“Alma de bohemio” is one of the oldest classics of the tango repertoire. It was composed in 1914 by Roberto Firpo for a play by Florencio Parravicini.
Parravicini was a regular at the cabaret Armenonville where Firpo used to perform with his leading edge tango orchestra. He hired Firpo to perform in his play “Alma de bohemio” which was premiered at the Teatro Argentino in 1914.
Though the musical structure of “Alma de bohemio” remains that of a tango of the guardia vieja, it is said that it shows some refinement in the melody. Roberto Firpo was an innovative musician, a pioneer of tango and a visionary in many ways.
Like most compositions at that time, “Alma de bohemio” was originally an instrumental piece. The lyrics we know today were composed well into the era of tango canción by Juan Andres Caruso who often wrote for Carlos Gardel.
Traveler and dreamer, to sing…
I want [to sing] my fantasy
and the mad poetry which lies in my heart
“Alma de bohemio” was recorded many times over by Roberto Firpo himself as well as other orchestras, singers and musicians throughout the history of tango including the Orquesta Tipica Victor, Francisco Canaro, Rodolfo Biagi, Osvaldo Fresedo, Alfredo de Angelis, Ricardo Tanturi, Osvaldo Pugliese, Ignacio Corsini, Alberto Castillo, Los Tubatango, Hugo Díaz, Astor Piazzolla and Plácido Domingo.
“Alma de bohemio” was featured in the movie “Tango“ in 1933 with the voice of Alberto Gómez.
Alberto Podestá is famous for his interpretation of “Alma de bohemio” with long extensions of the second verse as recorded by Pedro Laurenz in 1943.
 Del Priore, Oscar, and Irene Amachástegui. Cien tangos fundamentales. Buenos Aires: Aguilar, 1998. Pint.