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Una carta

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Una carta (A letter) is the title of a tango written and composed by Miguel Bucino in 1931.




Miguel Bucino

Year of composition:



Lyrics writer(s):

Miguel Bucino

From jail, having heard his woman has found another man and that his son has been taken to a home for orphan kids, a malevo, full of anguish, wrath and thirst for revenge, writes a letter to his dear mother, begging her to tell him if all that is true.


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Spanish: Una carta

Lloró el malevo esa noche sobre el piso de cemento
y un gesto imponente y fiero en su cara se pintó.
Tomó la pluma con rabia, mientras ahogaba un lamento
a su madre inolvidable esta carta le escribió:

Una duda cruel me aqueja
y es más fuerte que esta reja
que me sirve de prisión.
No es que me amargue
la tristeza de mi encierro
ni el estar igual que un perro
arrumbao en un rincón.
que me diga con franqueza
si es verdad que de mi pieza
se hizo dueño otro varón.

Diga, madre, si es cierto que la infame
abusando que estoy preso me ha engañao...
Y si es cierto que al pebete lo han dejao
en la casa de los pibes sin hogar...
Si así fuera... ¡Malhaya con la perra!...
Algún día he de salir y entonces, vieja,
se lo juro por la cruz que hice en la reja
que esa deuda con mi daga he de cobrar.

Vos que nunca me mentiste,
vos que todo me lo diste,
no me tengas compasión
que, aunque me duela,
la verdad quiero saberla...
No es el miedo de perderla
ni es el miedo a la traición.
cuando pienso en el pebete
siento que se me hace un siete
donde tengo el corazón.

English: A Letter

The malevo wept that night on the concrete floor
and an impressive, fierce gesture painted his face.
He angrily took the pen and, drowning a lament,
he wrote this letter to his unforgettable mother:

My old woman:[1]
A cruel doubt haunts me
and it’s stronger that these bars
that imprison me.
It’s not that I’m embittered
by the sadness of being locked up
nor of being left forgotten in a corner
just like a dog.
I want you
to honestly say to me
if it’s true that another man
has become master of my room.

Do tell, mother, if it’s true that the despicable woman,
abusing the fact that I’m in jail, has betrayed me...
If it’s true the boy has been taken
to the house for the homeless kids...
If it were so... A curse on the bitch!...
Someday I’ll get out and then, mum,
I swear it to you by the cross I’ve made on this bar,
that I shall collect that debt with my dagger.

My old woman:
You’ve never lied to me,
you have always given me everything,
don’t have mercy on me
because, even though it hurts,
I want to know the truth.
And it’s not the fear of losing her,
nor is it the fear of betrayal.
whenever I think of the kid
I feel something being ripped open
where I have my heart.


  1. It is common in Argentina and other Spanish-speaking countries, to refer to one’s mother as vieja (lit. ‘old lady‘).

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