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Griseta(Grisette) is the title of a tango written by José González Castillo in 1924. The music was composed by Enrique Delfino.




Enrique Delfino

Year of composition:



Lyrics writer(s):

José González Castillo

The poet tells the sad story of a young French woman who, chasing a novelettish dream of love and bohemia, loses herself in the shabby underworld of Buenos Aires, where she ends up finding only death.


Orchestra Singer Record date Genre Label Disco No Side Sound snippet
R000035 Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino 21 June 1941 Tango RCA Victor 39331 A


Spanish: Griseta

Mezcla rara de Musetta y de Mimí
con caricias de Rodolfo y de Schaunard,
era la flor de París
que un sueño de novela trajo al arrabal...
Y en el loco divagar del cabaret,
al arrullo de algún tango compadrón,
alentaba una ilusión:
soñaba con Des Grieux,
quería ser Manon.

que trajiste, pizpireta,
sentimental y coqueta
la poesía del quartier,
¿quién diría
que tu poema de griseta
sólo una estrofa tendría:
la silenciosa agonía
de Margarita Gauthier?

Mas la fría sordidez del arrabal,
agostando la pureza de su fe,
sin hallar a su Duval,
secó su corazón lo mismo que un muguet.
Y una noche de champán y de cocó,
al arrullo funeral de un bandoneón,
pobrecita, se durmió,
lo mismo que Mimí,
lo mismo que Manón.

English: Grisette

Strange mixture of Musetta and Mimi,
with caresses from Rodolfo and Schaunard[1] ,
she was the parisian flower
a crazy novelesque dream brought to the arrabal...
And in the frenzied ramblings of the cabaret,
to the murmur of some compadrón tango,
she cherished a hope:
she dreamt of Des Grieux,
she wanted to be Manon[2].

Little French girl,
you brought, lively spirit,
sentimental and coquettish,
the poetry from the quartier[3].
Who would have said
that your grisette poem
would have but one verse:
the silent agony
of Marguerite Gauthier[4]?

But the cold sordidness of the arrabal
weakened the purity of her faith and,
without finding her Duval[5],
dried out her heart, just like a muguet[6].
And one night of champagne and cocó,
to the funeral murmur of a bandoneon,
poor girl, she fell asleep,
just like Mimi,
just like Manon.


  1. Musetta, Mimi, Rodolfo, Schaunard: Characters from Giacomo Pucini’s La Bohème, based on Henri Murger’s Scènes de la vie de bohème.
  2. Des Grieux, Manon: Characters from Manon Lescaut, a novel by Abbé Prévost and an opera by Giacomo Puccini.
  3. quartier: ’neighbourhood’, in French in the original.
  4. Marguerite Gauthier: Tragic heroine from A. Dumas fils’ The Lady of the Camellias.
  5. Armand Duval: Protagonic male character from The Lady of the Camellias.
  6. muguet: ’lilly of the valley’, in French in the original.

Further links