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El encopao

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El encopao (The One in His Cups) is the title of a tango written by Enrique Dizeo in 1942. The music was composed by Osvaldo Pugliese.




Osvaldo Pugliese

Year of composition:



Lyrics writer(s):

Enrique Dizeo

A man gets drunk to apease his broken heart. At the same time, he feels the weight of the look of the others upon him: of those who disapprove of his behaviour and call him names, as well as the indifferent eyes of his beloved.


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Spanish: El encopao

Me dicen El Encopao
los que no saben lo que me ha pasao
y me ven hecho un cualquiera...
¡Que digan lo que digan,
que ya no me hace mella!
Me llaman El Encopao
como si el que anda así pierde el honor
y no piensan que el que mata
su rabia entre unas copas
tiene su razón.

¡Total, qué le importa a ella
que viva como yo vivo!
Metido siempre en el boliche de esa esquina
que ha dejado de ser tan linda
por su olvido.
¡Total, qué le importa a ella
que viva como yo vivo!
Mareado de caña y de recuerdos, noche y día,
día y noche, por su vida
que es mi amor.

Me dicen El Encopao
y no es mentira que voy mal rumbeao...
¡Todo por una morocha
que me marcó una güeya
de penas y de sombras!
Me llaman El Encopao
pero conmigo nadie va a jugar
porque los hombres se encuentran
y entonces cara a cara
hay que corajear.

English: The One in his Cups[1]

They call me ’The one in his cups’,
those who don’t know what’s happened to me
and see me made a mess...
Let them say what they say,
I don’t care anymore!
They call me ’The one in his cups’
as if for going around like this one lost their honour,
and don’t think that he who kills
his anger with a few drinks
has his reasons to do so.

After all, what does she care
if I should live as I do!
Always stuck in the tavern on that corner
that no longer seems nice
since she forgot me.
After all, what does she care
if I should live the way I do!
Dizzy from liquor and memories, night and day,
day and night, because of her life
that’s my love.

They call me ’The one in his cups’
and it’s no lie I’m on the bad track...
Everything because of a brunette
that left a mark
of sorrows and shadows!
They call me ’The one in his cups’
but no one will mess with me
because men find each other
and then, face to face,
one must be brave.


  1. As much as the expression may be archaic, it is chosen here as a most suitable translation from a broad array of terms referring to drunkenness, because of its semantic and morphological resemblance to the participial form encopao (en = in; copa = cup).

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