Esta noche me emborracho (tango, 1927)

“Esta noche me emborracho” is a 1928 tango by Enrique Santos Discepolo. It tells the story of an old man who ran into a woman he used to love. He finds her vulgar and ugly and is overwheled with regrets at the though of the foolish things he did for her.

To think that I was crazy for her! That for her beauty I commited treason.. lost my honour.. fell to my knees.. lost my friends and neglected my mother. All of this to end up here with nothing and to see her old and ugly.

“Esta noche me emborracho” means “tonight I’m getting drunk”, and so the old man says tonight he’s getting really drunk so he wont think about it.

This is the third tango writen by Discepolo and his first success as a lyricist.  Discepolo was a well-known playright and it was common in the 1920’s for tangos to be featured in popular plays. His two previous compositions were “Bizcochito” and “Que vachache“.

On a 1947 radio Belgrano program called “asi nacieron mis tangos”, Discepolo said this sort of poetry came to him following the death of a friend for whom he felt deeply. He began noticing the reality of misfortune, the loss of youth and beauty, and the unavoidable coming of death. This is the kind of pain he wanted to express in this tango.

“Esta noche me emborracho” was premiered atTeatro Maipo by Azucena Maizani and quikly became a huge success. It was recorded that same year by various singers and orchestras including Alberto Vila, Azucena Maizani, Ignacio Corsini, Carlos Gardel, Francisco Canaro with Charlo, Juan Maglio (Pacho) with Carlos Viván, La orquesta Tipica Victor (instrumental), Osvaldo Fresedo con Ernesto Famá, Francisco Lomuto (instrumental) and Juan d’Arienzo (twice) with Carlos Dante both as estribillista and solist.

Later recordings of Discepolo’s first hit include those of Hugo del Carril, Edmundo Rivero, Donato Racciatti with Tania and Ricardo Tanturi with Alberto Castillo.

Discepolo met his wife Tania at the cabaret Follies where she was signing “Esta noche me emborracho”. They were happily married until he died in 1951.

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[1] Del Priore, Oscar, and Irene Amachástegui. Cien tangos fundamentales. Buenos Aires: Aguilar, 1998.

[2] Peñas, Alberto. Recopilación antológica para una sociologia tanguera. Corregidor: Buenos aires, 1998.