranchos cigarettes. A tango with music and lyrics by Francisco Bohigas, author of numerous sainetes (farces) and tango lyrics.

Carlos Gardel recorded his “Mamita”, with music by Ángel Danesi and “Por última vez”, which has the music of Carlos Pibernat. Also the beautiful piece “Cuando tú me quieras” belongs to him. It was written with Julio Pollero and Agesilao Ferrazzano and recorded by the trio comprised by Ferrazzano, Rafael Iriarte and Rosendo Pesoa in 1927 and, nearly 20 later, by Alfredo De Angelis with Carlos Dante on vocals.

Bohigas was born in Buenos Aires on December 4, 1892 and passed away in the city of Merlo, province of Buenos Aires, on December 20, 1966.

The tango at issue is entitled “¡Aprovechá la bolada!” (Take your chance!) and has as subtitle: “Fumá Caranchos” (Smoke Caranchos). Very few times did tango appear as a so unembarrassed advertisement. These cigarettes, as a matter of fact «vanished» quite soon. Also the Buick automobile, —prize for the contest—, represented by Luis Ángel Firpo in our country, has completely disappeared from our streets. Instead, the tango, by being published, will remain in the possession of some collector and, some time —as now in our case— will return as an almost ignored tango curiosity.

On the sheet music is griten the dedication «To Miss Margarita Bertone: kindly». The web-built lines say the following:

Hey Panchito, don’t be a fool, slow down your haste a bit
That the one who has a gal like the one you own,
Is a silly guy if he commits suicide ‘cause he’s broke;
You have to face Fate with bravery and arrogance.

Where there’s life there’s hope, don’t you fail like a dupe.
And don’t spoil your girl’s palace of illusion
You wanna leave her ‘cause she dreams of having a car,
a house and whatever; Here’s the solution.

Smoke Caranchos, don’t be silly,
That in each label you’ll find a coupon.
Do as I say, get involved, che Pancho
That with Los Caranchos there’s your great salvation.
Smoke Caranchos, that after the mess
In the great draw you’ll win
A beautiful house, a Buick for a drive
And your girl’s dream will surely come true.

I see it, che Panchito, I imagine you a winner,
Boasting around with a dazzling Buick,
along Florida, along Corrientes, with your girlfriend
on the steering wheel,
owner of a house that will be a love nest.

However, my dear, if you don’t start smoking,
Will always be a poor crazy fool that’ll never be rich.
You find your benefit, take your chance,
smoke Caranchos, dear, that your luck will change.

Smoke Caranchos, don’t be silly,
That in each label you’ll find a coupon.

Note of the translator: Carancho: A bird of the hawk family. It feeds on carrion.

Published in the magazine Desmemoria, Buenos Aires.