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For a head

One of the most endearing tangos of Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Pera, “Por una cabeza”, is a metaphor for horses and life.


How many things are lost in life “by one head”? In a perfect analogy between horse racing and life,   Carlos Gardel  and Alfredo Le Pera  composed this song in New York 85 years ago.

 “ Por una cabeza”  is one of the most popular tangos of the Creole Thrush. His lyrics evoke, on the one hand, racing and betting, on the other hand, love for a woman and, ultimately, life itself. The expression “for a head” is used in horse jargon when a horse wins the race in a very tight way.

A song of all

Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Pera died in a plane crash in 1935. With both authors deceased, and more than 70 years after the event, the music and lyrics of “Por una cabeza” passed into the  public domain  in accordance with Article 5 of  Law 11.723  (Legal Regime Intellectual Property).

The lyrics

For a head

of a noble foal that

just in the line

loosens when he arrives,

and when he comes back

seems to say:

Don't forget, brother,

you know, you don't have to play.

For one head,

one day's badger of

that flirtatious

and laughing woman,

who swear smiling at

the love that is lying,

burns in a bonfire

all my love.

For one head,

all the crazy things.

His mouth that kisses,

erases sadness,

calms bitterness.

For one head,

if she forgets

what I care about losing my

life a thousand times,

why live?

How many disappointments,

for one head.

I swore a thousand times,

I don't insist again.

But if a look

hurts me by passing,

your mouth of fire

again want to kiss.

Stop racing,

timba's over.

A close ending I

will never see again!

But if any pingo

gets to be fixed on Sunday,

I play the whole game.

What am I going to do to him?

For one head,

all the crazy things.

His mouth that kisses,

erases sadness,

calms bitterness.

For one head,

if she forgets me

what does it matter to lose my

life a thousand times?

Why live?

Publication Date: 20/02/2020

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