Making sense of the lyrics...
Horacio Salgán was one of tango’s greatest and most unique composers/stylists. When I look at his collaborations with lyricists, however, I don’t find any lyrics that seem equally worthy of admiration. Apparently Salgán never collaborated with iconic lyricists like Discépolo, Manzi, or Cadícamo. Instead he left us brilliant instrumental music and a handful of tangos with decent, but not life-changing lyrics. I did, however, find a very curious set of songs with music by Salgán and lyrics by Roberto Lambertucci from a oddball novelty album. In 1973 some producer decided to release an album with Miguel Montero singing tangos about the classic Porteño character types. The album is called ‘Los cosos de Buenos Aires’ which means ‘guys’ or in this case ‘characters’ from Buenos Aires. Each tango describes a different classic type: the party guy, the downer, the moocher, the con artist.
So this month, in the absence of timeless tango poetry, we’re going to delve into some lighter fare: a low-brow novelty tango. In this case, of course, the composer of the music happened to be a genius. For your enjoyment, here is ‘El que lo sabe todo’ or ‘The Know-It-All.’ Enjoy a few laughs, and next month we’ll get back to some important, transformative tango poetry..
El que lo sabe todo
Music: Horacio Salgán
Lyrics: Roberto Lambertucci